Archive for the ‘Web Conferencing’ Category

Web Conferencing – Worst Practices

Monday, June 16th, 2014

The Internet has turned into such an amazing piece of technology that interviews no longer have to be so personal – they can now be done through a live stream of both offices. This works particularly well for jobs looking to interview applicants out of state and even the country. However, web conferencing requires proper etiquette, too. Here are a few taboos to avoid:

Wearing Pants
You laugh now, but only until the moment comes in your web interview when you have to get up from your chair because you forgot an important resource on your desk, forcing you to reveal your pajamas or underwear. Now, I’m not sure how often this happens but memes and jokes aside, wearing and entire set of appropriate clothes will be well worth the effort.

Being Distracted
Turn off your computer programs! You should be focused on the interviewer/presenter, not the front page of Reddit. Turn off your Spotify, close PhotoShop, and make the effort to be involved in the meeting. Find a room in your house that is quiet. If you have roommates, ask them to give you the house to yourself for an hour or so. Take the animals outside and clear your desk. It’s important to stay alert and focused on the task at hand.

Being Unfamiliar
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to get a meeting or interview going with someone who didn’t set up their equipment properly. Not only does it distract the rest of us, but it also throws the entire agenda off track. Fiddling around with your microphone or even camera while the conference is in progress is unacceptable. Try to prepare your equipment the night before and test it again 10 – 20 minutes before the meeting starts.

Internet Presence
You don’t want to have a screen name such as hotgrrrl86 or playaXstatus123 when a professional calls. Your online presence says a lot about you, and these account names and tagged photos of you on Facebook. Part of dressing for the job means providing an accurate portrait of the digital you. Show respect and effort for your potential or current employer by taking the time to make another, more professional, account. As an added bonus, include a nice picture of yourself – not the one you really liked from spring break on the beach.

Add Visuals to your Conference Call

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

If you had an in person meeting in a conference room with people you most likely would use some type of visual aids to communicate with the group.  It may be in the form of a handout or maybe an overhead presentation.  And even if you didn’t plan on having a formal presentation for the group you may at some point get up and draw on the whiteboard to illustrate a point or organize your thoughts.  So why do so many people still do conference calls and don’t consider sharing visuals with the other participants? There are several reasons why people still aren’t using a web conferencing service as a regular part of their conference calls.

Unaware of the Availability of Services – The truth is many people are just unaware that web conferencing services exist.  Maybe they have even attended a webinar at some point but thought the technology was not readily available or only good for presentations to large groups.  But web conferencing services are widely available and easy to use.

Afraid of Learning a New Technology – Like any new technology the early adopters are eager to learn new technologies and incorporate them into their routines.  Then there is the rest of us.  But web conferencing services are much easier to use then when they were first introduced and the learning curve is very small.  The web conferencing service supplied by Zip Conferencing is very intuitive and most people don’t even need any instruction in order to start their first meeting and use features like screen sharing where you can share your PC screen with your participants.

Don’t want your Participants to have to download software – Web Conferencing services are not all alike.  Some of the more established brands use software that needs to be installed on everyone’s PC in order to work.  But some of the newer services like the one supplied by Zip Conferencing are written in Java and use that software which is resident on most PCs to communicate with the other participants on the call.  So there is no need for your participants to download software in order to participate on your meeting. You simply send them an invitation with an embedded link in it that takes them right to your meeting.

So the next time you are going to schedule a conference call why not add visuals which will enhance the call by holding the attention of your participants and improve the retention of the materials?

Web Conferencing Really is that Easy

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Web Conferencing is a service that has now been around for over 15 years and most people have at least been exposed to it through online seminars conducted by all varieties of companies.  So why is it that many people have not yet used the service themselves?  If you have attended one of these seminars you probably thought there was a great deal of technology behind the scenes aiding the people conducting the online seminar.  You may be surprised to know that it was probably a single person sitting at their desk pushing Powerpoint slides and speaking into their telephone.  And if they are brave they may have even enabled their desktop video and cast their face to you and the other participants with the push of  a button.  The web conferencing services offered by Zip Conferencing and other companies out there has gotten to the point where it really is that easy to operate.  Here are a few of the things you can do with our web conferencing service and the ways we make it easy to operate.

Full Featured – Our Web Conferencing service has more features than other web conferencing services including application sharing where you can share any software application on your PC or Mac with your participants.  You can share a Powerpoint presentation or even share a video feed of yourself with others.

No software to download – The Web Conferencing service provided by Zip Conferencing is different from other providers in that the participants do not have download any software in order to view the presentation.  Our service is built on a Java platform and everyone that surfs the internet these days has Java installed on their PC or Mac.  So if you have Java on your machine then there is no need to download anything.

Intuitive Operation – Our Web Conferencing service uses easy to understand buttons that launch the main operations so you don’t have to search for how to share an application or start the video network.  Very little training is necessary to get up to speed and start using the service immediately.

