Video Conferencing 101
Video Conferencing Topics
While COVID-19 sparked a rapid adoption of video conferencing, this effective form of communication had been on the rise for years. Video conferencing increased significantly in 2022 with more employees working remotely and in hybrid environments. Americans engage in 11 million video conferences daily according to Otter.ai, and employees’ time in video meetings has increased roughly 15% each year since 2008. With Americans participating in 55 million meetings weekly, video conferencing has become a core pillar of communications.
In this post, we’ll share the basics of video conferencing, how an online video conference call works, the benefits of online video conferencing, how to leverage video conferencing for different industries, and how to choose an online video conference software.
What Is Video Conferencing?
Video conferencing is a live, visual, face-to-face connection that happens over the computer in a virtual meeting. It lets people come together, regardless of location or geographical distance, and visually interact. Usually facilitated by software or platform, video conferencing is used for personal meetings, training, presentations, discussions, legal briefings, and so much more.
Teleconferencing involves two or more people meeting, but it doesn’t have to be visual or face-to-face. Teleconferencing can be done over a phone system but typically doesn’t involve video or other visual technology. These days, teleconferencing can feel stagnant and one-dimensional compared to the dynamism of video conferencing.
How Does an Online Video Conference Call Work?
So, how exactly does an online video conference call work? A host sets up a predetermined meeting room and sends an invite to attendees. At the specific time and date, attendees use login instructions to sign onto the platform and access the meeting. During the meeting, the host can navigate the controls of admitting attendees, presenting, offering audience engagement tools, and monitoring the chat and Q&A.
What Are the Benefits of Online Video Conferencing?
Video conferencing offers significant benefits over traditional in-person meetings. While teleconferencing lacks the visual interaction that lets attendees pick up on nonverbal communication like eye movements, hand gestures, or body language, video conferencing provides a “serve and return” verbal and nonverbal feedback loop that is critical to successful communication. Clear communication helps information get dispersed, people feel more recognized and seen, and teams can build better relationships.
Bridging Geographical Distances
When a marketing manager is in California, but the sales team is in London, it’s almost impossible to regularly meet in person. Video conferencing helps bridge geographical distances that would be hard to tackle otherwise. Video conferencing can replace weekly stand-ups, monthly all-hands, quarterly business reviews, and even annual kickoffs. Attendees can watch from the comfort of their homes, especially if the webcast time is late at night or early in the morning.
Face-to-Face Communication for Nonverbal Cues
According to research by Dr. Mehrabian, a whopping 93% of communication is nonverbal, which means the majority of our understanding comes from more than the actual words said. When the bulk of understanding and relationship building comes from facial movements, eye shifts, hand gestures, and body language, it’s hard to effectively communicate without these cues. While the tone of voice and inflection can do a lot to communicate intent, it’s easy to misread something with no nonverbal inputs.
Reduced Travel Costs
The average business trip costs roughly $1,300 per employee, and this can widely vary depending on location and time of year. Video conferencing requires zero travel, saving businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
Increased Flexibility for Employees
Employees are more likely to tune in and be engaged when they don’t have to worry about commuting or travel. If team members have a family emergency like a daycare closing or a sick spouse, they don’t have to stress about coming into the office for in-person meetings or attending a face-to-face training session.
Reduced Commuting Times
The average worker spends 52 minutes a day commuting, which is often thought of as a significant waste of time. Employees can spend more time working instead of sitting in the car or navigating public transportation. Video conferencing allows employees to connect and meet wherever they are without having to commute into the office.
Ways To Leverage Video Conferencing for Your Business
Wondering how to make video conferencing a reality in the day-to-day of your organization? Here are a few ways to leverage video conferencing.
Connect with remote potential employees through virtual interviews. High-quality video conferencing ensures all candidates have a stellar experience when interacting with your brand — even if it doesn’t result in an offer.
