International Conference Calls and the Hospitality Industry

Hold International Conference Calls with VIPs depending on the VIP’s requirements, your conference calls may include participant’s from around the world.

International Conference Calls and the Hospitality IndustryInternational Conference Calls and the Hospitality Industry

The hospitality industry uses international conference calling for a variety of purposes including internal brainstorming sessions, formal training, contract negotiations, procurement, guest relations, and even as a service offered to guests. The possibilities are nearly limitless! Below are a few ways that you can use global conference calls to communicate internally and externally to collaborate with regional managers, employees, vendors and suppliers, event planners, and guests from around the world.

Six ways to Host Virtual Meetings with participants around the world

International conference calling allows you to hold virtual meetings with participants from around the world in a private, voice-only “conference room.” In order to access the virtual meeting, each of the global conference call’s participants uses a standard or mobile phone to call in. There’s no need for computers or software. In addition, each caller receives an access phone number that is local to their country which avoids unnecessary dialing confusion or concerns about the call’s potential cost.

You can use global conference calls for meetings with:

  • Your executive team – Is it hard (or expensive) to get your executive team together for routine meetings? Teleconferences are a low-cost way to keep everyone informed of both routine and major events.
  • Regional managers – With facilities around the globe, international conference calling is a must to ensure that each regional team feels connected to the larger organization. Use global conference calls to support, encourage, train, and troubleshoot facilities around the globe.
  • Employees – While it may not be necessary to hold companywide conference calls on a regular basis, occasional group conference calls can be used for a variety of purposes such as for making major announcements or holding training sessions. You can also record your group calls, allowing employees to listen in at a later time and date if desired.
  • Lawyers, publicists, and other professionals – Need to strategize with external partners such as lawyers, publicists, or consultants? A global conference call allows you and your executive team to connect with professionals from around the world in a private, convenient teleconference. Get your questions answered and brainstorm your next move without having to arrange flights or hotel accommodations.
  • Suppliers and vendors – You can also use international conference calling to hold procurement teleconferences, negotiate better deals with vendors, coordinate projects, and much more.
  • Event planners – Global teleconferences are also useful when working with event planners who intend to hold conferences, exhibitions, banquets, trade shows, sporting events, and other events at your venue. Because global conference calls are so convenient, your meetings can include crucial personnel involved in planning an event so that the event planners can get all of their questions answered in a single session.

Hold International Conference Calls with VIPs

Hotel Businessman on global conference callWhether dealing with an agency or celebrities, politicians, and high rollers directly, global conference calls allow you to quickly and easily connect all relevant parties to a group call. Depending on the VIP’s needs, your conference calls may include participant’s from around the world including:

  • Hotel managers
  • Food service managers
  • Transportation coordinators
  • Security managers

You can even add participants to the call as needed. For example, if the agent has questions about your security detail at a specific property, you could use the moderator dial out tool to call the head of security at that facility and bring him or her into the conference call.

Offer International Conferencing as a Service

Not only can you use international conference calling for all of the above, you may also want to offer international conference calling to your guests or as part of your meeting room services. For example, if your facility has a standard business center with computers, Wi-Fi, fax machines, and standard phones, adding international conference calling could set your facility apart from its competitors. Using your international conferencing plan’s account management dashboard, you will immediately know the total cost of each global conference call your guests make. Thus, you can bill them accordingly. Low per minute international rates allow for a healthy markup. Meanwhile, your business guests will appreciate being able to stay in touch with their teams around the world.

Not only can you offer international conferencing via your business services center, your concierge could easily coordinate global conference calls for guests as needed. Guests can even participate in their conferences from the privacy of their rooms.

Whether you operate a chain of hotels or a small bed and breakfast inn, signing up for an international conference calling plan allows you to stay connected to partners, suppliers, agencies, and VIP guests and their representatives from around the world. You can even get a pay-as-you-go plan with no contracts, allowing you to offer global conference calls as a service without any upfront costs. If you do business with others outside of your country, as most hospitality businesses do, access to international conference calling makes perfect sense.

