At its core conferencing is about bringing geographically challenged people together to be able to communicate.
The technology you use to communicate is dependent on the purpose and level of collaboration required of the meeting. While many of the latest phone systems including Skype for Business satisfies many conferencing requirements, there is still a high demand for outsourced conferencing solutions.
The various types of conference technology include:
This is purely a call based conference capability that satisfies voice-only communication. It can be used in conjunction with web conferencing or stand alone.
- On-demand teleconferencings used for mobile workforces and ad-hoc meetings
- Managed teleconferenceservices are used for large event-based conferences where you require control to manage large volumes of participants and may be used in conjunction with web conferencing for town hall meetings, investor relations meetings or large scale all company conference calls.
Web conferencing tends to be smaller groups of people and tend to be much more interactive in nature. There tends to be application/desktop/screen sharing with a much higher likelihood for transfer of control to participants. Other features may involve user polling, meeting recording, and online collaboration via the use of a whiteboard and drawing tools.
These are managed event conferences normally involving larger groups of participants, using power points or slide shows, and are not as interactive though Q&A is often employed. They may involve multiple presenters, presenting to the group. They often require managed user registration, in advance via email. They normally utilize self-branding, where the general idea is to use your own company’s logo, etc. to brand the conference room. Although like a web conference, Webinar's are much less likely to have control passing, remote control, or video conferencing.
Webcasts are very similar to other forms of “broadcasting” information because they use the internet to broadcast information that is either live or has been recorded. This can be either audio and or video transmissions.As an example, a company may broadcast a press conference at a later date, in addition to doing the live call.
Video conferencing allows high-quality visual communication via an audio and visual link-up between two or more people. The “endpoints” can be either a computer monitor or TV monitor. It has limited participants and is most closely aligned to a face to face meeting. On a personal level, the face-to-face connection adds non-verbal communication to the exchange and allows participants to develop a stronger sense of familiarity with individuals they may never actually meet in person.