5 Pitfalls To Avoid In Web Conferences

Posted on July 31, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Ever had a bad experience on a web conference?  Makes you want to avoid them all together, despite the cost savings they achieve.  But that isn’t a good solution; one should simply stay away from the pitfalls.  Here are 5 pitfalls to avoid on a web conference:

1) Not joining the conference on time.  Some web conferencing services require software downloads that all participants must load prior to the start time.  How often do people forget to do so?  The group wastes the first fifteen minutes of an hour conference just trying to get everyone on.   A much better solution is a service that doesn’t require a software download.  Late meetings can be minimized by allowing participants to join right from a web page.

2) Using a service that is not compatible across various computer platforms and browsers.  What happens when people on your web conference are on Macs but the service only supports PCs?  Or if a meeting participant is using Safari or Firefox browsers and the service only supports Internet Explorer?  A good web conferencing service should work across all major computer platforms and browsers.

3) Watching someone’s computer screen with no method to see or talk to them.  Some web conferences are totally one-sided presentations, with the speaker going on and on.  What if there is a problem and participants can’t hear, or the screen sharing isn’t working, or some other problem?  Would you like to be able to stop the presenter and ask them to fix the problem?  Too often people have limited ability to interact with the host.  The best interactive web conferencing services offer live video and audio of all attendees.

4) Putting the meeting on mute so you can catch up on email, play video games, and chat with your neighbor.  We’ve all been there… yet another long meeting where a one-sided conversation goes on and on and our involvement is minimal.  Everyone puts the presenter on mute, and most people stop paying attention.  What a waste of time and a huge waste of company resources.  A good web conference service allows everyone to see everyone, even if the mic is muted.  If a participant gets up and walks away the presenter can see them and ask them what they are doing.  It keeps everyone on their toes knowing they can be seen.  Rather like a real in-person meeting isn’t it?

5) Typing a chat message to the entire group that the instructor is an “idiot”… it is rather like hitting reply all by accident and unknowingly voicing your opinion to everyone.  Probably not the most appropriate thing to be typing in any event, but doubly so when the chat is seen by everyone.  The best web conferencing services offer private chat and even multiple private chat sessions with different people.  Just be sure to type the right message to the right person or you can be in big trouble!

Video web conferences can be a tremendous business tool, cutting travel cost, recovering lost productivity of worker time spent traveling, and even improving the environment with reduced need for transportation.  It is a great tool for teleworkers, and allows virtual companies to be spread over the globe and yet see and talk with each other in real time while sharing documents.  A small company can appear global by using a good conferencing tool.  But you have to watch out for the pitfalls.  So go forth and pick a good web conferencing tool.  Personally, I recommend the Vonei Meeting Web Conferencing Service.

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