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Business Conferencing Blog

How to Reduce Office Costs

1. Ink and Toner - Use laser printers instead of inkjet. The overall per page cost is much lower. Also always print whenever you can in toner save mode. I like to have the toner save monochrome mode as default. Decide if the document you’re printing is for interoffice, just for you or is this something important you are handing to a customer. If it’s just for office use toner save monochrome should be sufficient in most cases.

Also consider buying laser toner from other suppliers, rather than the manufacturers brand. Make sure you check reviews and buy from a reputable source. We buy a lot of our toner cartridges from ebay at much less than half the cost of the manufacturers brand. We’ve had good luck finding good suppliers, but be careful, they don’t always print as well. Test before ordering in quantity.

2. Get rid of your fax machine and fax line - With virtual fax there is no real need for a fax machine anymore. Save your paper, toner, fax machine and fax line costs by switching to something like a Fax2Mail service. You can also port your existing fax number over so that all faxes are received as an email attachment. Because of the savings associated with going to a service like Fax2Mail, you can also justify having additional fax lines for your key employees. This helps in time savings as faxes come directly to the persons email inbox. Learn more about Fax2Mail here.

How to Avoid Background Noise on a Conference Call

Have you ever been on a conference call and had to listen to traffic noise, dogs bark or on-hold music because a participant put a call on hold? Here are some tips and ideas on how to avoid all these distracting background noises that take away from your important meeting.

It all starts with the moderator or the main presenter. 

Turn off all other distractions - Make sure the moderator or key presenter is in a quiet place. Put your other phones on vibrate or silent. Disable call alert if you have it on the phone you’re using. Shut down and computer calendar reminders, messengers (unless you’re using it as part of your call) or any other distractions.

Use a good phone or headset - Cell phones can break up or drop calls sometime, so if it’s important and you have the choice, use a landline for reliability. Headsets are helpful as they leave your hands free and you can set the microphone a consistent distance from your mouth to get clearer and more consistent sound.

At the beginning of the call - Use the mute all callers key command or web based command. Announce to the callers that you have muted everyone and if they would like to speak let them know the command to unmute and mute again. Ask the participants to make note of the commands. This gives the moderator a little more control and eliminates  unnecessary background noise. You can announce the commands again during the call for instance when it’s question and answer time.

Some of the suggestions will vary due to the type of call. Here’s to a productive conference call.

Tips for Holding a Successful Global Audio Conference

Audio conferences have many advantages, especially when a business needs to interact with clients or employees in countries with poor internet connections. In these cases, audio conferencing is truly the only option. If your business finds itself in this situation, keep these things in mind to ensure your conference is fruitful.

  1. Speak carefully: The odds are that while one person is speaking, listeners are multitasking. This is one of the advantages of an audio conference. So it is critical that participants slow down their rate of speech just a bit so that messages are received clearly.  Further, since the odds are there are people from all over the world for whom English may not be their first language, slowing the pace of speech down shows courtesy and respect. Lastly, most audio conferences are recorded, so clarity is important since many people may listen later on.
  2. Appoint a Troubleshooter: Businesses with experience in audio conferencing know that there often are technical issues. A troubleshooter is one person who is invited to the conference call, but who may arrive a bit early to ensure that connection with service support is made and that all participants know what to do. This adds a personal touch besides the  conference call service support that shows your business cares and is serious about the success of the meeting
  3. Be Careful of Humor: Remember that an audio conference is just that, audio. Since participants cannot see each other’s faces, certain comments that are funny in person, bomb in audio-only mode. No one wants anyone to be offended. Be careful to set jokes up clearly, so that there are no misunderstandings.

     Audio conferences are cost effective ways to communicate. In spite of the popularity of video conferencing, there are times when it is just not feasible or even preferred. Make good use of the advantages of audio conference calls by keeping in mind these three simple tips.

Tips to Reducing Travel Costs

Not only is traveling a big pain these days, but it’s expensive. Most people don’t want to spend half their day in security lineups and travel delays when you can reduce that time to be more productive.

Many things you can do today in person, you can also do online.

For example: a web conference is an effective way to present your material as you can use screen sharing and PowerPoint presentations.

You can easily speak to and see your client as if they were in the same room via video and audio. 
You can also connect with various different people in worldwide locations simultaneously.

You can use just toll-free audio conferencing as an effective way to reduce travel costs if you don’t need to show them something.

Next time you think about taking a business trip think about whether you can reduce your travel costs being and be more productive by doing a video conference, web conference or an audio conference.

Toll Free Conferencing Pricing

Don’t be fooled by some conferencing providers and their contracts. Many companies have hidden surcharges that unless you read all the fine print, you may be getting yourself in for a larger bill than you thought.

Do you know what your conference calling patterns will be? For example, will callers from Canada or some US States get charged more. Also watch for additional charges like minimum billing charges, etc…

It also depends if you use Toll Free Conferencing services or Toll Services and make sure to use a reliable conferencing provider and review any contracts or agreements.

Something to keep an eye on.

What is Global Conference Calling

Most of us are familiar with the regular conference calling services, like ReadyConference and Ready Access conferencing that are quite often have as US and/or Canadian Toll Free Dial in numbers. People access them by dialling the toll free number and entering their passcode to access the service.

Did you know that some of these services have access numbers around the world that connect everyone into the same conference. Ready Access and ReadyConference both have this capability. If you have customers in India, UK, Germany, or where ever, chances are we have a local number in that country.

It’s as simple as a local conference call. In many countries we also have toll free dial in numbers in that country. If you want to make things even easier for those overseas we also have international dial out, where you can call them and patch them right into your conference call.

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