Web Conferencing Services – Types

You may already have recognized the need for web conferencing within your organization. You have heard all about the many benefits and have decided it is the way forward for your company. Now all you have to do is decide which type of web conferencing would best suit your company’s needs.

A quick investigation into the types of web conferencing available will result in a myriad of information. For the uninitiated, unraveling what is available can be confusing and time-consuming.

Below you will find a quick guide to the types of web conferencing currently out there. Each organization will have its own individual requirements and it is important to be clear about what you hope to gain from web conferencing. For example, is it a fully interactive virtual meeting place that your organization needs, or do you require a document sharing system that will allow employees in different geographical locations to work together on projects? Once you understand how you want web conferencing to work for you, analyzing the types of web conferencing and how they could work for your organization will become much easier.

Web Meeting

With growths in international business and a growing trend towards home working, the need for a virtual meeting place is increasing. A web meeting is just what it says – a meeting that takes place over the Internet. This facility has the capabilities to hold real-time conversations and share documents. Web meetings can be fully interactive, allowing participants to converse in real time and for information to be exchanged between delegates.

Web meeting set-ups vary in terms of sophistication and a very rudimentary system can be set up using just a digital camera and a broadband connection.

The Webcast

As the name would suggest, a webcast is a type of broadcast similar in nature to a television broadcast except, of course, a webcast takes place over the Internet. The broadcasting nature of this facility means that there is little opportunity for the presenter and delegates to interact with each other and therefore its function is primarily as a presenting tool. The other main feature of a webcast is that it can be broadcast simultaneously to hundreds of recipients.

If your requirement is for a presenting tool that also offers the interactive features of a web meeting, then you should consider a webinar.

The Webinar

As the name suggests, the webinar is a facility that allows you to conduct a seminar over the web. Allowing a greater level of interaction than the webcast, a webinar enables the presenter to conduct question and answer-type sessions with delegates. However, you should remember that a webinar does not afford the same degree of interaction as a web meeting.

Other Uses For Web Conferencing

Online Presenting

Web conferencing can also be used for conduction online presentations. Online presenting is ideal for sales pitches, performance reporting or providing training for other members of your organization. Add on features include slide shows, web based conversing and audio/video streaming.

Online Collaboration

This is by far the most commonly used type of web conferencing and is the ideal solution for organizations who have multi-location sites yet require collaboration between their employees on projects and documents. Online collaboration has file sharing capabilities that updates changes and alterations to documents in real-time to avoid errors.



Video Conferencing – The Basics

The basics of Video Conferencing

This article will cover the basics of video conferencing; sections covered include the components of video conferencing, its potential benefits and drawbacks and Video as a Service. As always, feel free to like, share or comment after reading.

Video Conferencing is the act of multi-way, simultaneous video and audio communication through telecommunications technology. Video conferencing enables individuals from across the globe to communicate effortlessly.

There are a number of key components required in order to successfully hold or participate in a video conference. These are:

Video Input – Video Conferencing by definition requires a video input. This is usually done through a webcam or, less commonly, a video camera.

Audio Input – In order for video to accompany sound there also needs to be an audio input. This is most commonly done through a microphone although DVD/CD players are also a source of audio

Video Output – In order for the video to be interpreted, there needs to be a platform to output the video on to; this can be done through a number of items but is most commonly done through a computer monitor, television or projector

Audio Output – Similar to the video output but for sound. Audio output is usually run through loudspeakers.

Data Transfer – The video/audio data is commonly transferred across a telephone network (analog or digital), the internet or LAN (when the conference is local)

Computer – A computer is needed to tie together the other components of the conference. The computer also compresses and decompresses the data using a codec and maintains the data linkage over the network.

When put together, these are the components that form a video conferencing system. There are 2 types of system; dedicated and desktop. A dedicated system is a device that has all the required components built into it and is purpose built. A desktop video conferencing system is an add-on to a regular computer desktop that turns it into a video conferencing system.

If used correctly, video conferencing offers a great potential benefit to businesses.

