Conference Call Issues

Assuming your call participants should be privy to the information, shouldn’t you be able to speak freely?

How to Share Confidential Information More Securely During a Conference Call

Have you ever shared confidential information during a conference call? When discussing important matters with colleagues and business partners, it’s almost a given that you might discuss sensitive information. In fact, a Research Now Survey revealed that 93 percent of respondents had done just that on a conference call and 20 percent admitted to doing so frequently.

Conference Call Issues and Security

So, is that a problem? After all, you probably signed up for a conferencing plan specifically so you could communicate with your team, partners, and other key business associates on any number of topics. Assuming your call participants should be privy to the information, shouldn’t you be able to speak freely?

Absolutely, but it’s smart to make sure that uninvited guests are not lurking. Read our article on how to improve conference call security to learn the best practices for securing your conference calls. Here are a few more tips to consider when hosting an extremely confidential conference call.

  • Remind attendees of the confidential nature of the call — At the beginning of the conference call, remind everyone that the call is for their ears only. Ask them to close their office doors for privacy, and if they are in a public space, to please leave the call until they can find a private environment.
  • Consider Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) — You may even want to use non-disclosure agreements, especially if the conference call involves highly sensitive information or is part of a merger/acquisition process. If your attendees have already signed NDAs, remind them that the call is covered under the NDA.
  • Prohibit call recordings — As the moderator of the call, you can certainly initiate a recording, which you will have full control over. Let your participants know that you’ll be recording the call should anyone need to review the information and explicitly state that any other recording is prohibited. Later, when sharing the audio file with participants, host it on a password-protected server and set an expiration date to assist with this conference call issue.
  • Don’t overlook other media — Many businesses use audio conferencing in conjunction with web conferencing for a richer multimedia experience. You may want to prohibit screen captures or limit the information that you share in your presentation. Similarly, it’s not unusual to share files or send attendees files as email attachments during or immediately following a conference call. PDF’s are another conference call issue. A little advance planning is helpful. For example, if you have a PDF that is relevant to the call but with a few lines of sensitive information, you could either password protect the PDF so that only your attendees will be able to open it in the future or redact the information you want to protect from prying eyes.

Conference Call Issues and Steps

Will these steps (in conjunction with dialing participants directly, locking your conference calls, and other conference calling security measures), stop all corporate spies, hackers, or unscrupulous individuals from their evil deeds? No, but they will put attendees on notice that you take the protection of your information seriously and that they should, too.

Conference Call Services

Virtual Global Phone Number Use While On Tour

How to Use a Virtual Global Phone Number When On an International Tour

Virtual Global Phone Number

Why you may need a Global Phone Number and a Mobile Phone

Mobile Phones can be used by a rock star, musicians, stage actors, dancers, performers, crew members, business professionals, military service members, or a world traveler, going on an international tour or any sort means extensive time away from home — and your loved ones. Mobile phones are wonderful tools that can help you stay in touch, but they don’t always work as expected from one country to the next. Plus, international roaming charges are likely to put a damper on your international phone conversations. Fortunately, a global phone number is a cost-effective solution that enables you to be reached by phone no matter where in the world you might be.

What is a Virtual Global Phone Number?

By being “virtual,” this type of phone number is not tied to any given physical phone line. Rather, you can change where the phone rings at any time, to any phone number. Since it is also a global phone number, this means that you can forward your calls to any phone in the world and take advantage of our low international call forwarding rates.

For example, if your family and friends are in the United States, you could get a toll free virtual global phone number for the United States and then set your “ring to” number to ring to your hotel phone in Paris, France. To your callers, it’s a typical toll free phone call. Behind the scenes, that call is forwarded over our modern fiber optic telecommunications network to your hotel room in France — bypassing the typical (and expensive) international long distance carriers that your calls would normally travel through.

The Flexibility of Using a Virtual Global Phone Number When On an International Tour

When on tour, you’re rarely in one place long. After a night in France, you could find yourself in Germany, Ireland, UK, or Switzerland before heading off to another country — or continent — a few days later. When you have a virtual global phone number, your callers don’t need to try to figure out where you are and how to reach you because they’ll always dial the same exact phone number every time. Instead, you’ll change the ring to number as you travel around the world.

Thus, an example ring-to strategy might look like this:

  • Paris, France: Ring-to number set as hotel room phone number
  • Berlin, Germany: Ring-to number set as a disposal cell phone purchased in Germany
  • Dublin, Ireland: Ring-to number set as a phone line at a temporary office space you’ve rented for the day
  • Nova Scotia, Canada: Ring-to number set as your personal mobile phone number
  • Iceland: Ring-to number set as your hotel phone number 

Using  a Virtual Global Phone Number to Make Cheap Calls Home

The ability to receive phone calls from home while on tour is reassuring; however, there will likely be times when you’d like to initiate the calls. Our contract-free global phone numbers work in the opposite way, too. For example, if you’re staying in Paris, France for a few weeks, it might make sense to order a global call forwarding number that’s local to Paris. That way, you could make a local call, but set the ring to number to the phone number of whomever you are calling — no matter where in the world they may be. Since our virtual global phone numbers are offered without a contract, they’re perfect for short-term use such as when a job, assignment, or tour requires overseas travel.

Learn more about Virtual Phone Number for International Use

CU SeeMe Early Video Conferencing Tech

Today, CU See Me is largely a relic of the past, but it set the stage for the desktop video conferencing tools of today.

Origins of Telecom: Early Video Conferencing Tech – CU SeeMe

CU SeeMe - Zeljko.filipin [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Video conferencing has become the next best thing to being there in person, but it wasn’t always as easy and intuitive as it is today. In 1964 the first video phone technology, called Picture Phone, from AT&T debuted at the World’s Fair in New York. The 1980s saw the first video conferencing system from Compression Labs. By the 1990s, Macintosh released CU SeeMe, the first video conferencing software for personal computers, but it was limited to Macintosh users until 1995 when Windows version was released — and it was nothing like the full screen, high resolution video conferences you’re familiar with today.

CU SeeMe v0.1 arrived in 1992 as a video conferencing application that had no audio for the first two years of its existence. While you and another participant could see one another, you couldn’t hear each other unless you used a phone. Back then, webcams were not common. Thus, users needed to purchase a webcam in order to use the app. Likewise, Internet speeds back then were much slower than we’re accustomed to today with most users using dial-up networking. The video images were displayed in tiny 4-bit grayscale windows measuring either 320×240 or 160×120.

CU SeeMe was initially developed by Cornell University Information Technology as a free desktop videoconferencing tool to be used over high-speed campus-wide / company-wide LANs. While intended for high speed networks in an enterprise-type environment, individuals found their own uses for CU SeeMe, using the app over their slow dial-up networks to work, play, and interact with one another.

Users could also connect to what was known as a “reflector,” which gave them the ability to join a virtual community filled with other CU SeeMe users. More than 30 users at a time could join real-time video chats on any number of topics.

