Hosting USA conference calls is generally easy — if everyone is located within the United States. It gets tricky, however, when you need to invite people from other countries. The two biggest challenges with international USA conference calls are access and timing. Fortunately, you can overcome these challenges with an international conferencing plan that supports USA and dozens of countries around the world.
How International Participants Can Access Your USA Conference Calls
If your USA conference call were limited to other callers in the United States, everyone would probably dial an 800 number to access the conference. Even if they dialed a regional access number, such as one local to New York or Los Angeles, domestic long distance rates are low enough that such a number wouldn’t be too large of a burden on your participants.
This changes the moment your USA conference call becomes a global conference call. For starters, a USA toll free access number won’t work for your international attendees — and depending on which countries they are in, international long distance charges could be significant. Thus, giving them a direct line to the USA conference call isn’t a solution.
The solution is to use an international conference calling service. Our pay-as-you-go international / USA conferencing plans allow you to enable access to your global call using:
- Country-specific toll free access numbers — For example, callers from Pakistan will dial a toll free number for Pakistan while those in Germany dial a toll free access number unique to Germany.
- Local access numbers — Your callers in Berlin, Germany would dial a local number in Berlin while those in Paris, France would dial a Paris number.
- Dial-out — This is where the moderator or the live operator would initiate access by dialing participants directly and patching them into the conference room.
Each of these options reduces the burden on your international participants. In most cases, they will not incur any toll charges in order to join your USA conference call.
Some may incur regional toll charges, such as if a caller in Nice, France dials a local Paris access number. Finally, if your international participants use a mobile phone to connect to your USA conference call, their time on the call may be subject to the specifics of their individual mobile phone service plans.
Overcoming Timing Issues
You’ll never be able to control time zone differences, but you can try to schedule your call so that the bulk of your participants can dial in during business hours. This isn’t always possible, either, and some participants will likely be inconvenienced. Use a world time zone map to help you schedule the call. For those who won’t be able to attend the call in real time, consider recording the call and sharing the MP3 recording with them after the fact.
Hosting USA conference calls with international participants isn’t as easy as hosting a domestic conference, but it’s not all that difficult with the right international conference calling plan. Check out our pay-as-you-go USA conference calling plans and connect with a broader audience today.