This benefit is saving time and money on travel costs. Travel is an integral part of business activity and face to face meetings have long been the custom when engaging in commercial endeavours.

Business has been affected by globalisation though and travelling to distant parts of the world is expensive and is certainly not time efficient. While it is unlikely that face to face meetings will ever be replaced, video conferences can be a great aid when it comes to less important or routine business and can eliminate travel expenses as well as increasing productivity through decreased travel time.

Advances is technology mean that video conferencing is better, easier and more readily available than ever and gets you as close to ‘being there’ as can be without physically making the trip.

It is also important to remember that video conferencing now goes far beyond ‘talking heads’ on a screen; it is now possible to share all kinds of information and documents instantly and easily that may not have even been available at face to face meetings; the result of this again, efficiency.

The knock on effect of reducing travel is reducing the carbon footprint of the company. The environment is a major talking point when it comes to business and even more so when it comes to international or global business. By reducing travel to only particularly important or essential trips a business can reduce its carbon emissions greatly. To put this into perspective, a 2000 mile flight (London to Nicosia, Cyprus) on a Boeing 747 produces around 200 kilograms of carbon dioxide per seat whereas a video conference produces roughly 7 grams in total.

Video conferencing also improves the work-life balance of employees by reducing the time they spend away from home.

Drawbacks of video conferencing are few and far between however some noted issues have been:

Concern of appearance – being on camera can trigger a psychological problem in some people where the burden of presenting an acceptable appearance on screen can impair communication. It is argued that this is a temporary concern and can be rectified with regular participation.

Eye-contact – Eye-contact subconsciously plays an important part in conversations; they give signals indicating attention, intent and turn taking. Video conferencing has been known to give false representations of this and giving negative impressions. Recent technology has been developed to counteract this however.

Some companies now offer Video as a Service (VaaS). In its most basic form VaaS is when a company supplies a client with video conferencing services; this goes beyond merely supplying them with the required hardware – VaaS ensures that all the IT concerns are also taken care of and maintained. VaaS is also heightening the formality and quality of video conference meetings by offering unique services such as virtual receptionists, meeting secretaries (to record meeting minutes) and real time IT support to ensure important meetings run without a hitch.

Some other benefits include conference recording with simple and instant viewing through a clickable link, increased conference formality and increased conference efficiency.



Conference Facilities

A  conference  call is a call in which three or more parties interact simultaneously. Always a cost effective way to reduce travel expenses,  conference  call technology has advanced to provide a more interactive user experience. Today’s  conference  calls not only include telephone communication, but also video and web communication. One of the most popular services allows clients who do not have video conferencing equipment to connect via the web, thereby participate using only their web browser.

 Conference  calls can be used for entertainment or for social purposes like party lines. People call to a specified telephone number that allows them to talk to others, and perhaps subsequently meet new people.  Conference  calls are most commonly used by businesses

Another  conference  facility that is widely used is the  Conference  Bridge. The  Conference  Bridge allows users to allow a company to set up and participate in a  conference  with anyone who has a telephone. It is easy to use and is competitively priced. It has to be scheduled as a  conference  call by calling an operating with details like contact names, phone numbers,  conference  date, starting and ending time, total number of lines need, an agency code and a  conference  code.  Conference  bridge can be used for conferencing three or more people, and the cost is approximately four cents a minute, plus long distance charges.

Some services provide toll-free numbers that can be reached only within the US and Canada. If you use the Executive 800 service, there is a long distance dial-in telephone number for callers who are outside the US and Canada.

In today’s fast-paced, global business environment, an in-house  conference  system is no longer a luxury, it is a strategic requirement to manage information effectively and remain competitive. From weekly sales meetings to customer end user training, conferencing offers fast and inexpensive alternative to travel.



Oakland International Airport

The Oakland International Airport, also known as the Metropolitan Oakland International Airport is located to the south of the central business district of the city of Oakland. The various airlines serving the Oakland international airport provide flights to various destinations across the United States and Mexico. A busy airport, the Oakland international airport serves more than 14 million passengers every year. With such a large inflow of passengers, the amenities and facilities are sure to be good.The airport code is OAK.