By 1994, audio support had been added, allowing for real-time videoconferencing without having to use a separate phone. However, many users didn’t use audio, opting instead to use the text chat feature included in the software. The use of voice was sometimes frowned upon due to factors such as the work environments at the time and the fact that many users didn’t have sound cards and speakers, and thus, wouldn’t be able to hear the audio.

In 1998, the commercial licensing rights were transferred to White Pine Software. A series of mergers and acquisitions and rebranding followed.

Today, CU See Me is largely a relic of the past, but it set the stage for the desktop video conferencing tools of today.

View Video Web Conferencing details

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Desktop Video Conferencing Perk

Desktop video makes it easier for employees to build relationships and collaborate with their colleagues and superiors located in different locations.

How to Transform Desktop Video Conferencing from a Tool into a Perk

Desktop video conferencing is a valuable communications tool for businesses of any size, instantly enabling you to hold face-to-face conferences with others around the world. However, it’s more than a just a tool that increases employee productivity and strengthens customer relationships; desktop video can also be seen as a perk — one that could enhance the lives of your employees and foster loyalty. Below are a few ideas for transforming desktop video conferencing from a tool into a perk.

  • Remote Work — According to Global Workforce Analytics, 80 to 90 percent of the United States workforce says they would like to telework at least part-time. There are a lot of benefits to both the business and the employee surrounding telecommuting, and desktop video conferencing can certainly play a key role in facilitating such an arrangement.
  • Greater Flexibility — Desktop video conferencing doesn’t necessarily mean you must be tethered to a PC in order to participate. Users can log in using tablets and smartphones, allowing for any number of flexible scenarios.
  • Reduced Travel — Business travel is a fact of life for many working professionals. While many enjoy time away from the office, frequent travel can become burdensome. Having the option to meet with customers in a video conference, at least some of the time, rather than traveling to meet them could be a welcome relief to your team members.
  • Increased ProductivityWhen Traveling — When an actual trip is required, desktop video conferencing canstill play a starring role. For example, your traveling employees couldparticipate in your staff meetings remotely by logging in with theirsmartphones. For those on extended assignments overseas, desktop video conferencing with their family members could make a profound difference on their experiences, helping them to stay connected despite distances.
  • Training and MentoringOpportunitiesDesktop video is an excellent delivery system for training andmentoring sessions. Oftentimes, the best trainers, coaches, or mentors are notphysically close, but with desktop video, they are just a quick videoconference away.
  • Better Access toDistributed Colleagues and Superiors — Similarly, desktop video makes it easierfor employees to build relationships and collaborate with their colleagues andsuperiors located in different locations.  

Positioning your desktop video conferencing solution as a perk rather than just another business tool could improve user adoption, productivity, job satisfaction, and employee loyalty and retention. Your employees will love the benefits associated with the occasional remote workday, greater flexibility, enhanced collaboration, reduced travel, and more while your business will reap the rewards of improved productivity and increased employee engagement. It’s win-win!

Our 30-day free trial ofVideo Pro desktop video conferencing is a great way to discover how desktop video conferencing can benefit your entire office. It’s loaded with features, easy to use, and affordably priced.

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Conferencing Tools Build a Collaboration Culture

How to Conferencing Tools Help Build a Collaboration Culture in Your Business

Looking to improve the spirit of teamwork in your organization?

Collaboration has been shown to be extremely beneficial to businesses and their employees. For example, a few compelling benefits include: engaged employees, better retention, increased profitability,productivity gains, more productive meetings, improved innovation, andincreased business velocity. However, fostering collaboration is not as simpleas sending out an email telling your team to collaborate. It requires acompany-wide mindset shift as well as tools to facilitate it. Here are someways audio and video conferencing can help.

  • Use collaborative technology — Tools like Slack andTrello have become mainstream, but they’re not the only collaborative tools toconsider. With today’s mobile and remote workforce, audio, video, and webconferencing are a must. Audio conferencing is a convenient, all-around choicefor discussions, questions and answers, status updates, and other groupmeetings. Video conferencing adds the ability to see one another face to face,which is particularly important for virtual teams where team members may neverinteract in person. Video and web conferencing are other great collaborationtools for remote teams, especially when it’s necessary to share screens, watchvideos together, or share files.
  • Create shared goals — Think about your organization’s current incentive program. Does it incentivize individual or group effort? It’s natural for employees to focus on their individual goals, but that can interfere with collaboration. In contrast, shared goals encourage collaboration. So, gather your team in an audio conference and find that common ground.
  • Recognize, share skills,and break down silos — Everyone has something of value to offer, but others may notrealize it. Barbara in accounting, for example, may be a Photoshop whiz. If it makes sense, invite her to your next marketing conference call and get her input. While you may not want her pulled from her main accounting tasks, her Photoshop skills may be of value to the marketing department periodically. Encouraging cross-functional collaboration could be beneficial. Likewise, encourage the sharing of information across departments. This helps reinforce the shared goals, helps everyone understand their role in the greater scheme ofthings, and provides opportunities for further sharing and brainstorming. Itcan also reduce the potential for redundancy.

Lead by example — Initially, you may need to assign collaborative tasks to your team, helping them to shift from individual to group work. Likewise, show your team how important collaboration is by openly collaborating with others, hosting collaborative video or audio conferences, and sharing credit with your collaborators.

Make it easy — While technology can help foster collaboration, if it’s too complicated, your plan will backfire. An elaborate video conferencing platform requiring specialized hardware and technical skills won’t get used nearly as often as a simple, user-friendly desktop video tool that works from a web browser.

Examples of Conferencing Tools

US/Canada Conferencing Service

International Conference Call Service

Video/Web Conferencing Service

Conferencing Tools enabling Communication is the backbone of collaboration. Without it, everyone is back in their own private silos, doing their own thing. Our audio, video, and web conferencing plans offer an affordable, convenient, and user-friendly way for your employees to communicate and collaborate — whether they’re in the same building, city, state, or country or in an office on the other side of the world. With the right mindset and conferencing tools, you can build a culture of collaboration in your organization.

Conferencing Tools

Global Conference Calling Service

Global Conference Calling Service

How to Talk Your Boss into a Global Conference Calling Service
When it comes to communicating with a global team, you know that email, Slack, and other text-based communications tools often fall flat. Sometimes, you need to get together on a conference call, but that’s a challenge when international participants can’t dial a local phone number and are forced to pay international long distance charges to connect to your call.

Our global conference calling plans solve these problems, making international collaboration both inexpensive and practical. They’re loaded with quality features and are offered with some of the lowest per minute rates you’ll find anywhere. You’re onboard, but now it’s time to convince the boss. Here are a few pointers to help you do just that.

• Show her how a global conference call service will benefit your team — Your boss wants your entire team to be able to collaborate efficiently but may not have previously considered global conference calls. Perhaps she has misconceptions about the potential cost or thinks any old conferencing system will do the trick. Regardless of what she may think, she’ll also want to know why international conferencing is important to your work, so be prepared to show her its positive benefits. For example, will a 10-minute conference call with your colleagues in Italy save you hours of back-and-forth via email? That’s a huge productivity gain for everyone involved.

