Free Teleconference: Efficient Virtual Meetings Using a Free Conference Call App

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As remote work is becoming more prevalent among all business types, numerous conference calling solutions are available. These new tools offer new ways to collaborate with your team and reach new opportunities beyond local reach, all from your computer or mobile device.
But as you learn more about each solution, you’ll find a ton of features for even more ways to communicate, but you’re not yet sure what you’ll need. You might be wondering, Is there a free conference call service?
And, thankfully, there are a lot of conference calling solutions that have free plans and a free conference call app to let you try out a product before committing to a paid plan where you’re billed annually for hundreds—sometimes, even thousands—of dollars.
When you decide to start exploring options, you should understand the limitations of each company’s free plan and the benefits of opting for one of the paid plans.
So how can you make the most of a free conference calling app?
Make an audio call using the RingCentral App

Is a free conference call really free?

While, yes, there are a lot of companies that offer free conferencing services, you should know the things you’ll be missing out on (or giving up).
Typically, free conferencing services limit things like:
  • the number of attendees for online meetings, 
  • the duration of the meeting, 
  • special features (like voice intelligence, calendar integration, custom hold music), team messaging, 
  • among a bunch of other features you may need.
But using these services might also cost you some of your security or privacy—browsing history, downloads, login information, your device and device ID, other data that you’d rather protect. That’s not to say that you’re totally secure when you join other services that have paid plans, but you will have more control over what a company can share with third-party apps, if you want targeted ads, and what information they have access to.
Overall, though, free conference calls have a ton of benefits, especially for small businesses. They often offer HD audio, international conference calling, and conference call recording. So, if you have a small team or you’re only using the teleconferencing call service for basic online meetings or check-ins, you could theoretically stick with free plans.
Use the RingCentrall App on desktop and mobile devices to make audio calls
Use a tablet device to share your screen during a video meeting

How can I get free teleconference?

Many conferencing companies offer a free plan. To gain access to their service, it’s as simple as signing up on their site and downloading their desktop app or mobile app.
Once you have an account, you’ll be able to host and schedule meetings. If you are just joining an online meeting, you most likely won’t have to sign up for an account, but may have to provide an email address when first entering the meeting.

How does teleconferencing work?

What used to require a special business phone system and advanced audio and video can now be done from your desktop or mobile device. All you really need is an internet connection and a phone (or something that has audio conferencing capabilities).
Using a phone number or meeting ID that has been assigned to the conference call, each participant will be able to join the call, regardless of their location. Teleconferencing has become sophisticated enough to allow other types of devices to call in too, like mobile devices, tablets, and desktops.
Get quality-of-service reports with RingCentral

How to join and set up a teleconference

Joining an audio conference call

If you’re joining someone else’s audio conference, you should have received an email or text message with all the details you’ll need, so make sure you have it handy when you’re getting ready to join.

Step 1: Dial the number provided in the invite from your any mobile device.

  • Some teleconferencing software has the capability to dial from their app, if you prefer to call in from your computer or mobile device

Step 2: You will then be prompted to enter the meeting ID, which is also located in the meeting invite.

Step 3: You will then be asked to enter your participant ID, which is, shockingly, located in the meeting invite.

From here, you will either join the meeting or you’ll hear hold music while you wait for the host to join.

Setting up an audio conference call

For setting up audio conference calls, you will need to create an account with the teleconference provider. You can usually find a “Sign up” button in the main header. Once you have created an account, you can host a meeting using the steps below:

Step 1: Go to the company’s site.

Step 2: Log in (typically next to “Sign up” in the header).

Step 3: Click on “Host meeting.”

Step 4: Schedule the meeting by entering the teleconferencing details:

  • Name of the meeting
  • Date of the meeting
  • Start time and end time
  • Emails of the participants
  • If international dial-ins are needed

Step 5: Click “Confirm”

Step 6: An email should go out to you and your participants with instructions on how to join the teleconference with the conference call number and access code

Quick tips for keeping the virtual meeting efficient

Conference calling is a convenient tool to connect with colleagues, clients, and vendors, allowing you to communicate and collaborate from anywhere in the world. Knowing that those you are teleconferencing with set time aside to speak with you, it’s important to remember these dos and don’ts to keep your virtual meeting efficient and respectful:

Teleconferencing dos

Do find a quiet and comfortable place to join the call
If you’re taking the call at home, you might have a lot of noise around you—the kids, the dog, the sound of dinner being prepared, etc. If you can, find a quiet and comfortable space in your home or office where you can concentrate and avoid distractions.
Do join the call early
Always consider other people’s time—some teleconferencing services only allow a certain amount of time and will abruptly end the meeting at the exact time, so the presenter may need every minute to go through their agenda. Before you join the meeting, make sure you have the conference call number and access code on hand to avoid any scrambling around to find it. Of course, there are times when you can’t avoid being late, so join as quietly as possible.
Do write up an agenda and send it to everyone before the meeting
If you’re leading the call, make it as easy for yourself (and others) by having an agenda prepared beforehand. The conversation will stay focused and less time will be wasted on figuring out what to talk about next. And if you are expecting others to discuss a topic or respond to one of your questions, send them the agenda at least a day before the call, so they can be prepared.

