Today, most conferences can be held with the help of convenient Internet programs. However, conference calls are still relevant. They are often essential for business needs: to communicate with remote employees, discuss some issues with partners, and so on. To organize a conference call professionally, let's first learn: what is a conference bridge? How does it work?
What Is a Conference Call?
A conference call is a telephone call in which 3 to 20 participants take part. To become participants in a conference call, the people invited to it must have a separate PIN code. Accordingly, the conference organizers must ensure in advance that every invited participant has such a code. The code or number connects the interlocutor to a virtual room — the conference bridge.
The invited person can join the conference bridge from any part of the world. Unlike a traditional conference call, which usually has a limit to the maximum number of participants, a conference bridge can take any number of people at once. Technically, it looks like a combination of several conferences, and if you represent it graphically, such a connection would be like a molecule.
Who Uses Conference Bridges?
If you think that the Internet connection has overshadowed all alternative forms of communication, this is not the case. Conference bridges are still relevant for political and business negotiations at the highest level. Also, telephone conferences remain in the service of TV and radio companies, film production, construction companies, and others. As you can see, the need for simultaneous and successful communication is not only not lost but also growing every year.
Why use the phone when there is the Internet?
● Connection security. Yes, we know about encryption, reliable and secure protocols, and high standards of security on the Internet. However, traditional telephony is often a safer and more reliable way to transmit information, with fewer technologies for intercepting calls and more opportunities to maintain privacy where needed.
● Less sound delay. Messages and sound come with a certain delay. To avoid lagging behind, it is convenient to hold conferences in the form of telephone communication.
● You can use a secure and simple alternative that combines both of the above advantages — VoIP. Virtual telephony is technically simpler; it provides more space and capabilities, a high level of connection security, and high standards of information encryption. Virtual telephony, in addition, is more affordable and works without delay.
So, if you need a channel to interact with a large number of employees or partners, virtual telephony is exactly what allows you to cope with the task.
How to Start a Conference?
Each participant needs three main things to join the conference call: login number, password (PIN code), and access code. These requirements apply to both traditional telephone connections and virtual telephony.
Some providers offer a conference call service without these attributes. Such a simplified access system is suitable, for example, for friendly conversations, lessons, or cultural events. It is also noteworthy as such services are also provided in accordance with fairly high standards of data protection.
Now, let's take a closer look at the terminology so as not to be intimidated by it in practice.
● The login number is a regular phone number that you need to dial to join a call where more than two people need to communicate. If you have such a number, you can hold conferences at any time without notifying the operator in advance.
● The access code must be entered when joining the conference. The organizer will inform you about the meeting code in time.
● PIN codes are not necessary for ordinary participants, but organizers can use them if they need access to special options: recording, blocking, etc.
So, a conference call can be pre-booked or arranged without an operator. The conference service with the operator is usually more expensive because, in fact, it relies on all the technical nuances: sound quality, opening access for new participants, etc. But pre-booking does not allow for spontaneous and prompt communication without prior planning, so this format is more suitable for meetings that you know in advance, and it is important for you that they are technically sound.
VoIP Conferencing Features
VoIP allows for making web conferencing calls with a few more useful options. They can be done with the option of showing the screen thanks to video, which brings more clarity, and, therefore, communication becomes more effective.
General Rules to Follow During a Conference Call
● Seven are not waiting for one: join in time so as not to miss anything.
● Wait until it's your turn to speak; don't try to shout at other people.
● Turn off the microphone when you are not speaking because, even when you are silent, background noise can disturb others.
● If possible, use a quality headset so that the sound is clear and noise or squeaks do not irritate you or other people.
Use conferences as a modern tool to bring people from all over the world together. But when breaking boundaries, remember the rules. And then, your communication will be high-quality and effective.