We know conferencing can be confusing. There are a lot of technical terms and if you've never conferenced before it can be overwhelming. We're here to clear up any confusion by explaining the most common terms you might have read or heard.
A teleconference is an audio meeting held over a landline or mobile phone between a host and any number of participants in various locations. Teleconferences save your business time and money by eliminating the need to travel to meetings. You’re then free to spend that time (which could be substantial if you’re travelling interstate or internationally) on completing your work, thereby improving your efficiency and productivity.
A teleconference is also often referred to as an audio conference or a conference call.
The host is often the person running the conference, but this doesn’t have to be the case. They're able to control the conference using keypad shortcuts, such as muting all the guests as they enter the conference.
The host uses the Host Code to join the conference. It’s important that the Host Code is kept secure because this code is associated with the company paying for the conferencing account. Only one person should join the conference with the Host Code.
The guests include everybody involved in the conference apart from the host. Most conferencing companies allow for over 1000 guests. If there are going to be a lot of guests, it’s advisable that they enter on mute to avoid lots of people talking over each other.
The guests all use the Guest Code to join the conference. This access code can be distributed to as many people as necessary.
Web conferencing is a cost-effective way of visually communicating with people in different locations by enabling participants to share screens, work on documents together in real time and even see each other by using webcams. A web conference can be interactive (webinar), a one-way presentation (webcast), or a completely collaborative environment via screen sharing.
A webinar is an interactive web meeting. This means the host and the guests can collaborate easily and efficiently by sharing screens and documents. The host can gather real-time feedback from their guests by using polls or surveys. Q&A sessions can also be conducted at any time throughout the meeting.
A webcast is a non-interactive presentation where the guests watch and listen but do not participate, such as a lecture. This meeting may consist of audio only, or may include a visual element in the form of PowerPoint slides, video clips or live demonstrations.
A video conference is a visual meeting that occurs using dedicated hardware including a TV, camera and telephone. This needs to be set up in a dedicated room such as a boardroom or office. Both offices need to have the same technology set up which is why web conferencing is generally the easier and more cost-effective option.
Now when you call a conferencing provider looking for a service, you’ll know exactly what to ask for and you’ll understand everything even before the operator explains it to you.
The next step is to put your knowledge to the test and start using a conferencing service to save you and your business time and money on collaboration!
If you can think of any other conferencing words you're not sure about, comment below and we'll happily explain them to you. Even better, if you give us a call we can explain anything you like over the phone! We'd love to chat with you.