- Because there are many formats, people desiring a web conference will have to choose the format that satisfies their meeting needs, their technology capabilities and their budget. Web meetings can take place via audio, Internet chat room conferencing and videoconferencing. You just have to decide how many types of communication are needed for a productive meeting.
Hosted Web Conferences
- Hosted web conferencing is available through website providers such as WebConferencing.com. The clients can sign up for a monthly service by choosing a plan. For example, where only two people need to meet on a regular basis, a cheap plan is available for under $50 dollars a month. For larger organizations, the monthly web conferencing plan for thousands of employees could be cost prohibitive. For this reason, the IT staff of a large organization might install web conferencing equipment onsite to manage this communication expense.
Alternative to Audioconferencing
- Many online providers of web conferencing also offer audioconferencing.
Why would you pay for audioconferencing if you can get web conferencing for free?
Web conferencing is more desirable for organizations with users who need various levels of interaction. Sitting in front of a video monitor enables participants to see each other's expressions and gestures. Using your own computer terminal to also type, post, link, watch videos, use the Internet and read information in addition to watching a person talk to you makes for a highly interactive meeting. This scenario is perfect for corporate trainers and teachers.
- Technical meetings involve the review of specific documents during a web conference. For professionals such as attorneys, government agencies, corporate executives and project managers, the ability to exchange documents in an Internet application is important. This capability is even more crucial for participants located in different countries around the world.
- From the meeting facilitator's perspective, it is important to have a means for technically controlling the web meeting. For example, the corporate trainer might desire to use the microphone feature to give details to students. When a student needs to ask a question, the trainer can pass the microphone through the simple click of a mouse. In a corporate meeting, there will be people who want to dominate the meeting. The manager of the meeting can use the moderator controls to keep the meeting organized and give each speaker her time according to the meeting agenda.