The city of Oakland is a focus city and its airport serves as the crew base. The airport is the 8th busiest airport for the Southwest Airlines. From time again, the airport of Oakland has proved to be a popular alternative to the San Francisco International airport. This is due to the fact that the airport has a history of high on time arrival percentage of the flights and all this despite adverse weather conditions like foggy weather and rain for months in both the cities.

The history of the OAK dates back to 1927 when it was built and opened. The airport holds a distinctive position in the history of the aviation industry as this was the starting point of the legendary pioneer Amelia Earhart’s, last flight in the year 1937. The early years of 1940s saw the Oakland airport serve as an important military base. This was the time around the Second World War. After the war, major airlines again started their operations at the Oakland airport. A new terminal built to accommodate large jet planes was inaugurated in the year 1962. After nearly a decade, another terminal built at a cost of nearly $16 million was opened. Still continuing with the expansion the Oakland airport opened a large FedEx cargo station. This cargo station has grown up to be the largest, the busiest and the most important freight terminals in America.

OAK is an important airport in the United States of America, serving more than 14 million passengers a year. This calls excellent passenger amenities and Oakland airport has it all. The various facilities available are:

  • Many ATMs spread across the terminals
  • Wi-Fi accessible
  • Good selection of shops, duty free shops and retail outlets
  • Large variety of eateries
  • Restaurants and cafes
  • Information desks
  • Currency exchanges
  • Business and conference facilities
  • Disabled services

Besides the above mentioned facilities, the Oakland airport also has a Metropolitan golf links course for those that have time at hand. Adjacent to the Oakland airport, the golf course has 18 scenic holes and presents exceptional views of the San Francisco Bay. The golf club rental is free of charge and passengers having time at hand can play a round. Another place of interest near the airport is the Oakland Western Aerospace Museum. The Museum is a great place to know about the history of the region in the aviation industry and the future of space travel.

The popularity of Oakland airport has grown in the recent years, tremendously. This is especially true for the low cost airlines which find it a popular destination. There are constant renovation and expansion projects under way at the airport. These projects include enhanced food and beverage outlets, addition of new gates, new baggage claiming area, expanded areas for security and ticketing and improved roadways and parking lots.



Audio Conferencing Solutions

Hosting an audio conference is a great way to gain exposure and expert status for an online business owner. The challenge becomes how to set up an audio conference once the decision has been made.

Audio conferencing solutions are available online to allow you to host, record, stream and even replay your conference calls.

Here are some of the features available with most conferencing solutions available today:

1. Phone Number – When you sign up for your chosen call host you will get a phone number for your guest to call into. This phone number is often a US number as many of the companies are based in the US. You can also get international numbers if you have guests that may not be in the United States. Typically you get a phone in number, a host code and guest pass code.

2. Control Panels – Many audio conference solutions allow you more than just over the phone control. You can often log onto a website and get details of the call like the number of visitors on the line, where they are located and even their names if you have previously entered that information in.

3. Recording – You will be able to record you call. This is obviously very convenient for most calls as you often have people who can not make it to a call but could benefit from the replay.

4. Streaming Audio – Some programs also will host the audio recording that is created and allow it to be ‘streamed’ online. This is sometimes a paid feature as it does cost to host and play audio files online.

When choosing you own solutions you’ll want to always first consider the needs of your call and of the attendees.

Ask yourself questions like:

– Will they want a recording?

– Are they internet savvy enough to just get a download or do they want streaming audio?

– Do I need to know who’s on the line?

– Am I willing to consider paid solutions if they offer higher quality?

An important thing to remember as you search around for the appropriate audio conferencing solution for your call is to plan ahead. Give yourself time to search around for the best solution and then test it out. You’ll want to test out the lines for quality and ease of use to make sure both yourself and your guests don’t have problems on the call due to a poor quality product.