• Share example global conference calling servi costs — Your boss will also be curious about the potential costs involved, so be prepared with real examples. Our website lists the per-minute calling costs for more than 150 countries. Find the rates for your international colleagues and prepare a few example scenarios such as a 30-minute conference call with participants from Italy, USA, German, Australia, and Hong Kong. You’ll both be pleasantly surprised at just how affordable global conferencing is with our service. Make sure to point out that ours is a contract-free, pay-as-you-go service with no minimum requirements or surprise charges.

• Invite her to join you in an international conference call — As the saying goes, seeing is believing, so consider hosting an international conference call and asking your boss to sit in. That way, she can observe your team at work and experience the crystal clear sound quality and other great features like moderator dial-out for herself. Once the conference is over, email her the attendance report and MP3 recording of the call to show her how well documented your global conference calls will be.

• Ask for a trial run — Now that she’s educated about the benefits of our global conference calling service, how it works, and how it will benefit your organization, she may be ready to approve your request right away. If not, ask for a trial run. Remember, there’s no contract, no long-term commitment, and no penalty for non-usage so there’s no risk in giving global conferencing a try.

By making your case, including your boss in a conference, and sharing the low costs, your boss will likely be receptive to a trial run where you can further demonstrate the value of global conferencing. We have a free trial which is perfect for that. View details global conference calling service details.

International Communications Tools to Communicate with Global Teams

Whether you need international conferencing and virtual numbers for a two-week project or a two-year one, our plans give you the flexibility you need.

International Communications ToolsInternational Communications Tools to Communicate with Global Teams for Project Managers

Managing large projects that span international borders requires a lot of interpersonal communications. This is complicated by geography and can become quite expensive if relying on traditional phone services. Fortunately, project managers have a variety of alternatives available. Below are a few communications tools to consider when communicating with a geographically dispersed team.

Text-Based Communications Tools

Email is a tried-and-true communications method that lends itself to international collaboration, especially when time differences are significant. With email, there’s generally an understanding that the other person isn’t expected to respond right away. It’s also useful for group communications. Downsides include a lack of urgency, lack of verbal and audible cues, and difficulty in organizing a high volume of messages. Use when you need to get information out to the entire team (such as conference call invitations) or you don’t need a response right away.

Text messaging is useful when you need a response promptly. It tends to be more urgent with an expectation of a prompt reply. While group chats are possible, group text messaging can quickly overwhelm team members, especially if the messages aren’t necessarily relevant to the entire group. Since standard text messaging uses phone numbers, texting international team members can be problematic — and potentially costly. Use when you need a quick answer.

Voice-Based Communications Tools

As noted earlier, traditional phone services can become an expensive communications method when working with a global team. It’s also complicated with various country-specific exit codes, country codes, and unfamiliar dialing conventions. Call quality can vary, too, based on the different telecommunications networks in each country.

Getting virtual phone numbers for the different countries your team members are in is one potential solution. These global virtual phone numbers are local to each caller, eliminating the need for them to figure out their exit codes or dial an international phone number. They won’t incur international calling costs either. Several monthly plans are available without a contract.

Thus, your team members in Italy would dial an Italian number to reach you while those in Canada would dial a Canadian one. All calls would be forwarded to the number you designate as your “ring to” number. To make cheap calls to your team members, we suggest getting a virtual number local to your country and then changing the “ring to” number temporarily so that it rings to the person you are calling in another country. Use virtual numbers to save money on international phone calls and to make it easier for others to reach you.

Most likely, you’ll want to hold conference calls with the entire team. Our international conferencing plan has more 150 international access numbers for countries around the world. All calls are routed over a modern fiber-optic telecommunications network, delivering outstanding sound quality no matter where in the world your callers are calling from. Our per minute rates are extremely competitive, and you pay only for the minutes used. Use for group audio collaboration, weekly meetings, brainstorming, problem-solving, and more.

Web-Based Communications Tools

Collaborative project management apps like Asana and Slack are another tool for your international project management toolbox. Topics and text-based conversations tend to be easier to manage and organize than email. While you can access these tools on your phone, they don’t necessarily take over your personal texting app the way regular SMS texting does. Consider using in place of email and SMS texting.

Desktop video conferencing is quickly becoming a popular way to communicate with global team members. You can create a hybrid video/audio conference for attendees who may not have a webcam or sufficient bandwidth to participate using video. Being able to see and hear one another helps foster trust and stronger relationships. It can also help improve communication as it’s easier to perceive meaning when you can see their faces and body language. Use desktop video conferencing when you want face-to-face meetings.

Web conferencing includes additional features such as chats and screen sharing. Video may or may not be used, depending on your preferences. For example, it’s not uncommon for the host to share a PowerPoint on his or her screen or pass the sharing controls to another who might share a YouTube video or an Excel report. Attendees typically attend via a web browser. You can use computer audio or dial in on a separate phone line. Use web conferencing when you want to share a presentation, video, graphics, reports, and other content with your team.

There’s more than one way to communicate with a group, no matter how dispersed they may be. Chances are, you’ll mix and match the tools listed above throughout the project. Our contract-free plans allow you to pay as you go. Once the project is terminated, you can close your accounts no questions asked. Whether you need international conferencing and virtual numbers for a two-week project or a two-year one, our plans give you the flexibility you need.

Global Conference Calling with Mobile Participants

Be prepared by choosing a global conferencing calling plan that supports these users with local and toll-free access numbers, mobile access numbers (China), moderator dial-out, advanced features and controls, and exceptional sound quality.

Mobile Conference Calling
Global Conference Calling with Mobile Participants

In many parts of the world, landlines are virtually non-existent. Mobile networks have helped usher in a new era of telecommunications to countries which previously lacked the infrastructure or regulatory environment conducive to competitive traditional phone service.

If you hold global conference calls, this means that many of your attendees will be dialing in on a mobile phone rather than an office landline. What exactly does this mean and why should you care? Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind.

• Ease of use — Dialing a long international phone number, complete with country codes, is tedious on any type of phone and even more so on tiny mobile phones. Local numbers are much easier. Our free Connect app makes joining your global conference call a simple matter of tapping.

• Mobile access — Conference call attendees in China who want to use a mobile phone (which is a lot of business users in the country) can only access a global conference call using a China 400 mobile toll-free access number because regular China toll-free numbers are restricted on mobile phones. Our global conferencing plan supports China 400 mobile toll-free numbers, giving your Chinese attendees the option to connect using their mobile phones.

• Cost concerns — Mobile users around the world are subject to varying payment plans on their mobile phones. While you may be accustomed to a cheap, unlimited plan, your attendees may have higher costs or pay per minute — even if they are dialing a local or toll-free number. This is typical in India and Japan. If this is a concern to your attendees, a workaround is to use our dial-out feature to patch those attendees into your global conference call directly. This can be preprogrammed or done on the fly.

• Battery life — Mobile users face another issue corded landline users don’t typically need to worry about, battery life. If the call is scheduled toward the end of the day, your mobile attendees may start the call with limited battery life and be disconnected once their batteries die. There’s not much you can do about the battery charging habits of your attendees other than providing everyone with a heads-up about the expected duration of the conference call so they can be prepared.

