Thursday, May 30, 2013

Affordable Conference Calls For 1,000 Participants With StartMeeting

You’ve read the case studies and seen the numbers. The cost savings from business conference calls, especially those that include screen sharing, are jaw dropping when compared with physical meetings. One issue has been that most conferencing solutions are either designed for a handful of participants or get very expensive when you expand to dozens, hundreds or a thousand participants. That’s all changed now. StartMeeting has an affordable conferencing solution that you’d be remiss not to explore.

Low cost audio and Web conferencing for businessesStartMeeting consists of a number of elements that work together to improve productivity and save you money. It starts with audio conferencing. The voice portion of the conference is usually the most important, with video for supporting material. You have three options for voice communication. You can use a dial-in long distance toll number or a toll-free number with landline and wireless telephones, or elect to use HD VoIP audio with a headset connected to your computer.

You should know that using the regular toll number gives you a conference bridge at no additional cost. Each participant pays for the duration of their long distance call into the system. With the toll free number you are billed for the cost of the calls that are free to your participants. You can record your conference for later playback and include the screen sharing portion of the program if you wish. Note that unlike smaller capacity systems, This conference bridge can accommodate up to 1,000 callers.

Here’s a summary of the audio conferencing options. You get access to toll and toll-free dial in numbers, a reservationless system that is available 24/7, free conference recording, free call detail reports via email and conferences that are accessible via fixed, mobile and HD VoIP.

The second major piece of this solution is screen sharing. The video to go with the audio, if you will. You can share your entire desktop or just selected applications with 50, 200, 500 or 1000 conferencing seats. Record both Windows and Mac screens. Switch presenters if you wish. Annotation tools are included as well as an attendee list and chat feature. As you might suspect, there is a charge for screen sharing but it is quite modest, especially compared to the cost of gathering participants for even one in-person meeting. Plans are available by the number of seats and are billed monthly, starting at under $20 a month for 50 seats. There is a 30 day free trial so you can test the system before making a commitment.

Notifying participants of an upcoming meeting is also a breeze. You get a customizable meeting wall to create a landing page for your participants to visit. You can upload your photo and company logo, add the meeting title and description, invite others to schedule meetings and include web controls for audio. There is a Cloud Drop Box so you can store and share files. Once again, this system is reservationless so that you can use it 24/7 without having to pre-plan.

Another important tool is the Studio feature. With this you can create cloud-based presentations that are perfect for sales, training, marketing and HR needs, among others. Create all the presentations you like by recording anything on your screen with audio. These presentations will be available on-demand with unlimited and free viewing. It’s also mobile-savvy with compatibility for iPhone, iPad and Android users.

For one small monthly fee you can have all the meetings you want up to 6 hours in length each. Can anybody stand to be in a meeting longer that that? Include employees, customers, clients or affiliates. Even invite international participants to use the dial-in regular toll number. You decide who’s invited to each meeting.

Have you been frustrated with other conferencing systems or choked on the bill if you have more than a few participants? You really need to take a look at StartMeeting web and audio conferencing for your business or organization.

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