From dispersed virtual teams to international business deals, global conference calls bring people from around the world together in an audio conference.
The technology powering modern international conference bridges is incredible with sound quality that defies geography. However, you may encounter a few obstacles, most of which have nothing to do with technology. Below are some of the more common obstacles and tips for global conferencing obstacles and overcoming them.
• Access — If you’re using one of our global conferencing plans, international access is rarely a problem since we have a long list of country-specific access numbers. For participants located in a country without a local or toll-free number, you can either have one of our live operators make the connection for you or use our handy moderator dial-out function to dial and join those individuals directly. This process can also be automated if desired.
• Timing — Global conference calls typically involve participants scattered across time zones, making the timing of your teleconferences challenging. TimeAndDate.com has a meeting time planner tool that makes it easy to find compatible times between the cities of your choice. It’s even color-coded to show you the most optimal and least desirable times at a glance. For example, we plugged in Los Angeles, Beijing, and Abu Dhabi and quickly found that 3:00 UTC time translates into 8:00 pm in LA, 11:00 am in Beijing, and 7:00 am in Abu Dhabi. In this example, no one needs to set their alarm clock for a middle-of-the-night conference call despite the vast differences in location.
• Short Attention Spans — Attention spans are said to be shrinking in the digital age. In addition, a series of shorter sessions are generally more advantageous for learning and retention compared to one much longer session. While it’s tempting to try to cover as much as possible once you’ve gathered your global team into a conference call, it may be more effective to hold shorter, more focused conference calls more frequently.
• Lack of Visual Cues — International audio conferences have an advantage over email and texting in that everyone can hear one another’s voices and tone as well as form more personal connections. While picking up on a speaker’s tone of voice is helpful, visual cues remain lacking. For those who may be listening to a second language or those who are hard of hearing, visual cues can help them better understand the context. Slowing down your speech and enunciated your words can help in these situations. Consider holding the occasional web conference alongside your international conference call. Not only can your attendees see you and others, but you can also share prepared presentations, videos, files, notes, and more.
• Lack of Purpose and Direction — Have you ever left a conference call feeling like it was a waste of time or wondering what to do next? It’s common but largely avoidable. Make sure your next global conference call has a clearly defined purpose, stays on track, includes only people to whom the topics are relevant, and ends with clear action steps. Follow up with an email summarizing the call and highlight the next steps. Consider sharing an MP3 recording of the call if you think that would be helpful.
We want your next global conference call to be successful. It all starts by choosing a high quality global conferencing plan that helps overcome global conferencing obstacles. Get started now.