• Environment — Mobile attendees are not tethered to their desks, which means that they could be joining your global conference call from virtually anywhere including cafes, outdoor environments, markets, trains, cars, and other potentially noisy environments. Everyone should be reminded to mute their lines when not speaking to limit distractions during global conference calling. As the moderator, you can also identify and mute individual lines should it become necessary.

• Sound quality — Audio quality is a concern with any type of phone. Start with the best telecommunications networks and conference bridges. Our global conferencing service is built on modern fiber optic global networks, ensuring excellent audio quality without dropouts, echoes, interference, and other issues common with inferior providers and VoIP.

Global conference calling with mobile phones make it possible to conduct business virtually anywhere, anytime, and this includes participating in global conference calls.

Chances are, a large proportion of your attendees will be dialing in from a mobile phone. Choosing a global conferencing calling plan that supports these users with local and toll-free access numbers, mobile access numbers (China), moderator dial-out, advanced features and controls, and exceptional sound quality. Ours does, plus there are no contracts, no monthly fees, and no minimum usage requirements. Sign up for an account today.

View details about Global Conference Calling with Mobile Participants here

International Conference Calling and Building Trust

Conferencing UserBuilding Trust When Using International Conference Calling

International conference calling offer a convenient way to interact with colleagues, partners, customers, and business associates around the world. They reduce, if not eliminate completely, the need for travel, and they can save your organization thousands of dollars each year as a result.

Due to their international nature, however, cultural differences often come into play. Trust plays an important role in building strong relationships, and this is true across cultural and geographic boundaries. With that in mind, how do you build and maintain trust over great distances and without the opportunity to interact in person face-to-face?

Holding regular international conference calling sessions is a great way to get started. It’s not just the act of communicating regularly that builds trust though. Rather, you’ll want to be aware of the different ways trust is built from a cultural standpoint and then structure your conference calls so that they lay the foundation for trust.

In the United States, trust is typically assumed and later validated by actions. Thus, people will assume a new team member is trustworthy and later, when he or she comes through with a win, that assumption will be validated. People from some countries have low trust levels to start with and will assume the new person is untrustworthy or has bad intentions. In many parts of the world, business discussions won’t even take place until after extensive social discussions on non-business topics.

Let’s say that you’d like to hold an international conference call with a potential offshore business partner. You’ll likely need to build trust before talking business. In fact, you might need to do so beforehand in order to even schedule the global call.

Below are a few examples of how you can begin building trust:

• Ask a trusted, mutual intermediary (such as a supplier you have in common) to arrange the meeting. This takes advantage of word-of-mouth. In essence, the intermediary trusts you, and since the other person trusts the intermediary, you’ll be more trusted by extension.

• Hold a get acquainted call before the global conference call to introduce yourself and socialize a little. You could even get a virtual phone number for the person’s own country and leave that number (which would be local to their country) as a callback number.

• Use a photo of yourself in your email signature line. This is a great way to become more approachable. It makes you more “real” to the other party and not just a faceless name in their inbox.

• Find common ground. This is always desirable, and even more so in countries where personal relationships must be established before business. If you’re a big sports fan, you might ask if they’re following the latest global sports event such as FIFA or Formula 1 racing.

• Be authentic. The other party’s probably as curious about you and your culture as you are about theirs, so be yourself — with appropriate professional, business, and cultural boundaries, of course.

• Make it easy to join the international conference call. This could be as simple as providing a local or toll-free access number specific to the other person’s country or using the moderator dial-out function. Our 24/7 operators are also available to make the connection. Make sure to select a convenient time for the call that corresponds with the other party’s country’s traditional business hours.

International conference calling | the first step

During the global conference call, it’s a good idea to introduce everyone on the call. Who are they? Where are they from? What’s their role?

You might even have each person share a fun fact about themselves to help break the ice. From there, explain the purpose of the call, clearly defining the mutual benefit of it. This is known as declaring your intent.

It’s a great way to build credibility and provide others with something to measure your actions against. For example, do you do what you say you’re going to do? Finally, deliver as promised.

As you gain trust, keep the momentum going by staying in touch and building a strong personal and business relationship.

View conference call service details here

USA Canada Conference Call and the Cannabis Business

Sign up for an account today and start collaborating across borders.

Cannabis Business Hosts Conference CallsUSA Canada Conference Call Cannabis Business

USA Canada Conference Call is an excellent way to exchange knowledge, build relationships, and close deals. For cross-border conferencing, providing local access to all parties, whether in USA or Canada is a professional courtesy that is sure to be appreciated. Our US Canada conference call plan simplifies the process of connecting with others in the Cannabis industry in the United States or Canada.

Recreational cannabis is now legal across all of Canada and several states in the US have legalized medicinal and/or recreational use. As businesses grow and establish themselves in this new market, they frequently need to converse with others in their industry.

USA Canada Conference Call Local or Toll-Free Access

Let’s say you’re a distributor in Ottawa and you need to discuss website development with a vendor in Denver, Colorado and a graphic designer in Los Angeles in a conference call. With our USA – Canada conferencing plan, each person would be able to join using either local or toll-free access numbers. For example, you’d dial a 343 number in Ottawa, your web developer would dial a 720 number in Denver, and your graphic designer would dial a 213 number in Los Angeles.

By granting everyone local access, distances shrink. Everyone feels as though they’re calling a local company. This is a subtle benefit of cross-border conference calling. From an account holder’s perspective, conference calling using local access numbers is a little cheaper than using toll-free numbers.  How it works.

That said, the difference is minimal with our affordable pay-as-you-go USA Canada conference call service. Our toll-free access rates are just 2.9 cents per minute for US callers and 3.9 cents per minute for Canadian callers. The advantages of using toll-free numbers for access to your call include simplicity and cost certainty.

For example, Los Angeles is huge with multiple area codes; even within the same area code, local calls may trigger toll charges to the participant. The option to use a toll-free number ensures the participant will not get hit with unexpected toll charges.

Conference Calls on Demand

Like many industries, the cannabis industry is subject to a host of regulations, which vary from country to country, province to province, and state to state. Conference calls provide you with an effective means of communicating with your lawyers, regulators, industry experts, and others involved in ensuring compliance — and you can hold these calls on demand. Our US – Canada conferencing plan does not require reservations, which means you can initiate and hold a conference call at a moment’s notice.

You can also add attendees to a conference call in progress. For example, if your website developer suggests adding a disclaimer to your website and the person who knows the specific wording is not on the call, you could use the dial-out feature to call and add that person to the conference as soon as the issue comes up.

Why Choose a USA Canada Conference Call Plan?

If you do business across the border or frequently interact with contacts on the other side, domestic conference calling plans fall short. They’re not intended for calls outside your country. As a business that collaborates with partners in both Canada and USA, our conferencing calling plan allows you to connect as if you were in the same country — without barriers. We’ve loaded it with all of the features you’d expect and more.

