Conference calls have become an important tool to keeping businesses connected.
In fact, nearly half of all workplace meetings take place via conference calls. With modern tech, the way businesses conduct these calls is changing. Instead of dialing in on a landline, you can now host a conference call using apps and software—from anywhere in the world.
With today’s constantly traveling workers, businesses must adapt their tools so their teams can telecommute easily and work from home.
And thanks to improvements in conference call software, business owners can now make calls to hundreds of people in a more streamlined way. Instead of emailing out the date and time of a conference call, software takes care of this time-consuming process and messages meeting details automatically.
So, if your business isn’t taking advantage of conference calls—it’s time to start. Let’s take a look at:
- How conference calls work
- What to look for in conference call software
- How to make a conference call in 2 easy steps
How does a conference call work?
Conference calls are calls that have several people (sometimes even hundreds) on the phone at the same time.
Just like how businesses use boardrooms and video teleconferences for meetings, conference calls are a key tool for talking to lots of people at the same time—even when they’re not in the same room.
Conference calls are particularly useful for brainstorming with large groups of people or relaying important messages to several people at once without having to make individual calls.
There are two types of conference calls you can make. The first requires each participant to join the call themselves on their own computers or phones. The second type is where a moderator invites everyone to the call separately. It’s important to keep these factors in mind when choosing a tool to make conference calls because it can really make a difference in how much manual work you have to do to get people onto the call.
Typically, people attending a conference call are connected through a server, called a “conference bridge,” that acts as a meeting point. This server makes it possible for multiple people to join the same call at the same time. Now, companies can either have their own “conference bridge,” or, they can outsource this need to a third-party provider (aka conference call-hosting).
What to look for in conference call software
Like any service, third-party conference call services vary greatly depending on your company’s needs.
Some offer basic features, like pay-per-conference, or they might limit on the number of people who can join the call. Other providers offer a flat-rate service that gives businesses unlimited access and number of attendees on a call.
Unlike traditional phones, conference call software lets you host a call from your phone as well as your desktop or tablet. Other features come along with conference call software that can make it easier for your team to connect and collaborate. Here are a few:
- Access: Most call conference software allocates companies a single, dedicated audio conferencing bridge dial-in phone number. This gives you not only privacy, but easy universal access for every call. It’s also common for every person who joins the call to be assigned a unique host code, so multiple people can easily join a call.
- Availability: Some conference call software gives you a 24/7 audio link so that your team can meet anytime. There’s no need to make a reservation or worry about long-distance calling charges. All you need is an internet connection or a phone signal, and you’ll be able to bring everyone together.
- Attendee limits: Whether you want to meet with 10 attendees or 1,000, the right conference call software will give you an unlimited number of attendees who can join your audio conference calls.
- No barriers: Remember, it’s not just your team that you’ll want to meet with on calls. You’ll need a tool to talk to clients, partners, and prospects too. Make sure you choose a tool that makes the experience frictionless. For example, if you make a call using RingCentral Video, your clients and customers don’t need to download an app to join in. All they have to do is click a link in a web browser, and they’re in!
- International: If you’re doing business overseas, your conference calls are no longer limited by long-distance call charges or timezones. Keep this in mind when you’re picking your software. Some platforms, like RingCentral Video, allow international participants to join calls by including local dial-in numbers. In fact, you can use the platform to make conference calls in over 50 countries without being charged any additional fees.
As you can see, the features of conference call software go way beyond just dialing a number.
A specialized tool can make it easier to collaborate with your team and do business with clients, no matter where they are in the world.
How to make a conference call using RingCentral Video
Making a conference call isn’t rocket science—if you’ve got the right software.
Using RingCentral Video, you can make group calls in two easy steps.
Step 1: Invite everyone to the call
The first step is setting up your conference call and inviting everyone to attend. To schedule a call, all you need to do is click the “Schedule” button and send an email or text invite to everyone you want to join:
The invite your attendees receive will be automatically filled with all the information they need to join the conference call:
For example, an email invitation will look like this:
You can also invite people when you’re already in the meeting. Just click the “add a person” icon at the bottom of the window:
If possible, try finding a quiet spot to talk before you start the call. Chances are you’ll have several people on the call, so a quiet location with minimal background noise can be helpful to hear everyone.
Step 2: Start the call
In RingCentral’s app, starting the conference call takes a single click. Just hit the “Start” button:
Once the call is started, you can invite more attendees by email, phone, or a link:
And, that’s it.
The beauty of this is that it keeps conference calls simple. All you have to do is invite the people you want on the call via text or email, and your conference call attendees will be automatically given a dial-in number and access code to make sure your meeting runs smoothly.
It’s never been easier to connect with your team from wherever you are in the world—at any time. Go ahead, take RingCentral Video for a spin.