Full Support – For those that would like assistance we have 24/7 support and can provide personalized training to make sure you are 100% comfortable with the service before you use it.

FREE Trial – And to convince you to give it a try we provide a FREE Trial so you can put your hands on the service at no risk.

So there really is no reason you shouldn’t try Web Conferencing.  It really is that easy.

 

 

Web Conferencing Software was all the Rage

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Okay, I am going to date myself a little with this post but what the heck. I spoke to someone the other day and he mentioned how he used to work for MShow and it brought back lots of fond memories. MShow was one of the first web conferencing providers and like the others at the time the way it all worked was with web conferencing software. You see back then, sounds like a long time ago but it was only the late 1990s, the Internet was still in its infancy and everyone didn’t have a broadband connection. Many of the things we now take for granted just did not exist. And in this environment someone had the brilliant idea that it would be great if people could share their computer screens across a network or do presentations and so web conferencing software was invented. And MShow was one of the leaders.

The way web conferencing software worked back then was every computer that you wanted to do a web conference with had to have the software installed prior to the conference call. And at the time downloading software on the Internet was not commonplace either. So you literally had to have the CD ahead of time and install web conferencing software. Once you had the web conferencing software installed you still needed a little help doing a web conference with more than one other computer. The company I worked for at the time actually built one of the first web conferencing bridges we had ever heard about. We rigged up a computer with a network hub attached to it because you literally needed a network connection for each participant. Pretty laughable now but we were able to get 5 computers on a web conference at a time, amazing! MShow ended up being acquired by a large conferencing service provider and Webex came along and the rest as they say is history.

Today, conferencing service providers like Zip Conferencing provide web conferencing services that accomodate over 100 participants and there is not even a need to download any web conferencing software. Zip Conferencing uses Flash which is already installed in everyone’s PC to enable the web conference. Everyone has a broadband connection to the Internet and it is easier than ever to do a web conference where you can share your computer screen, do a presentation and even share video from your desktop. Amazing. Like I said I am going to date myself a little bit but it was only 14 years ago that we were trying to figure out how to get 5 computers on a web conference at the same time. I wonder what the next 14 years will hold.

Web Conferencing Services should be Easy to Use

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Web Conferencing Services have helped companies save millions of dollars and are here to stay.  The use of web conferencing services is expected to continue to grow rapidly over the next 5 years as more and more people adopt them for their own use.  And the inclination of many of the web conferencing services providers is to add more and more features to try and attract customers.  But the one thing that you really need to have in your web conferencing services is their ease of use.  Zip Conferencing has gone to great lengths to create a web conferencing service that is powerful and yet easy to use.  Here are some of the features that make our web conferencing service one of the easiest to use services in the market.

  • Outlook Integrated Invitations– One of the complications of getting a web conference meeting going is inviting your participants.  Different web conferencing services do this in a variety of ways but all offer some type of email confirmation or a web page you can send your participants to in order to join the meeting.  These methods certainly work but why should you have to cut and paste and try to pull together the information for your participants.  With Zip Conferencing you can use our Outlook scheduling tool and integrate your web conference details right within Outlook.  That way you are able to put out a meeting request just like you would any other meeting, from within Outlook.  Invite participants and have them accept the meeting and have the meeting appear on your calendar all using the same steps you would take to schedule any meeting.  Now that is Easy!
  • Intuitive Control Panel – The actual functionality of a web conference is not that different across providers but what is different is that way that you access the functions from within the service.  With all of the different features now packed within the web conferencing services out there you sometimes have to navigate a maze of controls to find what you are looking for.  Zip Conferencing has put the most widely used features front and center using intuitive controls available with the touch of a button.
  • No Software Downloads – One of the hardest things to overcome with a web conference is getting on the meeting.  Many times participants who have not used the web conferencing services before will have to download software in order to join the meeting.  Many times adding software to a computer is prohibited by companies and participants are unable to join.  With Zip Conferencing there are no software downloads for the participants.  Our web conference service uses Flash which is already widely installed on people’s computers so there is no waiting for participants to download software. 

If it isn’t easy to use you probably won’t use it.  So if you are just starting out doing web meetings or you have struggled in the past to have a successful web conference give Zip Conferencing a try.

The Right Web Conferencing Solution for You

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Web Conferencing has come a long way since its invention in the mid 1990’s and today there are a lot of different solutions available.  So what is the right web conferencing solution for you?  First you need to familiarize yourself with the different features and options available and then look for the right solution.  Here are a few of the most popular options available with a web conferencing solution.

