When it comes to conference calling, no one likes to overpay. It's important to choose a conference calling
plan that makes sense for your company's intended use. Just as paying for 500 minutes of international calls per
month doesn't make sense for the person who calls internationally only once annually, the same is true of the conference
calling plan you choose for your business. Prior to selecting a conference calling service, carefully consider
how you will be using the service. By understanding your usage, you'll be able to select the conference calling
plan that offers the features that you want, at a cost that makes sense and perhaps even put money back in your
Toll Conference Calling
One way to ensure conference call cost savings is to distribute the cost of the call amongst participants. Instead
of hosting a toll free conference call, consider a call that charges a toll to each participant. With this option,
each participant pays his or her own toll charges. Because each caller must pay by the minute, you'll want to make
sure that this is the right move for your business. For example, if you are holding a conference call with your
most valued partners or customers or prospective clients, these people may not feel so valued when they receive
the bill for the call. On the other hand, if a conference call involves callers who are trying to earn your business,
having each prospective vendor dial into a 'toll' number for the opportunity to learn more about the bidding process
or project requirements may be perfectly acceptable.
Toll Free Conference Call
Cost savings with toll free calls are also possible. With a toll free plan, the host of the call typically pays
for the entire cost of the call on a per minute, per caller basis. For domestic conference calls, you'll pay a
per minute rate for each caller. For example, if you have ten callers and the call lasts ten minutes, you'll pay
for 100 minutes, not 10 minutes. If the service provider charges you seven cents per minute, your bill would be
$7.00 for the call.
International Conference Call
Like toll free calls, the host of an international conference call pays for the call, this time by providing toll
free numbers that are local to the callers' corresponding countries. Rates can vary dramatically between countries.
For example, you may be paying nine cents per minute for the caller from Canada and over fifty cents per minute
for the caller from Colombia. You can reduce these rates by using a "dial out" feature for the pricier
regions. In order to get these conference call cost savings, you'll need to determine the rates for each caller's
country and then take advantage of lower per minute rates by dialing these callers directly with the dial out option.
Look for an international conference call provider that enables you to pre-program dial out in advance for conference
calls that usually have the same international participants.
Unlimited Conference Calling
Depending on conference call frequency and the number of callers, dramatic conference call cost savings are possible
with an unlimited conference calling plan. Like unlimited mobile phone plans, these plans allow you to make as
many conference calls as you want for a flat monthly fee. With an unlimited plan, you don't have to worry about
exceeding your budget if your calls last longer than expected.
Pay-as-you-go Conference Calling Plans
However, if you don't often use conference calls, cost savings through unlimited plans evaporate. Pay-as-you-go
plans are an excellent option for companies that need to make occasional conference calls. With these plans, you
really pay as you go. If you don't use the service, you don't pay.
No matter how your company uses conference calling, cost savings can be found if you do your homework and team
up with a good provider.
Conference calling cost savings exist - if you
know where to look and if you pick the right plan for your intended use. Whether you want to offer toll free access
or call internationally, you can find ways to save money on your calls.
AIT is a telecommunications service provider that offers low-cost international
and domestic conference calling services including toll free, prepaid, and pay-as-you-go plans.