When I do my own calls I always keep a backup no matter which solution I choose. For my backup I use a company called Audio Acrobat. With this program what I do is call into a special phone number and then set my recording. Then I call back to the conference line and continue with my call and recording there. Having a backup allows you to continue with peace of mind that you won’t have any lost information.



Spring Parent-Teacher Conferences – It’s Not Too Late!

Ah, time again for Parent Teacher  Conferences ! Depending on what kind of school year your child has had so far,  conferences  can be a joy or a bummer. Regardless,  conferences  give parents an opportunity to discuss homework- and more.

Doesn’t it seem like eons ago when you attended Back-to-School Night and bravely asked Homework Questions to Ask the Teacher or went to the first parent teacher  conference ? If you did NOT bravely ask those questions (or if you can’t remember what you discussed at that first  conference ), it is still not too late to do it at your parent-teacher  conference ! Print out the list and write down the teacher’s answers.

5 Questions to Ask at Parent Teacher  Conferences 

  1. What Is the One Thing You Think I Should Know About How My Child Is Doing? – Most parent teacher  conferences  are only 20 to 30 minutes; we don’t have all day to talk about every little thing. As a parent, I want to know what is really important.
  2. What Is My Child’s Fluency Level? – I’ve said it before, and, I’ll say it again: It’s All About Reading. Your child must be a strong, masterful, confident reader, and your child’s teacher should be able to tell you whether or not your child is reading at, below or above grade level.
  3. Is My Child Missing Any Assignments? – Not that I am going to go home and find these assignments, mind you. However, I do want to know if my child is being responsible and turning in her work. And, if you give me a list, I will definitely pass it on to my child.
  4. Are There Any Big Projects Coming Up- and When Are They Due? – I am still angry with my daughter’s 5th grade teacher for having a (ridiculous) project due the last week of school! Even worse, we didn’t hear about the project until two weeks before it was due! I would much rather have a good head start on those projects wouldn’t you?
  5. Will You Be Assigning Homework During Standardized Testing? – Some teachers do; some teachers don’t; many teachers have never thought about it. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if you asked this question, and your child’s teacher decided NOT to assign homework for two weeks? They go on and on about making certain that our children are prepared for standardized testing; how about sending them to school rested and refreshed?

Once you’ve gotten these homework questions out of the way, you are ready to tackle some new issues. Remember, the teacher is going to have a lot of material for you, so speak up and speak early!



Understanding Yahoo Conference Call

You should not worry, if you do not know the ways to make a conference call. It is very easy to make conference calls. Once you learn the basic idea about conference call, you will find it easy and comfortable. There are many online options that are providing the this facility. It is advisable to use Yahoo conference call because it is very easy and it gives satisfactory performance.

In today’s marketplace, there are number of companies providing various options for conference calls. Classification of conference differs according to the company but all the processes are almost same. If you want to use this facility and you are unaware about it, then Yahoo provides complete information. Yahoo allows you to know all the basic information that is necessary while making a call.

These days, market is flooded with the companies. Most of the companies are offering various benefits due to the amount of competition. There are chances that you might get confused about selecting the conference call provider. There is no need to be confused because you will have few reliable providers. When it comes to reliability, you can choose Yahoo service. This is one of the best service providers that you can utilize. This company provides calls at cheaper rates in comparison to other companies. It does not matter whether you are making a long distance or short distance call; Yahoo provides you smoother service to serve your calling needs. When it comes to other providers, these companies provide good service, but charges high to the customer for making long distance call. However, Yahoo is an amazing service provider that is providing better service at reasonable price.

Before you get this service, you should know your requirements. This will help you to select the particular plan, which is provided by the service provider. Service providers are providing various plans to their customers. It is advisable to select the plan according to your needs. This will assist you to save money. Various plans are offered by Yahoo. It is better to go through each and every option. You should select a plan that will meet your demands.

