Time was, video conferencing was the privilege of large corporations. Equipment was complex and needed experts to set up and support it. If that was expensive, so was the cost of bandwidth.
Even then, there was no guarantee you could connect to businesses which had different equipment.
Video meetings are now in everyone's reach
Today, high-quality video conferencing can be delivered from the cloud using standard protocols. Video meetings are more affordable, easier to set up, and available to anyone over the internet.
Complicated procedures are also a thing of the past. You can start or join a meeting with a few mouse clicks.
Video capable devices have changed the rules too. Now you can meet on your desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone. There's no need to set aside rooms with high-end screens and audio gear - unless you want to.
Good to know
As the nbn™ roll-out continues, high capacity internet that supports video conferencing is becoming the norm.
Should I consider video conferencing?
A lot will depend on your business, and whether meetings play an important role. Read through the following benefits to see if video conferencing is right for you.
Build customer rapport
The closer you get to your customers, the better. For this reason alone, video conferencing is worth adopting. Face-to-face meetings can create a deeper connection that's not possible with phone calls and emails.
Strengthen team bonds
Video meetings are a great way to bring team members together and give them a sense of shared purpose. Particularly when they are not co-located physically.
Support flexible working
Employees increasingly want to work at their own pace. Video lets them join meetings from home, at another office or anywhere in between. All without sacrificing the immediacy of a real life meeting.
Make meetings more productive
Sometimes people see a phone conference as an opportunity to catch up on 'real' work. Or their attention is elsewhere. With video conferencing, everyone can see whether you're paying attention.
Non-verbal cues are another bonus. When you see facial expressions, whatever's being discussed is usually easier to absorb.
Screen and document sharing make video meetings even more powerful. You can demonstrate what you're talking about, and make changes together.
Video won't replace every meeting, but it can reduce the amount of smaller meetings. This can speed workflows quite substantially.
Train staff anywhere
Screen sharing makes training easier. You can train staff in multiple locations at once.
Support staff recruitment
Video calling lets you manage the initial selection stages of new staff members. It's far easier to schedule a video call than a physical meeting with people at a distance.
Reduce travel costs
This includes the cost of airfares, as well as hotel accommodation and meals. Unless you have widely spread staff who need to get together frequently, this won't be so important.