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Doing Business in Turkey : Add Global Conference Calls to Your List

Istanbul Turkey Bosphorus Mosque Golden HornHome to more than 79 million people (as of July 2015), Turkey is a quickly growing economy driven by industry and service sectors. According to CIA World Factbook, Turkey weathered a severe financial crisis in 2001 and has since undergone major financial reforms. However, it still has its economic weaknesses such as political uncertainty and a high account deficit.

If you’re thinking of doing business in Turkey, you’ll have a long list of tasks including market research, discussions with potential partners, import/export paperwork, and more. One way to facilitate these tasks is through global conference calls. By using global conference calls in Turkey, you may be able to reduce the number of in-country trips, saving you significant amounts of money.

Below are a few ways that Turkey conference calls can be essential as you explore your business expansion options:

  • Using global conference calls for market research — While nothing beats visiting another country in person, market research trips are expensive — and often a whirlwind. Consider following up by holding global conference calls. For example, if you held a focus group with consumers in Turkey to get their opinions about your products and services, consider holding follow-up focus groups via a group audio call. Here you can ask questions you may have missed during the first session as well as follow up after the group has had a few additional weeks to interact with your product.
  • Using an international conference call to gather licensing requirements — Each country has its own business licensing requirements and bureaucratic processes to go through. Gather your business partners and advisors into a group audio call and then conference in local authorities from Turkey to ensure that everyone is clear on what’s required to enter the Turkey market. You can easily do this by first hosting a conference call with your internal partners and then use the moderator dial-out feature to call the appropriate licensing authorities in Turkey.
  • Using Turkey conference calls to negotiate with local partners and suppliers — You’ll likely need local business partners, sales associates, and suppliers located within Turkey. Though you may establish initial contact when visiting the country, it’s not realistic to fly to Turkey for every possible discussion or question. Use Turkey conference calls to hold group discussions between your new partners and your international team.

Our Turkey conference calling plans are an affordable way to connect with participants in Turkey — and around the globe. Your participants in Turkey will dial a toll free Turkish access number to join the call, so there’s no cost to them.

Meanwhile, your other international participants can join the call using either toll free or local access numbers unique to their countries. This is a contract-free, pay-as-you-go global conferencing service that makes group audio calls a snap.

Sign up today and start exploring your options for doing business in Turkey by using international conference calls.

There are a lot of creative ways to use group audio calls when entering new markets.

We’d love to hear how you’ve done so on Facebook.

International Conference Calling for Barbados Business Professionals

Outsourcing has become commonplace, with independent contractors working on projects from afar.

Clearwater Villa Ocean View BarbadosIf you operate a business in Barbados, you may have partners, vendors, customers, and colleagues in other parts of the world.

Bringing them together in a Barbados conference call should be as easy as holding any other conference call in your office. However, you’ll likely discover that it’s not.

Why You Need an International Conference Calling Solution

For example, your suppliers in Asia may balk at having to dial an international phone number. Your European customers might not be concerned about the potential cost of the call, but they could have trouble figuring out how to dial an international conference call based in Barbados.

Fortunately, international conference calling services exist specifically for overcoming these difficulties. When you chair a Barbados conference call using our international conferencing service, your callers can dial local or toll free access numbers for their own countries. These “local” calls are then routed over a PSTN network and joined to your conference.

In order to host an international conference call from Barbados, you simply schedule the call, invite participants, provide participants with their local access numbers and PIN, and collaborate in a group call with your international associates.

When to Host International Conference Calls in Barbados
When might you need to hold an international conference call? Below are a few examples of when group calls are advantageous:

Negotiating contracts

This is especially useful if your suppliers have representatives in different countries. Instead of letting them delay the conversation until everyone is back from their trips, accommodate them all by hosting an international conference call.

Resolving issues in the supply chain

What happens when a factory manager in China blames a shipping and logistics coordinator in Miami who blames the port authority in Barbados? The blame goes around but nothing gets resolved. Hold an international conference call with everyone involved and find out what happened so that you can avoid this problem in the future.

