If you asked anyone what they thought of video conferencing prior to 2020, you probably would’ve gotten very confused answers: “Ehm, not sure”; “Don’t really use it much”; “I prefer to just have a meeting in the office”.
Nowadays, video conferencing makes up the majority of our working days. Phrases such as ‘you’re on mute’ have become the norm, and we’ve all gotten used to dodgy internet connections, cats walking in front of the camera or kids running into rooms.
Yet, this practice is changing daily, and as we move forward, it’s important to make sure we’ve got the basics right.
In this guide, we’ll explain the basics of video conferencing and how to get started properly. We’ll also cover some of the benefits of video conferencing and how it can help your business.
What is video conferencing?
Video conferencing is a technology that allows two or more people to see and hear each other simultaneously during a video call. This technology is often used for business meetings, but can also be used for personal reasons, such as staying in touch with family and friends.
Video conferencing can be done through a computer or phone, and often includes features such as instant messaging, file sharing, and whiteboarding – as well as simple voice calling. This amalgamation of tools into one software is called Unified Communications (UC).
How does video conferencing work?
As we’ve mentioned, video conferencing technology is one of the most important tools to ensure successful remote working practices. This technology allows you to see and talk to the people you are working with in real-time, with hardly any delay and regardless of location – you only need an internet connection.
There are a few different ways to effectively hold a video conference. The most common way is to use a webcam and a software program like Microsoft Teams, Zoom or Gamma’s Horizon Collaborate. Another way is to use a video conferencing service like GoToMeeting or WebEx.
No matter which way you choose, there are a few things you need to know to make video conferencing work well:
- Make sure you have a good internet connection
- Make sure your computer is properly set up for it
- Make sure you are in a quiet environment
- Make sure you are dressed appropriately
- Make sure you are aware of your surroundings
Pros and cons of video conferencing
There are many pros to using video conferencing for meetings instead of traditional in-person meetings.
For one, video conferencing is more affordable than flying people in for a meeting. It also allows people to join meetings from anywhere in the world, which is great for people who are travelling or working from home.
Another pro is that it is more productive than traditional in-person meetings. This is because people can see each other and share information more easily than they can in face-to-face meetings.
There are a few cons to using this technology. One is that it can be difficult to hear everyone in the meeting. This is especially true if there is background noise or if someone is talking too softly.
Another con is that it can be difficult to see everyone in the meeting. This can be a problem if someone is sitting in a dark or poorly lit room.
Finally, it’s worth noting that this communications tool can be tricky to use in hybrid environments where half of the attendees are in the room and the other half are joining remotely. This setup can create a disparity between attendees and leave some people feeling isolated.
How to choose the right video conferencing solution for your business
Choosing the right video conferencing solution for your business can be a daunting task. With so many options available, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are four tips to help you choose the right solution for your needs.
Know what you need
Before you can choose the right solution, you need to know what you need it for. Are you looking for a way to connect with remote employees? Or to hold online meetings? Knowing what you need the solution for will help you narrow down your options.
Consider your budget
Another important factor to consider when choosing any solution is your budget. Some solutions are more expensive than others, so you need to find one that fits within your budget constraints.
Choose a platform that is easy to use
The last thing you want is a solution that is difficult to use. Choose a platform that is easy to navigate and understand. This will make it easier for your employees to use the solution, will save them time and will ensure adoption.
Consider the features
Finally, be sure to consider the features of each solution. Each platform offers different ones, so you need to find one that has all you need based on your business requirements.
Make the most of video conferencing
Video conferencing is definitely here to stay. It’s a great way to improve communication and collaboration among your team, and it can save you time and money. If you’re ready to give it a try, find out more about how it fits into a unified communications strategy here.