Vast Conference specializes in conference calls, and it shows in the quality of the calls and the number of features it offers. Vast Conference offers both reservationless and operated-assisted conferences. The reservationless offering allows users to host calls at any time, without having to schedule them in advance.
For larger organizations that need more formal calls, the operated-assisted option provides that type of service. The reservationless system can handle hundreds of callers at one time, while the operated-assisted service supports more than 5,000. Among the many features available with Conference Calling by Vast Conference are call recording, web controls and custom greetings.
Pricing and Terms
Conference Calling by Vast Conference offers two types of pricing plans for its reservationless service: monthly and pay as you go. With the monthly plans, you pay a flat fee every month and can host as many meetings as you like. However, the monthly plans limit the number of people that can participate in a conference call. For a plan in the U.S. and Canada that supports up to 15 callers per call, there is a $19 per month fee. Plans that support up to 25 callers are $29 per month. The largest monthly plan is $39 per month, which supports up to 50 callers. For customers that pay monthly and need to hold a meeting with more than 50 callers, Vast Conference can increase the capacity to 100 callers. The company needs 24 hours advance notice, and there is a one-time $25 fee.
Conference Calling also offers a pay-as-you-go plan. This option, which supports up to 300 callers, is 2 cents per caller, per minute. If you have a 30-minute meeting with eight participants, the call would cost $4.80.
There are several add-on services you can purchase with the reservationless plan. Screen sharing is an additional $10 per month. You can also use a toll-free line for an additional 5 cents, per caller, per minute. If you want to dial out to reach a caller during one of your conference calls, it is an additional 5 cents per caller, per minute.
The operator-assisted service is only available in a pay-as-you-go offering. This service costs 16 cents per caller, per minute for a standard event and 19 cents per caller, per minute for the premium event. For a 45-minute standard event call with 500 participants, the cost would be $3,600.
There are several features that cost extra with the operated-assisted service, including custom scripts, subconference rooms, pre-recording service, recording services, digital replay services, call transcriptions, participant list, conference polling reports and web conferencing. Custom pricing for these services is available by contacting Vast Conference directly.
There are no contracts with Vast Conference, and you can cancel or change plans at any time. The service offers a 14-day free trial.
Conference Calling Services
One plus to Conference Calling by Vast Conference is that it offers both types of conference calling services: instant calls, also known as reservationless, and operated assisted conference calls.
Reservationless calls leave the scheduling up to you. You can schedule calls for any time. Calls can also be held instantly when an impromptu meeting is necessary.
Operated-assisted calls are typically used by larger organizations that host large, formal conference calls, such as public companies that hold annual or quarterly investor calls. Here is more about each type of service.
Reservationless Conference Calls
- The reservationless conference call option lets you schedule a phone meeting 24/7. You simply send participants the conference line and access code, along with the time of the meeting. When the meeting begins, participants dial in and enter the provided codes. It is simple and straightforward.
- The reservationless option lets you easily host meetings with up to 500 participants. However, if you have more than 300 participants, Vast Conference will adjust your settings to accommodate more participants.
- You can create a customizable greeting for callers. This is a standout feature that enhances this service by giving callers a personalized welcome. You can create your own greeting or provide Vast Conference a script and have one of their voice actors create a greeting for you.
- Once a meeting has started, the host can log into the system's online portal to control the call and callers. The web tools allow the host to see everyone who is on the call, mute callers when necessary and conduct Q&A sessions.
- All calls can be recorded at no additional charge. With the push of a button on their phone, the host can start recording. At that time, participants will hear a message stating that the call is being recorded. Recording can also be started and stopped from the online portal. There is no limit to the number of recordings you can make, and each recording is saved for at least a year. Each recording can be downloaded as an MP3 file. Individuals who need to access recordings can listen online, by phone or have a link to the recording emailed to them.
- Another plus to this service is that if you are in the middle of a call and need to bring someone else onto the line, you can use the dial-out option. The host can dial out to anyone who has a U.S. telephone number.
- In addition to controlling calls via the web manager, the host can control the call straight from their phone's dial pad. For example, 1* mutes all callers, 6* can request that each participant state their name so you know who is on the call, and 9* turns on and off the entry notice, which alerts you when a new participant has joined the call. Participants can use their dial pad to control their portion of the call, such as to mute themselves and ask permission to speak.
Operated-assisted conference calling
With this service, Conference Calling operators assist you before, during and after your conference call.
- Before your call, an operator, which Conference Calling refers to as an event specialist, is assigned to you. They work with you to develop the greeting and introductions, how the call will flow and the call's itinerary. On the day of the call, the event specialist meets with the call's host and any other speakers to review the final details.
- During the call, the event specialist, if desired, greets participants and collects their contact information. Once the call starts, the specialist remains on the line to introduce each speaker and manage any question and answer session.
- Once the call is completed, the event specialist provides you a participant list, a recording of the call and a transcription, if needed.
- Operated-assisted calls support up to 6,000 participants.
There are a number of other factors that make Conference Calling by Vast Conference an impressive service.
- For businesses that hold meetings with international participants, Conference Calling offers local numbers in more than 80 countries worldwide. There are also international toll-free options.
- Conference Calling integrates with Microsoft Outlook. Once downloaded, the Conference Calling plug-in adds buttons to your Outlook Home toolbar to instantly create conference call invitations with an email template or calendar appointment. The pertinent information is automatically populated into your invitation.
- If you need to share visuals during your meetings, Conference Calling offers HD screen-sharing services. With this, you can host web conferences that allow you to share your screen, instant-message participants and send files to the group.
- A great interactive feature this service provides is call continuation, which allows participants to continue the meeting without the host on the call.
- The customer support from Vast Conference met our full expectations. This service offers telephone, email and live-chat options. Representatives were always quick to answer our questions and followed up with us to ensure that everything was working smoothly after we signed up for the service.
- The company has an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau, and as of May 2018, only one complaint had been filed against Vast Conference in the past three years.
While we were overly impressed with the service, there were a few downsides. One is that Vast Conference does not offer a mobile app for either iOS or Android devices. Other services we looked into had their own mobile app that allowed users to host meetings from their smartphones. However, while there isn't a mobile app, Vast Conference does make it easy to participate in conference calls from your mobile device. Instead of having to dial in directly to a call, conference calling allows participants to join a conference with one push of a button from their smartphone.
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