Conference call: Join online meetings anytime, anywhere

Find the right conferencing solution for your business, and keep your remote teams connected and productive despite the distance.
An ongoing conference call in the RingCentral mobile app
Running a successful business requires the right tools. On top of the list should be a robust conference calling software that allows you to streamline communications and increase productivity, regardless of your physical location. 
With RingCentral, you get versatile conference calling features that make way for HD online meetings—anytime and anywhere. You get impeccable video and audio quality that prevents distorted communication and makes it feel like you're in the same room as your entire team, prospects, or loyal customers. What's more, you also get to enjoy full host controls, cloud recording capabilities, messaging, and more.
Traditional phone systems are becoming a thing of the past. The world is continuing to embrace technology and the hybrid work setup, and if you want to catch up, you better partner with a trusted conference call service provider like RingCentral!

What is a conference call?

A conference call is simply a phone call that connects multiple people to the same conversation. Here, the host and the guest(s) can talk as they would in a regular meeting. You can join an online conference meeting through your business phone system, mobile phone, computer, or laptop.
Most conference calls are managed by an organizer or call leader using specialized technology, such as dedicated conference phones alongside cloud-based communication services like RingCentral.
A conference room phone used in a video call equipped by RingCentral app

What are the different ways to access a conference call?

Where do you want to start a conference call? Be it through a traditional phone system or via the internet, there are several ways for you to host or join a virtual meeting.
A woman on a phone call while looking at a computer monitor
Via dial-in number
A dial-in number is the telephone number that participants will need to dial to enter a conference call. These numbers are given to you by your service provider. You can also purchase a dedicated dial-in number, a code directly tied to your personal account.
With a dedicated dial-in number, you won't have to share conference lines—so there's no need for you to make a reservation before hosting a meeting. This means you'll be able to teleconference anytime.
Toll vs. toll-free numbers
Dial-in numbers are either toll or toll-free. Participants are charged with call fees if they use a toll dial-in number. On the other hand, the host shoulders the call fees if the dial-in number is toll-free.
Local vs. international numbers
Participants can join conference calls from anywhere in the world. If you're calling a local number, you only need the phone number itself and the access codes to enter the call. Take note of whether the number is toll or toll-free to avoid any surprise charges to your bill.
For international calls, you need to add a country code at the beginning of the number you're dialing. Each country has a unique code, so make sure you know the one you need for your meeting. Usually, the country code is given along with the dial-in number, written in parenthesis. For example: (+xx) xxx-xxxx.
Via link
A meeting link is a link that users can simply click to join a conference call via the internet. This can be sent through email, SMS, or chat.
You can also create meeting links for conference calls scheduled in the future. Most providers have integrations with MS Outlook, Google Calendar, or any online calendar of your choice. For example, RingCentral integrates with Google Calendar and Outlook to automatically create links to conference calls in your meeting invites.
Via app
It is easy to host or join a conference call within an app. For instance, you can start a conference call by clicking “Start a conference call” anywhere you find it in the RingCentral app:
  • New actions button: This is the + button to the left of your profile picture in the upper right corner. Click it, and a “Start a conference call” will appear as an option.
  • Message: The Message tab is in the left navigation bar. From there, select a group or team conversation. Click the More icon (three buttons) at the top right of the main panel, and a “Start a conference call” will appear as an option.
  • Phone: The Phone tab is in the left navigation bar. From there, click Conference calls.

What are the different types of conference calls?

There are several types of conference calls, each with its own benefits and features. How you choose which one is best for you depends on what your business needs are. Here are some examples:
Audio conference

Audio conferencing is an audio-only conference with multiple people in different locations sharing a call. Each person can speak and listen to everyone who calls into the same conference. Traditionally, audio conference calls were done through a desk phone and conducted using a landline connection. This is still a viable option if you don't have a stable internet connection. If you do have a good internet connection, you can connect it to your desk phone and install a VoIP service instead.

Web conference

Web conference calls offer more features than a traditional phone conference. Typically conducted through video-supported devices like mobile phones, PCs, or tablets, web conferencing has features like chat, screen-share, webcams, and more. This is useful for interactive and collaborative meetings where participants can communicate, provide feedback, and ask questions in real time.

