With today’s economy, we all need to try and save money. My number one expense is travel costs, so if I can find a way to do some support or presentations remotely, I will.
When trying to save money, conference calling and web presentations are the best way to communicate to clients and co-workers. Of course, I always prefer a face to face interaction.
There are a few parameters to consider.
Where is your audience? Only North America, or Worldwide?
The Web portion of a web presentations is generally free as long as the recipient has high speed Internet, but it’s the audio portion that costs money. Someone has to pay for it, whether it’s the host or the guest. It could be pricey for other countries to call into USA, but VoIP has changed that dramatically.
If we look at the Amercian audience, some users will have free unlimited long distance anywhere in the USA or North America with a VoIP plan which costs as low as 1 or 2 cents a minute, so it’s negligible. Some cell phone carriers such as Sprint offer packages with free nationwide calling. Otherwise they are responsible for the long distance charges.
It also depends on the size of the audience. Are you conferencing 4 people, or 400? What are you webcasting? A browser base demo, PowerPoint presentation, or an Interactive session that requires mouse and keyboard controls?
I personally use WebEx for my corporate work, but there are several alternatives that I use for my charities outside of work.
How to Save Money on International Conference Calls and Web Presentations
Here are 5 options that I have used in the past, and a few suggestions from the staff at CRMHelpDeskSoftware.com.
The following requirements vary from user to user and from company to company:
- Online meetings
- Remote support
- Web conference
- Web collaboration
- Remote desktop
- Audio conferencing
In no particular order of ranking:
Corporate Conference Calls
This is a great option if you have a PowerPoint presentation and want to provide it for free to users. They get a toll free number, and you pay 4-6 cents a minute for North American calls. Only PowerPoint web presentations are available. Other formats may be available in the future.
Totally Free Conference Calls
Basically, it’s a conference bridge and everyone is responsible for their own charges. This option is a good choice if users have a free unlimited long distance plan anywhere in the USA. Otherwise, the premium service costs 7 cents a minute which gives a USA toll free number plus a $5 per month surcharge. It supports a maximum of 99 people with unlimited duration calls.
There is no catch. The company hopes that you will enjoy the quality of the free calls so that you will upgrade to the premium package.
This is targeted for presentations that require interactive desktop sharing and mouse control.
The first 10 users are free with limited control of desktop application sharing. The paid version comes complete with full desktop application sharing in 10, 20, 30 or 100 packs at a cost of $10, $20, $30, and $70 per month respectively. The pricing definitely rivals WebEx.
The audio portion of the voice conferencing is available with users paying the standard long distance plan, unless you have a free unlimited long distance plan.
Like WebEx, the client requires a software download which may be problematic if you do not have local administrative privileges on your computer.
This option is great for online meetings of up to 30 people and enables online desktop sharing. There is a client software to download. There is no catch; by providing an integrated conference calling service, Yuuguu takes a share of the revenue generated on conference calls made by our customers.
The strength of Yuuguu is the Global conference calling. USA users will call a local IOWA state 641 area code, which is no problem if you have a free unlimited long distance. European rates vary between 6.7 to 17.4 Euro cents per minute, or 6.7 British pence for UK users. Country specific dial in numbers are provided.
This one does not require a client download as it is browser based, with built in VoIP (push to talk), and a built in WebCam.
Voice conferencing is available with users responsible for standard long distance charges, unless you have a free USA nation wide long distance plan. It is ideal for presentations or collaboration with up to 150 people.
There is one catch, and that it is an ad based revenue model. The free version of up to 20 users will displayed ads to all users. For more users, it is $6.95 per month for 25 people, where 5 “premium” users having no ads. You can purchase packs to have everyone on an ad-free environment.
So there you have it. Some good choices for saving money for performing Online meetings, Remote support, Web conference, Web collaboration, Remote desktop, and Audio conferencing. Please comment below if you have used these, or if you have other solutions. Of course, free is good.