Imagine being able to hold meetings with people around the world at a moment's notice without having to leave your office. A web conferencing solution provides a central online meeting place for people to get together regardless of location. With a few clicks of your mouse, you can present slides, run software training, or even hold brainstorming sessions using a whiteboard.
Businesses can use a web conferencing solution for a variety of purposes:
- Marketing events — product announcements, lead generation webinars
- Sales presentations — demonstrations, new product releases
- Training and human resources — employee orientation, customer training
- Financial and investor relations — shareholder meetings, briefs
- Internal meetings — collaboration sessions, all-company meetings
- Corporate, customer, and partner training — remote sales training, partner certifications
For any of these events, web conferencing solutions help slash the hefty travel and time costs associated with face-to-face meetings. Microsoft icon Bill Gates once remarked that web conferencing saved his company over $40 million in travel costs in one year. Most companies don't operate on quite the same scale, but if there's any business travel in your budget, web conferencing can certainly help reduce your travel costs.
Web conferencing also lets you hold meetings involving far-flung participants with little advance planning, unlike face-to-face meetings that require air travel, and can improve collaboration by encouraging improved communications among colleagues and partners.
Probably the greatest downside to a web conferencing solution is the obvious lack of face-to-face interaction and the relationship building it brings. Collaborative features like interactive polls and Q&A sessions can help bridge the gap, but more robust web conferencing solutions provide multi-person live video which can help bring facial expressions and body language into the virtual workplace.
This BuyerZone Web Conferencing Buyer's Guide will take a look at the functionality of a web conferencing solution, the services provided, typical costs, and how to purchase and install web conferencing, so you can get your company up and running in a flash.