Since it’s a pay-as-you-go service without contracts or monthly fees, you can sign up, use it as needed, and cancel at any time. There are no penalties for inactivity. You are billed only for the time you use in USA Canada conference call. Sign up for an account today and start collaborating across borders.

Learn more about USA Canada Conference Call

International Conferencing Technologies for Healthcare Providers

If your volunteer work takes you across borders, group audio calls can be used before, during, and after your trips.

International Conferencing Technologies

International Conferencing Technologies for Healthcare ProfessionalsHealthcare providers juggle patient care with business administration, practice management, continuing education, professional development, volunteer work, and other endeavors — both locally and internationally.

It’s a challenging profession requiring years of education and training along with extensive collaboration, communication, time management, and money management skills. Various technologies and tools aid in all of the above. Here’s how healthcare providers can leverage international conferencing technologies throughout their careers.

Consult with an International Team of Specialists

Whether you’re preparing to perform a rare procedure, such as a face transplant, or seek advice from leaders in your field, the specialists on your team may be located around the globe. International conference calls allow all of your colleagues and specialists to communicate in group audio calls no matter where in the world they are.

With International Conferencing Technologies, each participant dials into the call using a local or toll-free access number specific to their country.

For example, your colleagues in San Antonio, Texas would dial a local San Antonio number while a cardiologist from Barcelona, Spain would dial a number local to Barcelona. Thus, the barriers to joining a global call are virtually non-existent.

Coordinate Patient Care

If a patient falls ill or becomes injured while traveling overseas, they may require emergency care while abroad or medical transport back home.

Having a global conferencing plan in place makes it much easier to communicate with international healthcare providers, airlines, embassies, and others who may be involved with the case.

Cross-Border Volunteering and Mentoring via International Conferencing Technologies

Many healthcare providers are passionate about giving back to their communities, often through volunteering or mentoring others — or both.

If your volunteer work takes you across borders, group audio calls can be used before, during, and after your trips.

Before — Use international conference calls to plan your trip, coordinate shipments of medical supplies, discuss needs, objectives, and goals, and more.

During — You’ll likely need to stay in touch with your colleagues back home or consult with international specialists while on assignment. Your global conferencing plan works anywhere in the world, so you can continue initiating global calls no matter where you may be working.

After — Your physical presence may last a week or two, but chances are, the project will continue. Though back at home, you can follow-up with your colleagues and patients remotely using global conference calls.

Host Your Own Audio Conferences

Are you the expert? Imagine sharing your expertise, or the expertise of your facility’s team members, with others via audio conferences.

These can range from intimate gatherings with a handful of global participants who want to exchange knowledge or brainstorm solutions with their peers to global “event” calls with thousands of healthcare professionals gathered to listen to keynote speakers.

Whether you have a short-term or ongoing need for global conferencing, we can help. Our plans feature exceptional audio quality, low global rates, and a huge list of conferencing features — all without a contract or monthly fees.

Learn more about International Conferencing

Video Conferencing Improves Knowledge Exchange

Video Conferencing UserHow to Use Video Conferencing to Improve Knowledge Exchange

At the heart of just about every successful business is the exchange of knowledge. Whether between employees, external suppliers and contractors, or the general public, the flow of information is crucial to a business’s success. Knowledge exchange can take any number of forms including telephone calls, in-person meetings, training classes, workshops, trade shows, presentations, written materials, videos, and more. In recent years, web conferencing has become a convenient option. Use the tips below to leverage your desktop video conferencing tools for improved knowledge exchange.

Embrace its Multimedia Capabilities

Desktop video conferencing brings participants together in a multimedia environment, so take advantage of it. With a web conference, users can:

  • Appear on camera if desired — In many cases, just the presenter will appear on camera though it’s also common for multiple participants to turn on their webcams and interact via video. Using video creates a more intimate meeting and allows participants to get a better read on each other’s facial expressions and body language.
  • Communicate in normal speaking voices — much like you would in an audio conference. Whether dialing in on a separate phone line or using a computer’s microphone and speakers, there’s no need to shout or struggle to hear one another. Sound quality has improved dramatically. Using our audio conference lines enable participants from around the world able to interact verbally without line noise, dropouts, echoes, or other audible interference.
  • Share screens — This one of the most popular uses for web conferencing. For example, rather than sending a link to a PowerPoint file and hoping everyone understands your concepts, you could hold a web conference, share your screen, and walk the group through your presentation. Not only can you answer questions or clarify key points as you go, you’ll be able to get valuable feedback from your team as well as the assurance that everyone has received the information. In fact, you can even get an attendance report emailed to you after the fact that documents everyone’s attendance.
  • Share notes and files — Within the video conferencing interface, you’ll find a variety of tools that you can use to create collaborative notes, send links to files, or interact via text-based chat.

Hold Micro Meetings

Desktop video conferencing is easy to use, and your web-based meetings can be accessed virtually anywhere on a smartphone or computer. In fact, you may find it’s smarter to hold a series of “micro” meetings rather than the occasional long meeting. For example, instead of holding a 1.5-hour weekly meeting each Monday, consider holding 15-minute video conference each day. With such a strategy, you can disseminate the most important and relevant information for the day, discover the latest concerns while they’re fresh, and work toward a shared goal every day.

Build a Knowledge Base

Since you can record every video conference you hold, with each meeting, you’re potentially accumulating a great deal of knowledge. Certainly, not every meeting will be worth preserving for the future. However, many will. For instance, if you use a video conference and its screen-sharing feature to teach new customers how to use the various features of your software, you could place the recording on your website as a video tutorial. Internally, you could create a knowledge base of processes, education, tutorials, troubleshooting steps, lessons learned, and more all by recording your web conferences.

Our desktop video conferencing is easy, accessible, and affordable. Try a free 30-day trial and see for yourself just how well it can improve the flow of information in your office.

Desktop Video Conferencing

Hold International Conference Calls from Just About Anywhere

All of our conference calls are carried over modern PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Networks) connections and state-of-the-art conference bridges, which are well known for exceptional call quality — even when connecting participates from remote locations.

How to Hold International Conference Calls from Just About AnywhereOur customers always inspire us with stories of their international conference calls.

Our service has been used in some of the most remote places on earth.

A recent user told us how their company uses international audio conferencing from their oil rigs off the coast of Singapore to communicate with others in Houston, Norway, the United Kingdom, Qatar, Nigeria, Australia, and Singapore. A user in Washington, D.C., says that we’re saving them money, providing excellent quality, and the toll-free access number has increased attendance.

Another user recently told us the service worked well from Bali, Indonesia with no issues “like magic.”

We love these stories. Here’s how you, too, can experience the magic of international conference calls from just about anywhere.

Experience multiple ways to connect

We offer a variety of ways to for your attendees to join your call including toll-free access numbers, local access numbers, moderator dial out, “Connect” app access, Skype access, mobile and VoIP phone access, and 24/7 operator assistance.