Gather different teams for their weekly or bi-weekly team meetings through video conferencing. From sales to marketing to HR, virtual team meetings work for any type of department. Employees can meet and collaborate with their team from different time zones and locations.
Vendor or Customer Meetings
Vendors and customers are critical relationships that keep a business running, so staying in touch and having face-to-face interactions with these two groups is incredibly important. When customers can engage with your brand, they are more likely to be loyal, purchase more products, and increase their overall lifetime value to your business. Vendors are more likely to prioritize your business when you have a stronger relationship that is ultimately rooted in face-to-face communication.
Presentations and Demos
It’s easy to do sales demos at scale with video conferencing, and the same goes for key presentations to partners, advisors, a board, or customers.
Whether you’re onboarding new employees or launching a new product, you might need to host virtual training several times a year or even monthly.
Video Conferencing for Different Industries
Video conferencing is used in a variety of industries. From revolutionizing pharmaceutical product training in healthcare to increasing online learning accessibility, many industries have benefited from adopting video conferencing.
Healthcare companies often work in highly dispersed teams, potentially around the world, and deal with highly sensitive information. From confidential data in drug trials to private telemedicine appointments, healthcare is one of the most sensitive industries when it comes to security. HIPAA-compliant video conferencing is critical, which means the software must meet specific requirements for privacy, security, and breach notifications. When performing telehealth appointments between patients and providers, the video conference needs to have the same confidentiality as an in-person appointment. End-to-end encryption is the gold standard of security, and video conferencing tools like FaceTime or Skype don’t meet this requirement.
Video conferencing in education has done wonders for the accessibility of formal and informal education. For adults looking to make a career shift, it might be difficult for them to take time off work to attend in-person courses. Video conferencing lets educational institutions ensure they are following best cybersecurity practices as well.
For small businesses on tight budgets, video conferencing is highly cost-effective. Not only does video conferencing eliminate travel, but it also reduces wasted employee time chatting before the meeting, getting set up, or getting further distracted by coworkers after the event.
Keeping Virtual Video Conferencing Solutions Secure
However, in the days of rising cybercrime, it’s critical to choose a video conferencing technology with best-in-class security technology, including end-to-end encryption. This means only approved attendees are allowed in, and the audio, video, and chat are confidential. Hosts need to be able to lock video conferencing meetings, only admit those who have the password, and ensure the security of any information shared. Plus, when gathering attendee information like name and email, it’s critical to keep that data secure.
How To Choose Online Video Conference Software
Now that you’re ready to invest in online video conference software, how do you choose between all the options? Here are some key features to look for that ensure you’re getting more than just video calls.
- Collaboration technology — This helps make video conferencing much more productive and effective.
- Enterprise-grade security — This is critical in maintaining confidentiality and privacy while protecting against cybercrime.
- Scalable meeting size — Whether you’re presenting to 10 employees or 10,000 pharmaceutical reps, your video conference software should be able to handle all meeting sizes.
- Enterprise VoIP — Attendees should be able to dial in from anywhere on any device — and remain secure.
What Is the Best Video Conferencing Platform?
The best video conferencing platform is a perfect blend of cost-effectiveness paired with leading technology recognized by industry analysts. UCx with Webex transforms how employees work with a single solution that offers video meetings, whiteboarding, secure messaging, file sharing, built-in call control functionality, and more. Compared to UCx with Webex, other video conferencing solutions feel limited and restrictive, forcing you to work how they want you to. With UCx with Webex, businesses get dozens of features within one platform, pre-built integrations with popular business tools like Google, Salesforce, and Microsoft, integrated calling and controls, and much more.
How TPx Supports Your Video Conferencing Needs
UCx with Webex provides quality video conferencing, phone, messaging, meetings, and more. With a cloud communications system, businesses have minimal upfront expenses with a lower cost of ownership. Minimal IT support is required to get up and running, and organizations can experience increased business continuity without the risk of prolonged downtime or adoption. To learn more about UCx with Webex as your video conferencing solution, contact us using the form below.
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