A successful video or web conference can really move your business forward. Online conferences connect people in ways that weren’t possible in the pre-Internet age. But as powerful as online conferences can be, they work best when you prepare your conferences properly. Here are some steps you can take to ensure that your next video or web conference is a complete success.
1. Make sure each of your guests has sufficient bandwidth at their seat.
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to enjoy a video online when you simply don’t have enough bandwidth to catch everything. If your subscriber doesn’t have enough bandwidth, latency will occur and he or she won’t be able to enjoy the experience or participate properly. The bandwidth required varies from system to system and also depends on the features you will be using during the conference. Functions such as video, audio, screen sharing and application sharing have different requirements. Talk to your vendor or company to find out what the minimum bandwidth requirements are, and then make sure that each of your areas undoubtedly has enough bandwidth.
2. Test your webcams to make sure they are working properly
If video is used in any of the areas, make sure that the area has tested its cam to make sure that everything is working adequately. Preferably, all cameras need to be checked from the video or web conferencing system you will be using. An electronic camera that works fine in one application may work differently in another system. Check them beforehand so you don’t have any surprises on the day of your conference.
3. Check your audio equipment in advance
If VoIP (audio) is to be used in the conference itself, make sure all participants have the right equipment, be it microphones, headsets or speakers.
4. Provide your participants with appropriate access information in advance of the conference.
If the audio conference is held over a conference call, make sure all participants know the access number they need to dial into and the PIN (unique identifier) they need to access the call.
5. Conduct a “dry run” of your discussion prior to the conference date.
Conference speakers or leaders need to practice in advance. If a presentation is scheduled, make sure the person who will be presenting the material has actually reviewed that portion of the video or web conferencing system. The presentation to be used should be shown to another participant prior to the actual conference date.
6. Provide your participants with web access information well in advance of the conference.
Make sure all of your participants know how to access the video and web “conference room”. Email each attendee a “link” well in advance of the conference so they can quickly access the conference when the right day and time arrive.
7. Familiarize yourself as much as possible with the video or web conferencing system you will be using
The host should be very familiar and comfortable with the video or web conferencing system they will be using. If your vendor or service provider offers training, take advantage of it to familiarize yourself with the system. Familiarity with the system will help you host a flawless meeting or conference.
8. Conduct a test meeting before the big event
Bottom line. Conduct a test meeting or more before the day of the “big” meeting. Testing will help you avoid as many surprises as possible before you gather all your guests. A conference without technical problems will go a long way toward helping you achieve your conference goals.
The key to an effective online conference, whether it’s a web conference, a video conference or a combination of both, is preparation, preparation and preparation. The more you prepare and the more you practice, the better your online conferences will be.