  • Host international conference calls from any country — You do not need to be located in the United States to host a global conference call. For example, if you’re in Singapore, you can host an audio conference call with users from around the world. When you dial in, you will dial a local or toll-free access number specific to Singapore while your attendees will dial in using numbers specific to their own countries.
  • Choose the most suitable plan for your needs — We offer several international conferencing plans with each offered without a contract. This makes it easy to change plans should your needs change. If you primarily host international conference calls between USA and Canada, our US-Canada conferencing plan is perfect. Our international conferencing plans offer access numbers for 119 or 150 countries. Whether you have attendees in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, North America, South America, the Caribbean, the Pacific Ocean, or the Middle East, we can connect you all in a global audio conference!
  • Experience crystal-clear connections — Another common comment we hear from our customers is “the call was clear as a bell.” Connection and audio quality issues have plagued many of our competitors, due in large part to cheap VoIP networks. All of our conference calls are carried over modern PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Networks) connections and state-of-the-art conference bridges, which are well known for exceptional call quality — even when connecting participates from remote locations.
  • Pay as you go — With competitive per minute rates and no monthly fees, our international conferencing plans are a pay-as-you-go option that scales to accommodate your conferencing needs. Whether you make one call per month or one hundred — or none for that matter — you pay only for actual usage.

Be ready at a moment’s notice. Activate your global conferencing account now and you’ll be ready to go the next time you need to collaborate internationally.

Global Virtual Number for American Expatriate Living Overseas

If you’re living abroad with a partner, you can share a global virtual number and set up separate extensions for each of you.

Global Virtual Number for ExpatriatesGlobal Virtual Number for Expatriates

Global virtual number may be a very important part of an expatriate’s arsenal when on an overseas job assignment or anyone that is retiring abroad or have made the commitment to living overseas, staying in touch with your associates, family, and friends back home is a common priority amongst American expatriates or expatriates from any country.

Technology offers a variety of great options including email, text messaging, FaceTime, and more. The humble phone call is also a cherished way to stay connected, but dialing conventions and costs are often a concern. Fortunately, expats can make use of global virtual phone numbers, an affordable alternative that breaks down barriers to calling one another. Here’s how you can use virtual numbers as an American expatriate living overseas.

A global virtual phone number is a special type of call forwarding number that acts much like a toll free number. It is local to the host country but forwards the calls to a destination phone located anywhere in the world. As the account holder, for example, you’ll pay for any toll charges incurred, even if your loved ones initiate the phone call using your USA virtual number. Our competitive no-contract plans keep your costs low. In fact, many of our clients find that it’s cheaper to use a virtual phone number than dialing an international number directly.

We recommend signing up for two virtual phone numbers:

  • A virtual phone number for your host country — You’ll use this number to make cheap international phone calls to your American contacts while living in your host country. For example, if you’re living in Italy, you can order a global virtual phone number for Italy that is similar to a local Italian phone number. It can either be toll free for Italy or a regional phone number such as a Rome or Milan local number. In either case, you won’t need to dial international access codes or Italy exit codes to reach the destination phone in America. By changing the “ring to” or destination number in your account, you can call virtually anyone in the United States using a low-cost alternative to international long distance services. Italy Virtual Number Database
  • A virtual phone number for USA— This is the number to give to your American contacts to dial whenever they want to call you. This virtual number can be a traditional toll free number or it can be local to any number of US cities across all fifty states such as Los Angeles, Miami, Des Moines, Kansas City, San Diego, and more. Thus, if your loved one lives in Talladega, Alabama, you could order a virtual number with Talladega’s 256 prefix and forward any calls to your overseas home phone number. Your loved one would dial a local number yet reach you wherever in the world you may be.  US Virtual Numbers

Once you’ve established your two global virtual phone numbers, you can use them immediately to both make and receive international phone calls. You can even set up specific rules so that incoming phone calls are routed to your home number, mobile phone number, or office number based on the time of day. If you prefer that all of your phones ring simultaneously, that’s an option, too. If you’re living abroad with a partner, you can share a global virtual number and set up separate extensions for each of you and use the automated voice response system to prompt callers to press the appropriate extension.

Offered on a monthly basis with no contract, our global virtual phone numbers are ideal for both long-term and short-term use. Whether you’re on an extended tour, a short overseas assignment, or living abroad permanently, we have flexible global call forwarding plans to meet your needs.

View rates and plans for International Virtual Phone Numbers

International Conference Calls Enable Connecting Offshore Workers

We’ll be happy to call your offshore participants on your behalf and join them into your conference calls with our 24/7 operator assistance.

Remote International Conference CallsJoining Your International Conference Calls

Working with remote teams has become commonplace. Whether you need to collaborate with co-workers from branch offices located overseas or have created a virtual team of independent contractors located in a variety of countries, gathering in a group audio conference call is occasionally necessary. Our pay-as-you-go international conferencing service is the perfect way to bring an offshore team together into a group audio call. However, some of your offshore team members may need a little help connecting. Here’s how you can help them to join your international conference calls.

Country-Specific Access

Start by providing each offshore worker with a list of country-specific access numbers unique to their home countries. For example, if you have team members in India, China, Australia, and the USA, everyone will dial into your conference call using a different access number. Refer to the list of all global access numbers you received upon account activation and copy and paste the access numbers each participant should use.

Mobile Phone Access

If anyone has trouble dialing in using the access numbers provided, they may be using a mobile phone in a country where mobile access numbers need to be used. For example, a participant in China using a mobile phone will need to use one of our China 400 international conference call toll-free access numbers compatible with mobile phones. A China 400 number is a toll-free number that works with mobile phones across mainland China.

Mobile access numbers, where available, are included on our list of access numbers. However, your participants may need to be guided to use the right number.

App Access

Another option you could suggest would be to have the worker download and use our free Connect app. This app works on both Wi-Fi-connected smartphones and computers, allowing participants to connect to your international conference calls without dialing an access number at all. This is helpful for all kinds of situations and personal preferences. Whether a local access number is not available or the user simply prefers the ease of use of the app, joining a global conference call is a simple matter of clicking or tapping to join.

Dial-Out International Conference Calls Access

You may need to dial some offshore participants directly. Perhaps they’re in one of the few countries that don’t have access numbers or maybe they don’t have a smartphone or a reliable Wi-Fi connection. Fortunately, as the moderator of the international conference call, you can dial the offshore participant’s phone number directly and then join the participant into your global conference call. It’s easy to do and ensures that even the most remote of your team members can participate in your global calls.

MP3 Session Recording

The chairperson may begin recording the call at any time.  By simply entering [*1] on the phone keypad, starts the recording of the call free of charge.  The MP3 audio file link will be attached to the attendance report email when the conference completes.

Operator Assistance

Finally, you can call upon one of our live operators for assistance at any time, 24 hours per day. We’ll be happy to call your offshore participants on your behalf and join them into your conference calls.

If you have an offshore team, having multiple ways to connect to your international conference calls from other countries will help ensure that no matter what the local telecom circumstances may be, your team can connect.

