Video conferencing makes it easy to connect with clients and business partners around the world - talking to them face-to-face as if you were in the same room.
So many organizations use videoconferencing, often on a daily basis, that soon your company won't be able to remain competitive without it. But getting into video conferencing means choosing the right video conference solution. What platform best meets your needs? What tools will give you the most efficient and productive meetings? Here are 5 things to consider when choosing the right video conference solution.
Number of Attendees
Will you be conferencing with people one-on-one, or do you plan on including your entire boardroom in the meeting? The equipment necessary to pick up sound and picture effectively for an entire room is different from the simple "webcam mounted on a monitor" solution. Additionally, you need to consider whether or not you'll be conferencing with one other party at a time, or connecting with several different parties in different locations simultaneously.
Importance of Quality
Do your videoconferences need to look professional, with crystal clear HD picture and high quality sound? Do you need to make an impression on clients or business partners? Or will you just be using it for meetings on the fly with employees or freelancers who are working remotely?
Locations of Attendees
You may think that location doesn't matter. Over the Internet, you can connect with anyone, no matter where they are. But there are other issues to consider, such as time zones, and differences in technical specifications that can affect your call.
Necessity of Multimedia
Supplemental materials are key to any business meeting for conveying your point: everything from charts and graphs to pre-made videos integrated into the presentation. These tactics have become even more prevalent since the advent of PowerPoint and Keynote. Unfortunately, pointing the camera at the projection screen doesn't convey the information as clearly and accurately as being there. If you want to use these supplemental materials, you need a platform that allows you to integrate them directly into your video call, so all the other parties in the conference can receive the information you want to convey.
Need for Later Playback
Is the information in this meeting something that you'll want to refer to again later? Will you want to make it available to employees or clients for reference after the fact? You can, of course, have someone in the room taking copious notes; the way meetings have been conducted for centuries. But with the right platform, you can simply record the entire video conference, providing you with a perfectly accurate record that can be archived, viewed again, shared with the other attendees, or even posted to YouTube or your website. If this is a feature that's important to you, you'll need to research video conferencing platforms that accommodate this and the best methods of doing it.
Choosing the right video conference solution for your needs can be a daunting task. There are all sorts of different solutions out there, to serve all different purposes. But if you map out ahead of time exactly what you need, and exactly what you want to accomplish through video conferencing, you can find the solution that's right for you.