Group collaboration / virtual team meetings

Outsourcing has become commonplace, with independent contractors working on projects from afar. Though they may be located around the world, they still need to collaborate. Holding international conference calls is one of the best, and most affordable, ways to accomplish this.

Training calls

Instead of flying a trainer to Barbados to train your team, consider conducting the training using an international conference call. Not only will you save on travel costs, you can record the training session for future employees.

High-level strategy sessions with senior management

Are your senior managers or board members out of the country? Hold regular international conference calls regardless of where they are and keep your Barbados business on the right track.

Holding group interviews with international job candidates

If you are recruiting international job applicants, conduct initial interviews in international Barbados conference calls. This will save money, ensure all managers have a chance to ask their questions, and provide you with a recording of the interviews (if you record the calls) that you can review later.

These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg.

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Learn more about hosting an international Barbados conference call here

Two plans to choose from.

Depending on where in the world your participants are located, you may find the Legacy or Expanded plan better for your needs.

13 Ways to Improve Communications During an International Conference Call

If you’re the moderator of the international conference call, you can help your participants by referring to other speakers by name.

13 Ways to Improve Communications During an International Conference CallHolding an international conference call with a diverse group of people from around the globe can be a communications challenge. After all, you’ve got multiple time zones and multiple people who may or may not speak the same language.

Once you’ve overcome the logistics of scheduling the international conference call, one of the biggest challenges involves communicating your message in a clear, concise, and engaging manner. Use the tips below to improve your communications during a global teleconference.

1. Always go for exceptional sound quality. When it comes to using a international conference calling service, you have a myriad of options including free conference calling, VoIP conference calling, and traditional teleconferencing services. While price is certainly a consideration, sound quality is of utmost important. All participants, regardless of their location, should be able to hear one another without having to suffer through sound delays, static, echoes, and dropouts. The better the sound quality, the better able your participants will be to hear and understand your message.

2. Always identify yourself before speaking, and encourage all participants to do the same. By stating your name, company, and title before you speak, you give participants an important frame of reference. If you’re the moderator of the international conference call, you can help your participants by referring to other speakers by name.

3. Conduct your international conference call from a quiet location. Remember, you can call from virtually anywhere. So, if your office is particularly loud due to a construction project taking place next door, consider calling in from a quieter setting such as your home office or a soundproof conference room.

4. Use your international conference calling plan’s moderation features. Most international conference calling plans have features for muting and unmuting individual phone lines as well as for turning off chimes used to announce new participants.

5. Never put your phone on hold during a conference call. This applies to moderators and participants alike. Doing so often triggers your company’s music on hold system which then takes over the call. Not only is the music distracting, it will prevent others from conversing. If you must step away, use the mute feature to mute your phone line.

6. Turn off potentially noisy interruptions. This includes your cell phone’s ringer, your computer’s email notification chime, pager, and interoffice intercom. In general, anything that beeps, rings, chirps, or makes unexpected noises should be turned off during the international conference call.

7. Start the international conference call with a brief summary of what the call will be about. This can be as simple as saying something along the lines of, “We’ll spend the first 20 minutes discussing A, B, and C and then we’ll open up the call for 15 minutes of questions and answers.” This lets everyone know what’s coming up and what to expect.

8. Speak slowly and clearly, using plain language. With international participants, the language used to communicate during the call may not be their first language. This is not the time to rush through your comments or use slang words that are likely to cause confusion.

9. Paraphrase the comments of others. For example, during a question and answer session, after someone asks a question, paraphrase the question before giving the answer. This helps to ensure that everyone hears and understand the question, even if the person who asked it had a heavy accent or soft voice. Paraphrasing also helps to clarify that you’ve interrupted the question correctly before moving on to the answer.

10. Proactively manage the conversation. It’s not unusual for discussions to wander off track. If a discussion becomes irrelevant to the purpose of the international conference call, table the matter for another time and direct the conversation back to the scheduled topic. Not only does your active moderation keep the conversation focused, it can prevent an international conference call from going over its allotted time limit.

