7 Reasons You Need Web Conferencing - InformationWeek

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7/31/2006
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7 Reasons You Need Web Conferencing

It's cheap, it's easy, and it saves money. Top experts tell you why you need it now.

Dora Vell, president of a boutique executive search firm based in Waltham, Mass., recently searched for an executive manager for a European-based telecommunications equipment/software company. Typically, such a search would have involved $20,000 in expenses for travel and video conferencing expenses, she says.

By instead using Skype video, she was able to cut the bill to zero and get a better sense of who the best candidates were.

This is just one example of Web conferencing, but it also highlights one of the main advantages that many experts pointed out in terms of employing Web conferencing now in your enterprise " it saves money, particularly in terms of travel expense. While that's easily been the case for international travel for several years, the escalation in gasoline prices for the last couple of years means that Web conferencing also saves money in terms of local travel experts say.

While saving on travel expenses was the most often benefit and driver for installing Web conferencing now, it wasn't the only one. Aside from saving on travel expenses, these are the top reasons, according to experts:

Saves time on travel

"It's very time consuming to get into a plane to go to a meeting or to just get into a car and go across town," says Tricia Heinrich, vice president of corporate and internal communications for Genesys Conferencing, Montpellier France, (U.S. headquarters are in Vienna, Va.).

It encourages closer contact with constituents inside and outside the organization

Because Web conferencing is less costly and less time consuming than traveling to a meeting, companies can have more Web conferences than face-to-face meetings, Heinrich adds. The more communication, the closer the contact. Web conferencing provides more interaction capabilities than other forms of contact like the telephone and e-mail, she adds.

Ability to multi-task

"There's a growing unpopularity of face-to-face meetings," Heinrich says. "People don't think they get much done in them."

While it might be easiest for some executives to have a meeting to disseminate information to several people at a single time, not all parts of a meeting affect everyone, according to Heinrich. So while all may attend a Web-based meeting, some can do other parts of their jobs (answering e-mails, calls, etc.) while waiting for the part of the meeting that affects them. However, this sort of multi-tasking also means that someone may miss part of a presentation designed for them.

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