  • Application Sharing – Most web conferencing solutions offer some type of application sharing.  Application sharing is where you have the ability to show what is on your computer to the participants in your web conference.  Usually you can choose the application you want to share or just show everyone your entire desktop.  Just be careful if you choose your entire desktop all participants will see everything you have open on your computer as you move around. 
  • Whiteboarding – This is another popular feature for any web conferencing solution.  This feature mimics having a white board in your meeting.  You have the ability to draw on the white board and so do your participants.  So if you want a live interactive white board session you want to look for this feature.
  • Video Sharing – Some, but not all web conferencing solutions allow you to share your desktop video with your participants.  And some web conferencing solutions enable your participants to share their video with you and other participants as well.  Zip Conferencing has full video sharing with the host and participants.
  • Q&A and Polling – If you intend to use the web conferencing solution for any training application you may want to make sure it has some form of Q&A and Polling built into it.  These features allow you to ask the participants questions and then provide the results real time to the audience.  This interactivity helps keep your audience engaged throughout your presentation.
  • Chat – A chat function in the web conferencing solution allows you to communicate with people separately from the audio portion of the meeting.  That way you can have a private discussion with a participant during the web conference.

The best way to determine which web conferencing solution is right for you is to try them out.  Most of the services available offer some type of a free trial so there is no risk in trying out the service.  Zip Conferencing is extremely easy to use and offers a 30 day free trial to all users.

Online Web Conferencing just got Easier

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Online web conferencing has been around now for a while.  And online web conferencing of any kind is a whole lot easier than what you had to do before the proliferation of the Internet.  But one of the reasons online web conferencing has not been more widely adopted is because people are reluctant to learn a new application.  Conference calls are very easy because all you need is a telephone and everyone knows how to operate a telephone and dialing into a conference call could no be any easier.  So why does online web conferencing have to be so difficult.  Well, Zip Conferencing does not believe that a web conference should be any more difficult to run than an audio conference call.  And our new web conferencing service has taken the learning curve out of online web conferencing.  It is so easy to use you will not need any instruction whatsoever to be successful with the service right from the start.  In addition to being easy to use our online web conferencing service is packed with features that will allow you to perform amazing things.  Here is a list of some of the features that separate our online web conferencing service from all the others out there.

  • No Software Download Needed – Our online web conferencing does not require you to download any software in order to participant in the web conference.  This makes it much easier for your participants to join a web conference.  You won’t be wasting time waiting for people to connect to the your conference call and you participants won’t be frustrated trying to join either.
  • Dial Me Connections – Instead of having to figure out how to dial into online web conferencing we have made it so the system can dial out to you.  That way you don’t have to figure out a conference call and a web conference they are the same.  Just put your phone number into the system and it will connect you to the web conference.
  • Application Sharing – Like other online web conferencing solutions our web conferencing service allows you to share an application or your entire desktop with your participants.  The difference is we have an easy to find button that starts the process.  You don’t have to try to figure out how to share an application it is very evident from within the tool.
  • Polling – Many online web conferencing sites have polling but it is hard to operate.  Our web conferencing service has an easy to use polling feature that lets you share the results easily with your audience.  A polling feature helps keep your participants engaged in your web conference.
  • Video Sharing– Our online web conferencing solution even allows you to share your web cam feed with your participants.  And your participants can play too.  In fact you can have an unlimited number of web cams in your web conference.
  • Outlook Integration – To make the invitation process with your participants simple our online web conferencing service is integrated with Outlook so that you can invite participants through your email and then save the meeting as a scheduled appointment in your calendar.

The trick to successful online web conferencing is making it easy to use.  Zip Conferencing makes web conferencing as easy as can be.

Interactive Web Conferencing

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

As web conferencing has become more popular chances are that you have attended an online seminar where the presentation has been done via web conferencing.  Usually you are simply sitting in the audience on a conference call listening while watching the presentation on the web conference with little or no interaction with the speaker.  Although this is the most used method of web conferencing, the people who first came up with the idea had much bigger plans for web conferencing.

When web conferencing was first invented a lot of effort was made to make the service a collaborative tool where people could work on a document together from great distance.  This ability to collaborate was seen as the the killer application.  The adoption of web conferencing services is more and more widespread but interactive web conferencing is still lagging in its use overall.  Here are some of the features that allow for interactive web conferencing.

  • Application Sharing – Application sharing provides users the ability to share their desktop with the other participants on the web conference and permits any participant to control another computer.  This means that participants can actually control a document or spreadsheet and input or edit data on it.  Much like you would pass around a piece of paper in an in person meeting for people to mark up, you can actually change the document on the fly while on the web conference.
  • Whiteboarding– This application permits participants to mark up a virtual whiteboard seen by all participants while on an interactive web conference.  Much like someone would go up to a whiteboard to discuss things while in a conference room, participants can easily do the same on the web conference.
  • Polling/Q&A – Even a presentation can be an interactive web conference through the use of polling and Q&A features.  By engaging the audience you will have a more stimulating meeting and have better retention of the material.  Polling permits you to survey your audience during an interactive web conference and the Q&A feature allows you to conduct an orderly Q&A session for the presentation.

It seems that maybe people don’t work in a collaborative manner and allowing someone to control your PC is a little scary to some people as well.  But even if you are only doing a presentation using a web conferencing service you can make it an interactive web conference by adding polling and Q&A to your web conference.  You will find that the more you can make it an interactive web conference the more your participants will stay engaged with your presentation.