Teleconferencing don'ts

Don’t interrupt or take up more time than necessary
You’ve experienced in-person meetings where multiple people talk over each other, and you have no clue what any of them said. Web conferences are even worse, especially if you have poor call quality. If you have something to say, wait until the person speaking is done. If it involves a longer conversation, set up another time to discuss. And if you are leading the call, don’t be afraid to suggest waiting until the end for questions or that you will leave time after each agenda item for questions.
Don’t get distracted
This falls into the same bucket as finding somewhere quiet, but if you’re stuck in a busy shared space or at home surrounded by family, don’t have a conversation with someone else or work on something that deserves your attention. Remember, other people have taken time out of their day to join this call, so be respectful of their time and give them your full attention.
Don’t eat during the call
This could be the most important lesson you’ll learn for having a successful teleconference. Don’t eat during a teleconference, video meetings, an in-person meeting, or, really, any interaction that is not a lunch or dinner meeting. It’s distracting, it’s noisy, it’s hard to understand someone when they are speaking with a mouthful of bagel and lox, and certain foods are not the most appetizing to watch someone eat.

Teleconference and video conference: What's the difference?

Teleconferencing

  • Only audio conferencing capabilities for all participants

  • International conference calling (with restrictions)

  • Accessible from any device with audio conferencing abilities

  • Easier for instant conference calls

  • Features restricted to your phone system

Video conferencing

  • Both audio and video capabilities for all participants

  • International conferencing calling and video conferencing

  • Requires webcam, audio-ready device, and stable internet connection

  • Instant conference calls requires user to have access to audio and video systems

  • More collaborative features, such as screen sharing, file sharing, team messaging, and more

Each conference type comes with their own benefits and convenience, but the biggest difference between the two is the ability to have video chats. Video conferences are more personal and can be a great way to introduce yourself to a new vendor, client, or recruit, or collaborate with your team using screen sharing and file exchanging.

If you haven’t found the need for video conferencing—maybe you work with local clients and vendors, so it’s easier and more convenient to see them in person—it’s okay to stick with an audio-only option.

What's the best free conference call service?

The most important thing you can do before you start researching the right conference calling service is figuring out what will be the most beneficial feature for your needs and then what you think will be nice add-ons. And don’t be afraid to try multiple conference calling services.

In general, the most popular free conference calling solutions offer other useful features in their free plans, like video conference calls or cloud recordings.

However, don’t look at only the free plan, check out every paid plan they offer (even the ones that require special business phones and phone systems). After trying the free service, you might discover that your communication and collaboration has significantly increased, and you are looking to upgrade a particular part of the software.

A helpful tip may be to look back at recent calls and see where you had moments of wanting more options or if there were any missed opportunities. Then, see which conference calling solutions can help, and sign up for a free trial (or something similar).

How to choose the right conferencing solution for your business

RingCentral offers both a mobile and desktop app

RingCentral offers both a mobile and desktop app, so you can have web conferences from wherever is most convenient for you.

Clean and logical design for easy setup and training
This is especially important if you’re using the conferencing solution to communicate with current and potential clients. Keep it easy for them and yourself—stumbling through logins or setup can cost a lot of time and give a bad first impression.
Make sure the solution you choose has the conference call download button in an obvious and logical place, so no one has to dig through the website to find it. And if you have to train other members of your team, you’ll want something that is picked up easily and quickly.
Ability to host conference calls or join conference calls from your desktop app and a mobile app
You can’t take every call from your office—you may be on the road or at home with only a tablet and a cell phone. Or you may want to take the call from your desktop app, so you can take notes or have the option to look up information during the call. You don’t want to be stuck carrying your laptop with you everywhere or relying on only your cell phone to have a successful teleconference.
Read the conference call reviews
The conference call reviews are going to tell you a lot, but keep in mind that most people will leave a million negative reviews over leaving one positive review. This is most likely because good service is expected, but what you’ll actually want to take note of are the repeating issues users report and if the company has acknowledged them or corrected them.
A dedicated dial-in that you can access at any time
Make sure you have a number that is assigned to only you and your company. It will save having to send out an invite every time you want to have a call and (hopefully) reduce issues with setting up or joining a call.

Using a free teleconferencing service can be a good way to do a trial run and figure out what you need from a teleconferencing app. And once you find exactly what you’re looking for, you may find that it’s worth investing a bit of money in a solid conferencing call app for more organized, efficient online meetings and collaboration with your employees and clients.

Make sure to visit RingCentral to see all the solutions we provide for small businesses to make your life easier and more productive or check out a product demo to see how it works.

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