Audio Conferencing is a communication tool which uses telephones as its main medium to connect three or more people.
If there is one thing we can be sincerely grateful to technology for, it would have be the progressive improvement in the methods we use to reach out to other people, especially those who are separated from us by geographical distance. More advanced technology gave birth to web conferencing, and for a while, it endangered the popular use of audio conferencing.
Aside from the former’s visual aid that makes conference calling several degrees more interactive, it makes use of computers and similar devices that hooks a lot of people.
Nevertheless, audio conference calls would never be totally set aside. It may not be the best option to make in all scenarios, but it does prove useful in emergency cases and rush meetings.
For you to get a clear and unbiased picture of audio conferencing, we have compiled a list of its advantages and disadvantages. Becoming aware not only of its pros but also its cons will prepare you to make the right decisions in conference calling and help you appreciate audio conferences whenever you do choose it.
Listed below are a few of the benefits that will put you in a favorable position, whether in your work life or your personal life.
1. Cheap – No, we are not referring to the quality of the call, but rather to the total amount you will be spending to avail the services of a good audio conference call.
Small businesses will benefit from this the most. The price ranges will fit their budget and suffice their need for instant and reliable communication.
Larger companies that have employed conference call providers mustn’t rule this out even if they prefer webinars. First and foremost, plain audio conference calls are more practical in unplanned meetings. Second, when webinars fail, audio conference calls are far easier to access and therefore can be made into a back-up plan.
2. Accessible – Its accessibility is a convenience everyone can feel in or out of emergencies. Many of us grow impatient so quick that we always prefer the fastest option in front of us. Whether your impatience can be justified or not, audio conference calls is your best buddy. You can be walking, driving (although you are not encourage to participate or to host one while behind the wheel) or in-between other tasks. It is possible regardless of time and location, so long as you posses the right equipments.
3. Easy – Contrary to popular belief, a successful web conference does not happen in an instant. Plenty of preparation is done at least a month before the actual conference, and that time frame still depends on the number of participants you will have (the bigger the crowd, the grander your preparation, the longer the time you need).
Audio conference calls are not as highly sensitive as that and are as comfortable to perform as dialing the phone number of a dear friend. You do not have to worry about the vividness of your web camera and the functionality of your desktop sharing applications, which makes it a safer choice for conducting a conference with large groups of people.
There is no such thing as perfect, right? Everything has its downside, but that does not automatically degrade audio conferencing. There are a couple of disadvantages you have to be on the lookout for.
1. Unstable Call Quality – It may be the reception, the telephone lines, the telephone company, or the telephone itself, but you can expect days when audio conference calls are not in good shape.
The voice in the other end of the call may be choppy, making conversation difficult, if not impossible. Fortunately, having a provider can be your turning point at situations like this. They can send personnel to fix any technical problem. Otherwise, you are on your own in trying to figure out a remedy.
2. Additional Help – There is a downside to having a live facilitator in your conference, but it isn’t so bad. Do you have any idea how much the provider charges you with whenever you ask for a specific service? How about for the additional gadgets used to accommodate all the people who will be participating? You should take note of such changes, or else you will be surprised by the amount in your monthly bills.
If you are using a live facilitator for the sake of technical security during large business meetings and trainings, you might want to coordinate with the facilitator hours or days before the presentation, just so you are on the same page about how the meeting should be orchestrated. Lack of cooperation will result in frustrations and therefore a lack of concentration.