Video conference

Video conferencing takes all the elements of web conferencing and audio conferencing and boosts the experience by introducing face-to-face communication. By seeing other guests, you benefit from facial expressions, hand gestures, and other cues that audio-only meetings lack. You typically get additional features such as screen-sharing, file-sharing, virtual whiteboards, and annotations.

Dial-in conference

A dial-in conference call is a multi-party call where callers can join in one place and hold audio meetings. It differs from web conferencing as it establishes a connection via your standard business phones or mobile phones rather than via the internet. Whereas web conferencing allows you to join via a desktop app or a web browser, dial-in conferencing provides an internet-free method of connecting.

Reservationless conference

Reservationless conference calls remove the need for, well, reservations. This also removes the need for you to manage the conference bridge. In contrast to the operator-assisted option, reservationless conference calls aren't facilitated by an operator. Instead, the host is the one that facilitates the call. It is a cheaper option than operator-assisted ones and gives meeting organizers more control over the schedule and flow of the conference.

Operator-assisted conference

As its name suggests, an operator-assisted conference call has an actual operator on the line to help facilitate the meeting. While it is typically more expensive than the reservationless option, it does allow you to assign minor tasks to the operator so you can just focus on the meeting. An operator-assisted call is ideal for large, formal conferences because an operator can provide additional support to make the meeting flow more efficiently without overwhelming the host.

What are the advantages of business-focused conferencing solutions?

Conference calling provides a huge benefit for productivity, communication, and collaboration. And as more parts of your business are transitioning to digital, conference calls make it even easier to keep your company growing. Here are a few perks:
  • Reduced costs: When you host conference calls as a substitute for in-person meetings, you don't have to worry about serving coffee and snacks to guests. You don't have to spend on gas and commuting, too!
  • Less travel times: The entire point of conference calls is to allow remote teams and individuals to connect in a virtual space. As long as you can join, it doesn't really matter where you might be!
  • Decreased carbon footprint: Less travel just to attend a meeting in the office translates to a green initiative for your business.
  • Improved flexibility and mobility: When a conference call takes place is up to you. You can schedule it as early or as late as you want, depending on what works best for you and your guests. You just have to take into account different time zones for your remote team members.
  • Increased productivity: With all the time saved on getting ready, commuting, and preparing meeting rooms, teams can put their focus on completing projects, closing sales, and attending to important tasks. 
  • Elevated meeting experience: Online meetings offer functionality that creates a better experience for all. This can include call recording, automatic notes transcription, whiteboard, screen-sharing, and more.
  • Better team inclusion: Some people don't thrive in a face-to-face environment. Conference calls open a virtual space where these people can more comfortably share their thoughts, opinions, and feedback.

Why is RingCentral Video the best choice for HD conference calls?

The best conference calling service is the one that does everything you need without causing undue stress or difficulty. That's precisely what RingCentral Video offers. Here's what you can expect:
Four participants shown on screen on the RingCentral app

High participant limit

RingCentral Video provides audio conferencing capabilities for up to 1,000 people at the same time. This makes it possible for organizations to schedule virtual meetings for audiences of all sizes.
From large-scale webinars and all-hands meetings to small team huddles and brainstorming sessions over the phone, there is no type of virtual gathering that RingCentral Video cannot support.

HD video and audio

It won't matter how many people join your conference call if nobody can understand each other. With RingCentral Video, this won't be a problem. 
You can expect every conference call to broadcast high-definition audio to everyone without awkward stutters or lags. If you ever decide to switch to a video call, you will also experience the same high quality in video form!
The advanced audio settings displayed on an ongoing video meeting via the RingCentral app
A contact displayed on top of a user list of the RingCentral admin portal

Host control over the entire meeting

If you're setting up and hosting a phone conference, you'll definitely need a set of useful controls to manage the meeting. RingCentral Video offers the following controls:
  • Create access codes to keep out unwanted participants
  • Mute participants to keep background noise to a minimum
  • Choose a custom hold music to enjoy while waiting
  • View advanced analytics to structure better meetings
  • Assign a call manager