International Conference Call Details

How International Telephone Calls Evolved – Over the Air and Under the Sea

Antique PhoneOrigins of Telecom — Over the Air and Under the Sea – How International Telephone Calls Evolved

The invention of the telephone prompted other innovations in communications out of necessity, the so-called mother of invention. Early telephone calls were limited to short distances due to the physical wires they were transmitted over and the inherent weakness of the signal. To make a longer distance call, the call would be routed over a network of wires from one telephone office to the next until the destination was reached, all manually switched by telephone operators.

Innovations, such as the loading coil which strengthened electronic signals and later an amplifier, helped to extend the practical distance of phone lines. In early 1915, the first transcontinental telephone call between New York and San Francisco took place. Buy this was still not adequate for international telephone calls.

Though this system worked fine on land, assuming the appropriate infrastructure was in place, it relied on physical wires. While creating physical connections between the United States and its neighbors Canada and Mexico was certainly doable, connecting the United States to Europe required a different approach.

Undersea cables, which had been used successfully for telegraph transmissions since the mid-1800s, were deemed too impractical for voice transmissions of international telephone calls. Not only was the prospect of laying a cable across such a vast expanse of ocean daunting and expensive, telephone signals tended to weaken quickly, requiring extensive amplifiers and repeaters to boost the signal. These components barely existed on land and were definitely not capable of working underwater.

Meanwhile, back on land, shortwave radiotelephone service emerged, eventually evolving into a series of microwave towers which connected long distance phone calls across the United States via microwave signals. But again, with each station located 30 miles apart, this solution wouldn’t work across an ocean.

The dream of an undersea cable didn’t die. By 1956, it had finally materialized, adding 36 “talking channels” between North America and Europe. This first deep-sea cable, known as the Transatlantic Telephone Cable System 1 (TAT-1), consisted of twin cables with one transmitting voice conversations east and the other transmitting them west. This undersea cable made use of fifty-one 150-foot-long flexible, watertight cylinders on each of the twin cables. Each cylinder contained about 60 components including repeaters and electron tubes.

After the first ceremonial call took place over the transatlantic cable, the cable opened for business. International phone calls between USA and UK cost $4 per minute during business hours and $3 per minute on weekends and evenings in 1956. That’s the equivalent of more than $30 per minute in today’s dollars.

TAT-1 was a success for more than 20 years with just one outage on record, a 3-day outage caused by a broken line off the Scottish coast. It was finally taken out of service in 1978 after becoming obsolete due to the arrival of higher-capacity undersea cables.

This story doesn’t end with the success of undersea transoceanic cables, however. Communications satellites arrived in the late 1950s and early 1960s, creating global telecommunications links by 1969.

Today, international telephone calls travel over the air, under the sea, via space, and even through the Internet using VoIP. Costs have fallen dramatically to mere pennies per minute while quality has improved significantly to the point where callers sound as if they’re in the same room and not half a world away.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


“History of the Atlantic Cable & Submarine Telegraphy – TAT-1 Opening Ceremony, September 25, 1956.” n.d. Accessed January 31, 2018a.

“Telecommunications Virtual Museum.” n.d. Accessed January 31, 2018.

“Telephone History Part 3 – Long Distance – Greatest Engineering Achievements of the Twentieth Century.” n.d. Accessed January 31, 2018.

Public Domain Images:,_first_transcontinental_phone_call,_25_Jan_1915.jpg

Learning Library | How to Use Modern Conferencing Technology

Make sure participants are aware that the call is being recorded and may be used for training purposes.

Learning LibraryLearning Library Creation

Modern conferencing technology connects business professionals around the world, allowing for the real-time exchange of information. Whether collaborating through audio, video and web conferencing, each conversation has the potential to become part of something larger such as an informal learning library.

What if you could take these same conversations and make them available for future use? For example, if you just spent an hour in a web conference teaching a coworker how to login and use WordPress so they could contribute to the company blog, you could save yourself an hour each time you had to teach someone new this same information simply by recording and sharing a video of this learning experience.

Informal versus Formal Learning Libraries

Your company likely has formal training programs for many of its policies and initiatives, along with a learning management system for storing all of that knowledge. But what about for less formal daily tasks like formatting a document in Microsoft Word, creating inventory tags and labels, or entering data into an internal database? This information is often passed from one employee to the next as needed. Creating an informal learning library could improve productivity and ensure that individuals can learn the required steps in a consistent and timely manner.

Using an Informal Learning Library

While you could certainly use a learning management system, for informal training, a simple shared network drive should suffice. Create folders and subfolders to organize the material. For example, you could create individual folders for Microsoft Word, Excel, and WordPress training. Each folder could have sub-folders covering the different categories.

Encourage employees to share their tips, tutorials, and recordings in these folders as well as periodically peruse the folders for content that they could benefit from.

Creating Content for Your Informal Learning Library

Now that your folder structure is in place, it’s time to create content for your informal learning library. Modern conferencing tools like audio conferencing, video conferencing or web conferencing could all be used to create audio or video recordings of tips and tutorials. You may need to make an intentional plan to create content at first. The more you save and share your recordings, the more it will become a part of your routine.

Here are a few tips to help along the way:

  • Make sure participants are aware that the call is being recorded and may be used for training purposes.
  • Use editing software. This way, you can extract only the pertinent portions of the conference. For example, if a one-hour web conference contains ten minutes of guided training on how to format a blog post in WordPress, you’ll want to extract just those ten minutes of informal training.
  • Give your recording a descriptive name. For example, instead of 06182018_webconference.mp4, you might name the recording How_to_format_a_blog_post_in_WordPress.mp4.
  • Make sure nothing confidential is inadvertently revealed. Part of editing involves ensuring confidentiality is respected. View and listen to your recordings before posting them to your informal learning library to make sure that all confidential information and any inappropriate comments have been edited out.
  • Periodically hold conferences specifically to create content to share to your informal learning library. This can help increase the adoption of new processes and technologies. For example, if you’ve recently ordered a web conferencing plan, you could hold a small web conference demonstrating how to use it and then post that recording to your library where everyone in the company can learn how to use it at their leisure.
  • Spread the word. Let your team know this resource exists — that they’re welcome to both contribute and consume informal learning content.

Conference Call Services

Fax Forwarding and Global Call Forwarding from Japan to USA Set Up

Our global fax forwarding numbers are easy to use, affordable, and offered on a month-to-month basis for more than 140+ countries around the world.

Fax MachineInternational Fax Forwarding

The humble fax machine has yet to become extinct despite the proliferation of email, file sharing, and other electronic communications methods.

In some countries, such as Japan, faxing remains commonplace and may even be preferred over email by some individuals and business establishments. Imagine landing a large customer in Japan who expects to be able to place orders via fax.

You’d probably want to accommodate that request, but how — especially if you ditched your fax machine long ago?  Simply use fax forwarding.

Fax Forwarding Overseas

Fortunately, international fax forwarding exists — and it’s a great solution for this particular problem. With fax forwarding, fax users can use their fax machines and your international fax forwarding number to send you a fax. The fax arrives in your email inbox, allowing you to work with an electronic version of the document without having to buy a fax machine and deal with paper.

Let’s take a look using a US business with a Japanese customer as an example.

