Whether you’re overseas and urgently need to speak with your team back at home or have associates scattered around the world, hosting an international conference call is a fast, affordable way to have a conversation with a group of two or more people.
However, making an international conference call isn’t as simple as making a traditional phone call. Rest assured, it’s still easy, especially if you have a reliable, no-contract-required international conference call plan.
Why Choose a No-Contract international conference call?
Conference calling plans typically come in two flavors: contract-based and no contract plans. With a contract-based plan, you must sign up for a specific time period and pay a monthly fee for a predetermined number of conference calling minutes. With a no contract plan, you are not locked into a plan or required to maintain the plan in any way; you simply pay as you go. If you only need to make one international conference call a year, a no contract plan allows for this without penalizing you. If you need to make a 100 international conference calls a month, you can do that too.
How to Initiate an International Conference Call
Once you have a calling plan, you can either preschedule your international conference call or hold an impromptu one. In either case, your attendees will need to be invited to the call. Start by scheduling the call in your international conference calling plan’s account management dashboard. Once scheduled, you can then email the call’s details to the people you’d like to attend.
These details will include:
- The call’s date and time
- The phone number to call in the guests country
- The conference’s PIN number
Because of the global nature of the international teleconference, many of your attendees will be located in different countries. This brings a few challenges to overcome including: time zone issues and toll free access problems. Thus, you’ll need to address each.
For example, a 2:00pm call originating in Los Angeles will take place at 11:00pm in Rome. To further complicate matters, that same call will occur on a different date if you have participants located on the other side of the International Date Line. For example, it would be scheduled for 5:00am in Singapore. Not only is it important to be aware of these differences, you should provide attendees with the correct time and date for their local time.
The next issue to overcome is the actual phone number itself. If you plan on offering toll free access to the international conference call, you can’t simply give everyone the same American 800 number because that number won’t work internationally. Instead, each country has its own toll free numbers. Therefore, your callers in Rome will dial a different toll free number than your callers in Singapore.
The numbers used to access your teleconference ring into the service providers conference calling bridge. In order to connect your attendees into the correct “conference room,” a PIN or access code is used. Each attendee must tell the conference calling bridge which conference room they want to join; they do so by entering the PIN or access code assigned to your conference when you originally scheduled it.
If this sounds complicated, don’t worry. Your international conference calling plan handles most of this for you. You’ll be given a list of toll free numbers and PINs to share with participants.
Alternately, you could use the automated group dial-out feature to pre-program the phone numbers of your call’s attendees. When it’s time for your conference call to begin, the automated group dial-out tool will automatically call all of your participants and prompt them to join the teleconference.
Recording Your International Conference Call
Many conference call hosts choose to record their calls. Recording calls ensures that attendees have the opportunity to review the call later if desired, and it also allows absentee participants to listen in after the fact. In some cases, call recording is used for documentation purposes whereas in others, it’s used as a training or educational tool.
For example, if your international conference call is intended to provide your team with formal training, it makes sense to record the call and the reuse it later when new team members need to participate in the same training. This can free the facilitator of the training from having to conduct a second (or third, fourth, fifth, etc.,) training session covering the same information. It can also ensure consistency as all team members will hear the same message.
Hosting an international conference call is a great way to stay connected with a globally diverse group of people. Not only is it an affordable option that’s available on a no contract, pay-as-you-go basis, it’s easy to use. Extra features such as auto dial-out and MP3 recording make using an international conference call system even easier and more beneficial.