There are many features that are available when using automated conferencing and a full list can be found here. However, the ones that are important to you will likely be determined by how you plan to use it and your audience. Using features allows you to customize the entire experience from inviting participants to conducting the meeting to post-meeting follow-up. Therefore, having an extensive set of dial-in options, in-conference commands, and reporting tools should be heavily considered when selecting an automated conferencing service. Let’s take a look at the factors that will help ensure your specific requirements are met.
Allowing access to your conference calls starts with connection options. Most automated conferencing systems offer dial-in numbers from the North America and countries around the world. Having one-click access links is useful as well given today’s increasingly mobile workforce. Using permanent dial-in numbers and codes gives you 24\7\365 availability. Upon dialing in the call host has options whether to start the meeting when they initiate it with the Leader PIN or have the call begin automatically when the second person dials in (Quick Start). A Waiting Room is available as well if there is a need to screen callers by locking the meeting. If needed the host can also dial out to missing or late participants. When participants join or leave the meeting there can be an audio alert such as tone or name announce or even silence depending on the size of your audience and desired experience.
Customize the experience from start to finish
Once you have started the meeting there are ways to control the audience depending on the desired interaction. There are three Modes available including Conversation (all lines open for collaboration), Q&A (participant lines closed, but they can un-mute for questions), and Presentation (all participant lines remain closed until the feature is toggled off). The conference either concludes when the Leader disconnects or a pre-determined number of minutes afterward if desired. If anything comes up during a conference call that needs immediate attention you can always dial 00 for a sub conference with operator that participants can’t hear or *0 for an operator to join the entire conference call. Once the conference call concludes you will be sent a conference summary report detailing the phone numbers of who dialed in (captured from Caller ID) and the duration they were connected along with access information if all or a portion of the call was recorded.
Web Controls and Keypad Commands
There are two ways to customize the experience using these features depending on your accessibility to the audio or internet. Keypad Commands can be used via the phone and web controls can be used if access to the internet is available. If you prefer a more traditional audio conference, have a good idea of your desired interaction, and know the available keypad commands then using the buttons on the phone should suffice in most cases. However, if you need more robust call management and better visibility of the connections in real time then web based controls are available. For example if you want to put the call in Q&A mode to have participants raise their hand for formality or if you want to move connections into various sub-conferences then you’d want to use the web interface for these tasks. However, if you just want to use standard Leader functions or allow for general discussion then all you’d likely need are the phone keypad commands.
If you need features beyond the basics or outside of those available on a traditional automated audio conferencing platform you may want to consider operator assisted conferencing or even a more robust solution like a cloud-based phone system. Hopefully this has provided some insight with regards to the important features of a conference call service. All of those features are available on our platform and we’d be glad to discuss them in further details so Contact Us when you’re ready to start the conversation.