Since the customer is in Japan and may not be too keen on incurring international toll charges with every faxed order, you’d be smart to order a local or toll-free Japanese fax number. That way, your customer can fax as many orders as needed without incurring toll charges.

Fax forwarding number types available for Japan are:

Toll-free and toll-free mobile accessible — In this example, you may not need the mobile accessible type since your customer will be using a fax machine to send you faxes.

Universal toll-free — Universal toll-free numbers are a great option if you have a large volume of potential fax users located in many different countries and want to use just one toll-free number for all of them.

Geographic — These region-specific numbers are about as local as you can get. Simply choose the city your customer is located in to get a local virtual fax number. If your customer is in Kawasaki, your number will have the 44 prefix just like other local numbers in Kawasaki.

After ordering your Japan-USA virtual fax forwarding number, you’ll be prompted to configure your account so that all incoming faxes will be routed to the appropriate email address. Once set up, share your new virtual fax number with your customer and get ready to start taking orders via fax.

Our global fax forwarding numbers are easy to use, affordable, and offered on a month-to-month basis for more than 140+ countries around the world. Whether you have a long-term or short-term need, you can facilitate faxing without having to buy a fax machine or get locked into a long-term contract.

International Fax and Call Forwarding

International Conference Call Invite for Global Audio Calls

Global Conference Call InviteHow to Invite People from Outside Your Country to a Group Audio Conference

International Conference Call Invite

Conference calls have become fairly routine business processes. They’re commonly used among small teams, management, sales professionals, healthcare providers, legal teams, design teams, consultants and their clients, and many others on a regular basis. Hosting or joining a typical conference call is fairly straightforward; However, if you have participants from outside of your country, you may run into some issues. Learn what to expect and how to work around these potential obstacles.

Conference Call Access

With a typical conference call, each participant dials a local or toll-free number and enters a PIN to join the conference. This works great for attendees in your own country but for those outside of your country, it’s a problem. Your country’s 800 number won’t connect callers from outside of its designated region! This means that attendees from other countries will likely need to dial the conference’s direct phone number — and incur potentially expensive toll charges.

Fortunately, our international conferencing plans exist, offering country-specific access numbers with low per minute rates. For example, if your main office is in New York, but you have participants from Italy joining a conference call, rather than expecting them to incur international long distance charges, you could host an international conference call and give them a toll-free access number for Italy.  Simply send them an international conference call invite.

Conference Call Timing for International Conference Call Invite

International conference calls have another potential issue to work around: timing the call. Time zone differences make scheduling business calls challenging, though certainly not impossible. For example, if the attendee is in Milan, Italy, and you’re in New York, could schedule the conference call at 8:00 am your time, which would be 2:00 pm in Milan.

Before sending the international conference call invite

The first thing you’ll need is an international conferencing plan. Since our plan has no startup costs, no monthly fees, no prepayment requirements, and no contracts, you can use it without getting into a long-term commitment or be incurring ongoing costs. Infrequent use is fine, and since our rates are so competitive, those with high usage requirements can benefit too.

Once signed up, inviting attendees is a simple matter of sharing the international conference call invite including call’s details with your attendees. Upon activation, you will immediately receive passcodes and international access numbers. You don’t even need to preschedule the call because our service is reservationless.

When inviting participants, let them know the following:

  • Call time and date, making it clear that callers should adjust the time for their time zones. If you have attendees from around the world, you may want to use GMT time and provide a link to a world time zone converter.
  • What number to dial to join the conference. Simply copy and paste the appropriate access numbers for the countries involved or send the entire list of access numbers if your audience spans the entire globe.
  • The conference call’s PIN/passcode. After dialing the access number, all callers will need to enter the conference PIN/passcode.

At the scheduled time, all attendees dial their country’s specific access number, enter the PIN, and are connected into a group audio call.

View global conference call details here

How to Use a Virtual Number for Marketing Purposes

Virtual phone numbers are also commonly called remote call forwarding numbers.

Virtual Number MarketingA Virtual number can be used for many purposes, one of them is marketing. While you may already have a business phone number to advertise, you may want to reconsider and order virtual numbers as a test. Here’s what you need to know.

What is a Virtual Number?

Virtual phone numbers are also commonly called remote call forwarding numbers. They are similar to toll-free numbers, and in fact, might even be toll-free depending on the number you order. For example, with a virtual number, there’s no physical phone attached to the number. Rather, the number is assigned a “ring to” number where all of the incoming calls will be routed.

How can you get a virtual number?

First, decide if you want to use a virtual number.  In other words, do you have a need for one?  An example of a typical virtual phone number use would be to provide an easy way for your customer to call your office for sales or customer service.  You can do that with a virtual call forwarding number.

For instance, if you had a business that sold mail order cupcakes and your office was based in Philadelphia but you had many customers on the west coast, you may want to advertise local phone numbers in Los Angeles or San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego or Beverly Hills.

The same would be true if you had a global business based in the UK.  If your marketing plan included international sales to the US or Thailand or Costa Rica, you can get a local virtual phone number in all of those places and have the calls ring to your UK office.  Your UK business would appear local and convenient to whatever country or city you are targeting.

Thus, if you have a call center in Chicago but want callers from Tampa Bay, Florida to dial a local phone number for Tampa Bay, you could order a virtual Tampa Bay phone number but designate its ring-to number as your Chicago call center.  Your callers in Tampa Bay will feel as though they’re making a local call and will be unaware that they’re actually speaking to someone in Chicago.

Why Use a Virtual Phone Number for Marketing?

If you’re running a national or international marketing campaign, using virtual numbers gives your campaign a local flavor. Callers may prefer supporting a local business. In the case of international ads, your existing phone number would either be a long distance call for your callers or potentially difficult to dial. Plus, you can’t necessarily use your toll-free phone number because it won’t work outside of North America. Global call forwarding numbers solve these problems, instantly giving you a local presence while also eliminating barriers to calling your company.

Another advantage of using virtual phone numbers in your marketing campaigns is the ability to track performance based on the call volume of your numbers. For example, if you run a national ad using your main 800 number, you won’t be able to glean meaningful data from your call logs. Incoming calls could be from anywhere including from existing customers. On the other hand, if you have virtual numbers dedicated to each campaign, your call logs will tell you exactly how many calls each campaign generated. Take it even further by using local numbers for each geographic area you want to track.

  1. Determine the geographic areas you want to track during your marketing campaign.
  2. Order virtual phone numbers for each of those areas.
  3. Place your virtual phone numbers in the appropriate advertisement, making sure that the number only appears in one ad.
  4. Review your call logs during and after the campaign to gauge which ads generated the most interest.

You can also use two different virtual numbers to A/B test your ads. For example, if you want to test two different headlines in an ad, use two different virtual phone numbers to see which headline resulted in the most phone calls.

Since our virtual phone numbers are month-to-month and contract-free, affordable, loaded with features, and have no cancellation fees, they’re perfect for marketing campaigns. Once the campaign is over, you can cancel the virtual number without penalties. Local, toll-free, and international virtual numbers are available.

View worldwide database of call forwarding virtual numbers here