Conference call recording

Sometimes, people just can't make it to your teleconference for various reasons. Perhaps you need to go back and listen to what Bob from accounting said about the cost of the widgets at around the 20-minute mark. Or maybe you have done such a great job of articulating facts that you want to transcribe your words so they can be shared with more people.
Whatever your reason, RingCentral has your back with its conference call recording feature. You can revisit your meeting playbacks whenever you like.
A call being recorded in the RingCentral app
The document sharing feature of the RingCentral app integrated with apps such as Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive

Messaging features

Just like in a regular meeting, it can't be helped that participants talk to each other while someone else is presenting. This can happen when there's some confusion, a question needs to be raised, or someone wants to add to the discussion. In such cases, giving participants the right channel to share their comments and opinions is important.
With RingCentral Video, private and group in-meeting chat is available to participants dialing in through an app or web link.

Screen and document sharing

Real-time collaboration tools are super beneficial for team-building and finding solutions quickly.
When you go for RingCentral Video, you get screen- and document-sharing capabilities along with our conference calling service. This way, you can showcase visual presentations while you talk. You can also send supplementary files, such as images, audio and video clips, and other assets, that participants can check out on their own.
The screensharing feature in the RingCentral Video app
An ongoing video conference in the RingCentral app

Unlimited conferences

The need to join a call with multiple people can happen at any time (and several times a day). You don't want to be limited by your plan and miss important opportunities.
RingCentral's basic plan offers unlimited conferences for up to 100 participants and sharing calls between the desktop app and mobile app. Upgrading gives you unlimited group conferences, reporting, 24/7 phone support, and other advanced features.
Our conference calling services are available on a free trial, so you can take them for a test run before making your decision. Despite being free, our conferencing tool includes everything you need to enjoy smooth, hassle-free online meetings. Of course, if you want more functionality to your plan, you can always opt for one of our paid plans that combines the features of message, phone, and video into a single platform. Click here for more information about our products and pricing.

Frequently Asked Questions

List of upcoming meetings scheduled in the RingCentral app
  1. From your phone system, you can call the dial-in number, enter your meeting ID, and connect to other attendees at the conference.
  2. If you're joining an online meeting, you can connect through your RingCentral meeting app on your desktop, mobile, or tablet. Navigate to the next meeting in your calendar and just click it to join. Alternatively, you could hit “Start” to start a conference meeting instantly.
To turn your RingCentral conference meeting into a video meeting, just turn on your video by clicking the video camera icon.
You can even join a conference call meeting from a team chat you're working in. Here's how it looks in RingCentral's desktop app.
List of upcoming meetings scheduled in the RingCentral app
It's easy to schedule meetings in advance. Millions of people do it all the time.
The only real difference between starting a conference call immediately and scheduling it for a future time is the scheduling part. With RingCentral, the phone conferencing services include calendar integration with popular calendar apps such as Google Calendar and Office 365. You can set up the call in your service and have it send out automatic meeting notifications to all participants, making it a breeze to schedule meetings.
You certainly can! As long as you have a number to call, you should be able to join a telephone conference from any type of phone. Just pick up the phone, and dial the access number. When prompted, key in your conference call room, and you're in. 
But remember that this can limit your productivity if you miss out on video calls. If you need to show something rather than explain, you're out of luck with an audio call. The same goes for something that you need to see to understand. It could get in the way of productivity, so it's worth thinking about.
It depends on the service. If you create an “open” conference call, it may be possible for someone who knows the number and/or link to get into the conference. However, simply providing conference access to a client, a potential new hire, or anyone else who doesn't get a paycheck from your company is quite simple. If they know the right number, they can join the call.
You'll typically need to set up an access code if you want to restrict access to the call. Access codes could be changed whenever you need to (and are often reset with every call) to ensure someone can't hop into next month's chat with last month's code if you fired them yesterday.
If you are on the hunt for a conference call option, try RingCentral Video by RingCentral. Get started today and find out how RingCentral can take your business to the next level.