11. Engage all participants. Some participants will naturally be more vocal than others. Some will prefer to sit back and listen. However, their voices should be heard, too. Use your moderator’s dashboard to keep an eye on who’s on the call, who’s speaking, and who has not had a chance to contribute. From there, actively engage those who have been quiet. For example, you could say, “Barbara Jones, we haven’t heard from you yet. What do you think?” This isn’t to put her on the spot, but rather to give everyone the opportunity to contribute to the conversation. This can also prevent naturally talkative participants from becoming overly involved in the call.

12. Do a quick recap. At the end of the call, do a quick recap, summarizing what was discussed along with the next steps.

13. Consider sending an MP3 recording of the international conference call to all participants after the fact so that they can review the call as needed. You could also have the recording transcribed and then send a PDF transcript to participants.

Focusing on sound quality, speaker identification, clear speaking, active listening and paraphrasing, conversation management, and engagement can lead to more communicative international conference calls.

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Improve the Efficiency of Your Next International Conference Call

In addition, many decisions will be made. Make sure someone is responsible for taking notes so that these items are not neglected on your global conference call.

Improve the Efficiency of Your Next International Conference CallHosting an international conference call requires coordinating the schedules of multiple participants from around the world.

Just as you likely have a busy schedule, the same is true of your global teleconference participants. By running the most efficient conference call possible, you can accomplish the call’s mission while respecting everyone’s time.

This, in turn, lays the groundwork for the participation of future international conference calls.

Use the tips below to improve the efficiency of your next international conference call.

1. Define the call’s mission. Have you ever attended a teleconference that rambled on with no clear agenda? The conference call probably did not have a clearly defined mission. Thus, the moderator “winged it” and efficiency suffered as a result. Before you schedule your next international conference call, make sure you know exactly what you want to accomplish. Write down the call’s mission in one or two sentences.

2. Define who needs to attend the international conference call. Have you ever attended a teleconference that had little relevance to your job role?

If so, your presence may not have been essential and you likely felt as though the conference call was a waste of your time.

Think about your call’s mission before you start inviting participants. Who is critical to the mission? Who needs to attend the call? Is it necessary for all participants to attend the entire call? Is it possible to excuse some of the participants after the main portion of the call is over? Would it be better to allow some participants to listen to a recording of the call after the fact at their leisure?

3. Plan your call’s talking points. Whether you work off of a formal agenda or a rough outline, you should know exactly what topics should be discussed as well as for how long.

As you finalize your call’s agenda, make sure to share it with key participants – especially those who have been assigned to speak about a given topic. Let speakers know how much time you’ve allotted for their presentation along with any other pertinent details so that they can arrive well prepared.

4. Schedule the call and share the call’s details in local time. With an international conference call, participants will appreciate receiving the call’s details in their own local times.

By telling them exactly what time to call in local time, you can avoid missed calls and unnecessary confusion.

5. Provide international participants with a local access number. Use an international conference calling service that offers toll free or local access numbers that are local to the countries that your participants are in.

This ensures that each caller can dial a local phone number in order to participate in the teleconference. It can also eliminate confusion and concerns about international dialing.

6. Distribute any pre-call handouts you may have. If you would like participants to be able to refer to sales report, product literature, or other materials during the teleconference, distribute those items in advance so that participants can have them available during the call. You could also distribute the call’s agenda with links to these items.

7. Actively moderate the call. An international conference call can quickly get off track if it is not actively moderated. Use your agenda and a stopwatch to ensure that no single topic exceeds its time limit.

If a topic runs shorter than expected, keep track of how much “bonus” time is available. At the end of the teleconference, you could then use that bonus time to address topics that need more feedback.

8. Assign someone take notes. During the international conference call, many questions will come up that need to be researched before they can be answered.

In addition, many decisions will be made. Make sure someone is responsible for taking notes so that these items are not neglected.

9. Recap the discussion and what needs to happen next. At the end of the call, refer to the call’s notes and do a quick recap of the key points of the discussion.

Let everyone know what the next steps are and reiterate any specific action steps that were defined during the call. Thank everyone for their participation.

