Original Post by Blakely Thomas-Aguilar
Here are three ways audio conferencing is changing — and how you can embrace social conference calls in your business:
1. Hear no evil, see no evil: The days of accepting conference calls multitasking and background noise shenanigans are coming to a close. Talent Management, in their eZine article Five Workplace Trends for 2012, predicts that companies are transitioning from management practices to “leadership principles.” With this workplace shift, businesses large and small are demanding real-time collaboration during team meetings vs. the old speak-and-listen conference call style. Goodbye, mute button and barking dogs.
Today, these new-era corporate leaders utilize technology, like GlobalMeet conference call consoles, to control and monitor group phone calls. These consoles enable desktop conference call management, including:
- Host audio controls, including scheduling, mute and volume control.
- Innovative call controls, like recordings and even locking a call against tardy or uninvited guests.
- Even escalate the conference call to a web meeting to add screen share, white board and other capabilities to the traditional conference call.
For many small businesses and global companies, names on a roster aren’t enough and they want to see who’s on the conference call. With iMeet audio + video conferencing, for example, every person has their own:
- Visual conference call identity (complete with webcam, picture, avatar and bio).
- Visual talking cues, where their iMeet cube glows green when they’re talking (eliminating the “Hi, it’s Blakely” mantra during a traditional conference call).
- Multi-device audio access and host controls for traditional phone, mobile apps and VoIP guests.
These new conference call interfaces enable better conference call management, but also introduce new ways to manage and enjoy group phone calls – even enabling a face-to-face option to your calls using webcam video.
2. Less talking, more chatting: With the popularity of text messaging over the past few years (Americans send an average of 41 texts per day), people use chat functionality as a vital business communications resource on their desktops, smartphones and tablets. To keep up with this trend, business leaders add instant messaging and chat functionality to their conference calls.
Why it works:
- For less-effusive, introverted meeting attendees, chat gives them a less stressful way to share ideas and ask questions.
- Engages the up-and-coming Millennial generation on their own turf in the new digital language.
- Allows for collaboration while someone’s talking, reducing multitasking temptations with an alternate engagement method.
3. Social connections within and beyond the conference call: Today’s meetings continue beyond the scheduled 30-minute calendar invite. Whether it’s a follow-up IM, breakout meeting or simply drafting the next meeting agenda, people must communicate beyond conference calls. Social media is the perfect way to meet the demands of the meeting continuum and improve productivity within your team.
In today’s increasingly virtual and social world, social media is the new business card. Here are a few examples to help you incorporate social media into conference calls for a more productive meeting continuum:
- LinkedIn: Every business associate should connect on the world’s biggest social network for businesses. If you’re on a conference call powered by iMeet web, you can make this connection inside the guest’s bio. If not, open a browser or the LinkedIn mobile app and send the request.
- Twitter: Twitter is a great way to keep up with your customers, vendors and colleagues. For external business relationships, follow their brand to see press releases, blogs, industry stats and more. For internal business relationships, share stories, posts and trends to soften the social barrier and make a real, human connection.
- Evernote: Social sharing is huge, and Evernote is a fantastic business application that enables conference call guests to take digital notes, share them with the attendees and collaborate within the application after the meeting.
- Corporate Intranet/Community: The meeting continuum finds a perfect place in a business’ social community, known in yesteryear as the intranet.
Finding the perfect communications balance with your teams — office, telecommuting or in between — begins with tried, true and staple conference calls. Is your business shifting with the times? Do you suffer from Death by Meetings, or find conference calls a nice way to connect? Give us a a shout, here at Momentum Conferencing!