As 20 year veterans of the meetings and collaboration industry, PGi has access to a wealth of surveys and research data on user usage habits and overall perceptions of mission-critical business technologies like audio conferencing and web conferencing. We’ve found that, as with any technology, the ever-advancing nature of web conferencing tools has given rise to lot of myths and misconceptions about how the technology works, how you and your employees can use it and the overall benefits of web meetings as a part of a business’s day-to-day operations.
Let’s take a look at the four most common myths about web conferencing, and do a little myth busting of our own:
Myth 1: You need to be at your desk
Easily the biggest misconception that we’ve found about web conferencing is it requires you to be dutifully sitting in front of your computer at your desk in order for the technology to be effective. A few years ago this may have been the case; however, advances in mobile apps have brought all the features and functionality of your desktop web conferencing solution to your smartphone or tablet. You can view and share files, see who’s talking and manage audio volume and muting all from your device of choice.
In fact, it many ways it’s easier to join a web conference from your mobile device—a few taps and you’re in, with your audio connecting automatically over Voice-over-IP (or VoIP). No dial-in numbers, passcodes or audio PINs required.
Myth 2: You need a phone connection
On the subject of VoIP, another hesitation for web conferencing on the go is the lack of a reliable phone connection, perhaps because you’re outside of a strong cell area for your carrier or you’re working on your tablet. Luckily, provided you’ve got data service or access to Wi-Fi, a VoIP audio connection can be as reliable and high-quality as a “traditional” phone line. In fact, many desk phones and other land line phones are running on VoIP connections already without you even knowing it.
In addition, the added benefits of visual management of volume and muting mean that always-pesky background noise can be a thing of the past.
Myth 3: Everyone needs to be on the web
The proliferation of smartphones and tablets as well as the increased availability of flexible and telework positions really all boils down to one concept: freedom. Businesses across the globe are giving their employees the freedom to work how, when, where and on whatever device they choose. As a meeting host, you should encourage and integrate this freedom into your meetings by always meeting on the web, regardless of how your participants are going to be joining. By providing the web environment, you cover every access point instead of just the lowest common denominator, giving your guests and team members the choice to join via web or audio-only from their desktops, laptops, smartphones or tablets—and with all the functionality those devices include.
Myth 4: You need a camera
Finally, our last web conferencing myth is that in order for it to be worthwhile to have a web meeting, you have to be webcam-ready. If you’re not going to be sharing video, because you’re away from a camera or you’re not “presentable” (home office workers, I’m looking at you), then why not just join the traditional audio way?
It’s simple—forgoing the webcam does not preclude all of the other benefits offered by web conferencing, the easy call management and visibility of content and participants. So even if you’re not quite camera-ready, the meeting management tools offered by web conferencing are too good to pass up.
For more essential tips for choosing your web conferencing solution, download the free “IT Buyer’s Guide to Web Conferencing” today!