After subscribing for conference call plan, you should check the service. This will allow you to know more about the features as well. In the beginning service providers are giving you a toll-free number. You can use this toll-free number only at the time of conference. You will be given login ID, password through which you can access your account. You can share all these security codes to all the attainder. This will help them to use the customer service if they find any difficulty. With the help of the login ID you can make necessary changes in your account as per your requirement. You can change the volume, voice clarity and many other things with the help of login ID.

Yahoo is providing the best service in the field. You can select Yahoo as your service provider as it provides good service at cheaper rates. It is possible nowadays because of the advancement of the technology. Due to advanced technology, it has become very easy to learn how to make conference call.



How to Lead a Successful Conference Call

In the course of managing a project, you are sure to be called upon to conduct a meeting through conference call at some point. These meetings can be tricky as you are mostly not face-to-face with some or most of the participants, which makes it harder to stay organized and focused. These few tips will help you stay on track and successfully achieve the purpose of the conference call.

– Prepare an Agenda in Advance

It is important to prepare an agenda for a conference call beforehand so the meeting has a pre-set structure all participants can follow. Doing this in advance will give your team and other remote participants time to prepare comments, questions and any necessary presentations so the meeting runs more smoothly. You can then tick items off this agenda as you go so that the meeting goes on in an orderly fashion and no important point is missed out on.

– Organize your team

Be sure to see to it that your team is familiar with the proper etiquette of a conference call. Since it is carried out over the phone, interruptions and environmental noises such as typing or clicking or pens can be much more disturbing than in a normal meeting. Also be sure everyone leaves their cell phones put, arrives on time so there are no interruptions, and is prepared for the meeting with a copy of the agenda and any other additional materials. Also make sure all team members introduce themselves when they join in and before speaking up as not all participants can see you during a conference call. Also have them keep comments brief, as without visual cues it is easy for remote participants to tune out of a drawn out monologue.

– Introductions

Introductions are important In a conference call, it is important for the project leader to start off with introductions of their team, and having the other party or remote participants do the same. This helps keep the meeting professional and structured, and there is lesser chance of confusion. It is also important to keep taking names, start questions with the name of the person they are addressed to, and encourage your team members to introduce themselves again before they speak as it is quite impossible to recognize so many voices over the phone.

– Maintaining control and momentum

As a project leader, it will fall upon you to take the lead and guide the discussion in a meaningful direction. Try to stick to the agenda, and keep the conversation flowing by asking questions and announcing the next topic under discussion. Also, if someone is quiet, don’t assume this means approval, and keep asking for feedback and confirmation. Moreover, it is easy for the remote participants to feel isolated or for your team to forget they are there, so be sure to keep them involved in the discussion and keep them from getting distracted by addressing them as you speak.

– Take Notes

It is easy to lose track of who said what in a conference call especially since you can’t tell most voices apart, so be sure to keep taking notes. This will also help you remember what was discussed and what decisions were taken, and who was assigned which job till the next meeting. Without this, your precious and carefully planned conference call can go to waste, as it is impossible to retain so much information in your busy head without notes. Also, these notes can serve as a basis for the next meeting’s agenda.

These few considerations can help any project manager lead better conference calls where all team members can take something of importance away from the meetings, and important urgent decisions are made instead of just wasting valuable time.



Art Exhibition

An art exhibition is a great exposure for galleries and artists. An artist can present his work to thousands of exhibition attendees and an attendee, interested in art, can participate in workshops during the art exhibition and learn about all aspects of art.

There are several art exhibitions being held in different parts of the world. You can find art exhibitions related to paintings, sculpture, design, visual arts and drawings. There are also exhibitions pertaining to photography, literature, film and video as well as crafts.

Here are some examples of international art exhibitions in the world:

art forum berlin

“art forum berlin” is an International Art exhibition that takes place in Berlin every year in the autumn for 3 days. The exhibition presents more than 100 galleries from around the world showing art works made by more than 2000 artists. The art works come from graphics, video, photography, installations, drawings, sculpture and painting. The 16th edition of this art exhibition takes place in 2011.

