Whether you’re launching a new product or hosting a meeting with participants in different locations, a web conference may be the solution to bring people together.
Companies with several locations around the world have an increasing need to connect staff for training sessions and interactive meetings. Some businesses might also need to communicate with stakeholders far and wide.
Web conferences bring people together with the same efficiency that a conference call does. However, it uses a range of communications that go beyond speech. Multimedia, video, screen sharing, live question-and-answer sessions, and interactive chats all help to boost the efficiency of your conference.
There’s no question that group video conferencing is a powerful tool. But planning and preparation is crucial if you want to run a successful online meeting. Incorporate the following steps into your own planning and you’ll improve the chances of your conference’s success.
Let the attendees know about the bandwidth requirements in your pre-conference invitation. Participants with insufficient bandwidth will have a hard time hearing and watching videos. This will take away from the enjoyment and reduce the benefits of the web conference. Since bandwidth requirements vary from one system to another, it’s best to check with your vendor to determine the minimum requirements.
Check the cameras at each location beforehand if video will play a significant role in the conference. Ideally, the cameras should be checked from within the conferencing system, so make a test link available to participants before the actual conference.
You’ll also need to test your sound equipment in advance, so there are no surprises when the conference begins. Do a sound check a couple days, and an hour before the conference to make sure that your sound is crisp and clear. Participants must be equipped with the necessary headsets and microphones if you’re planning an interactive session.
Participants will need the access information a few days before the conference. That information should include an access link or number and the PIN (Personal Identification Number) to get in on the call.
Conduct a trial run
Set a date for a trial run before the actual conference date. Get all the leaders and presenters in on this trial run to eliminate any problems.
Learn the system
You should learn as much as you can about the web conferencing system before the date. As the host, you must be familiar and comfortable with the system so you can solve minor problems and host a flawless meeting.
Evaluate the technology
Choosing the right equipment and technology makes a tremendous difference to the success of your conference. Bandwidth, headsets, and microphones are one thing, but you need to ensure that you’re using the right conferencing technology. Before you invest, make sure that the system provides all the features you need to run a successful meeting.
The key to a successful online conference is preparation and more preparation. The more you plan and prepare, the better your online conference will be.
Jeremy S runs weekly web conferences for his company of 80 people. An avid writer, he enjoys sharing what he has learned by posting on various web blogs.