10. Send each participant a recording or transcript of the teleconference as well as a copy of the call’s notes and action steps. You may want to create a follow-up document based on the notes that details the decisions made and any specific action steps each participant is expected to take.

11. Finally, create a lessons learned document. Did you accomplish the call’s mission? What would you do differently? What worked? What didn’t work?

Use this time to critically evaluate the success of your international conference call so that you can avoid making the same mistakes and make your next call even better.

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Mind Your International Conference Call Manners

If you are the moderator of the call, you will have more features available to you; make sure to learn them before the international conference call and not during it.

Mind Your International Conference Call Manners When it comes to participating in an international conference call, it’s important to follow basic rules of phone and professional protocol.

After all, you want to come across as polite and professional, right? An international conference call brings with it a few additional challenges including some that are unique to the medium such as muting and unmuting the line as needed.

Use the tips below to mind your international conference call manners.

1. Learn how to use the international conference calling system in advance. In general, international conference calling involves using regular and mobile phones, a telephone number, and an access code or PIN.

You don’t need any fancy software or equipment. However, you should be familiar with how to mute and unmute your phone line so that you can block out any distracting noises from your environment while someone else is speaking. If you are the moderator of the call, you will have more features available to you; make sure to learn them before the international conference call and not during it.

2. Remember that you represent your entire organization. Whether you are hosting an international conference call or participating in one, you may be the only person representing your organization.

Your demeanor reflects the entire organization. Even if your role in the call is minor, how you present yourself is of utmost importance.

3. Use professional, clear language. One of the biggest problems associated with international conference calls involves language. After all, participants come from around the globe.

Not only should you use professional language and avoid profanity and slang, you should also try to be as clear as possible. Your international colleagues may not be familiar with expressions and colloquialisms common to your culture.

4. Avoid humor and controversial topics. Humor is hard enough to pull off with participants from within your own country, and even more so with an international crowd.

It is too easy for a seemingly harmless joke to turn offensive or insulting. Politics and religion are also extremely touchy subjects and should be avoided.

5. Be on time – if not early. Being on time shows other participants that you are prompt, reliable, and respectful of their time. Ideally, you should be dialed in, connected, and ready to begin several minutes before the official start time.

Go ahead and dial in five minutes before the conference begins and enjoy some light reading while you wait. This ensures that you’re on time and ready. In addition, you may have the opportunity to chat with other participants before the international conference call officially begins.

This is a great way to build rapport with other participants with whom you may not have the opportunity to speak with one-on-one.

Another reason to be on time is that you don’t want to miss anything. If you’re a participant, the international conference call will start with or without you and you’ll miss out.

On the other hand, of you’re the call’s moderator and you’re not on time, your participants are likely to be upset and unlikely to hang around for more than a minute or two for you to arrive. They may not give you another chance to coordinate a global teleconference. Even worse, they may question your ability to meet deadlines or serve their needs.

6. Be prepared. If you’re the moderator of the international conference call, then you should have an agenda prepared and you should be prepared to keep the call on track. As a participant, you should know what your role is in the call and prepare accordingly. For example, if you’ve been asked to share feedback about a certain process or product, you should gather information well in advance of the call and outline the key points that you’d like to discuss.

7. Use mute and unmute. Teleconferences have multiple participants, each calling in from their own potentially noisy environments.

When you’re not speaking, make sure to mute your line. That way, any background noise will not interfere with the international conference call. When you need to contribute to the conversation, simply unmute your line and speak freely.

8. Pay attention to the clock. If you are the teleconference moderator, it’s up to you to manage the clock and moderate the discussion as needed to ensure that the teleconference stays within its scheduled time allotment.

If you are a participant who has been allocated a certain amount of time to speak, you’ll also want to be mindful of the clock. For example, if you’ve been allotted 5 minutes and you’ve already spoken for 10 minutes, you may need to wrap up your presentation or ask the moderator if it’s okay to speak a little longer.

Moderating or participating in an international conference call requires advanced preparation

Hosting or attending an international conference call needs some advanced thought, professionalism, and attention to detail. Be prepared, polite, and mindful of others and your next international conference call is sure to be a success.

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