SH Contemporary

“SH Contemporary” is an International Art exhibition that takes place in Shanghai every year in September. The exhibition presents Asian contemporary art to international and Asian collectors and art lovers. The art works come from graphics, video, photography, installations, drawings, sculpture and painting. SH Contemporary launched in 2007 and it is growing since.

estampa

“estampa” is an International Art exhibition that takes place in Madrid every year in September. The exhibition presents Spanish and international contemporary art to international art collectors and art lovers. The art works come from print making, graphics, video, photography, art books, drawings, sculpture and painting. estampa launched in 1993 and it is growing since.

Searching for a   conference  or exhibition plays a very important role for businesses. Participation in an exhibition or  conference  enables you to remain in touch with the industries/sectors that you are related to. Also, it allows you to find the forum where you can introduce your company or products. It also enables you to find new customers and perk up your business.

In order to search  conferences  that are relevant to your industry you can use the internet. There are a number of websites and search engines that can help you to find  conferences  and exhibitions related to your field. Using these websites is very simple and easy. You can simply enter the name of sector or industry and look for the  conferences  related to your business. This also saves your time and helps you to find the perfect  conference  that can be ideal for your business success.

Clocate is one such wonderful web portal that allows you to find thousands of  conferences  and exhibitions that are being held in different parts of the world. You can search for a  conference  in certain dates and specific location. You can find  conferences  related to all industries and sectors. These include business  conferences , medical  conferences , technology  conferences , engineering  conferences , hospitality  conferences , IT  conferences , Art  conferences , education  conferences , science  conferences , as well as fashion exhibitions. You can find various  conferences  under each industry and thus settle for the one that best suits your business, time, location and particular preference.

Clocate offers complete information regarding each  conference . You can find the dates, venue details, space details, as well as the objective of a particular  conference . This way, it becomes very easy to search various  conferences  and compare them against each other. As a result you can easily plan a  conference  that you wish to attend in an organized manner.

A search engine or a website plays a very vital role in helping you come across various  conferences  and exhibitions in time. By knowing all the options and details from reliable resources such as Clocate allows you to make the best of these forms that can help to give a boost to your business. Always trust the authentic and reliable sites so that you can get information regarding  conferences  and exhibitions that is true and reliable. Searching for  conferences  at Clocate is safe as well as effective. It is a perfect search engine that helps thousands of peoples to search and find the best  conferences  around the world.



Questions to Ask During a Parent Teacher Conference

Are you looking for a list of questions to ask the teacher during your parent/teacher  conference ? Here is a list of questions I routinely go over with the teachers during  conference  time. Look over these questions and modify them according to your needs. If you have any additional questions, ideas or stories, please comment below.

How is my child doing in school? In reading? Math? Science? Social Studies?

What subjects are his strongest? Weakest?

How are my child’s work habits? Does he/she complete work on time?

Is homework turned in on time?

Does my child need extra help in a particular subject?

What is my child’s ability level? Does he/she comfortably work at that level?

Is my student in different classes or groups for different subjects? Which ones? How are the groups determined?

How is my child’s behavior?

Does he/she get along well with classmates? Who does my child play with? Is there any child you think might be a good friend for him that he doesn’t play with?

Does my child participate in class activities?

Does my child show leadership abilities?

What kinds of tests do you give? What do the tests show about my student’s progress? How does my student handle taking tests?

How does my child behave around adults? Is he polite and respectful?

What do you consider my child’s best strengths and interests?

How can I help?

If I need to reach you, what is the best way? (E-mail, phone, note.)

During your  conference  time, if a teacher mentions a behavior or learning issue, listen carefully. Ask questions so you understand if this is a normal behavior or issue that needs a little work or if it is a problem and needs to be watched more closely. If that is the case if any learning disability is a possibility, ask the teacher what the school provides as far as testing. My advice would be not to delay testing if case any issue is present. If the school provides testing, it is better to have that done early rather than late. It will either ease your mind or allow your child the opportunity to learn more and receive help faster.