With new technologies such as Web conferences and online collaboration tools, you may be wondering if international
conference calls still make sense. While the Internet and its interactive tools have certainly made it easier to
communicate with colleagues and partners around the world, telephone technology has yet to disappear. Take a look
around and you'll see that not only are people actively using their phones, they're doing so everywhere. The rampant
use of cell phones coupled with advances in smart phone technologies ensure that international conference calls
will remain one of the best ways to communicate with a global team.
Because of the mobile nature of today's workforce, just about everyone has a phone in hand around the clock. If
you schedule a conference call with your international associates, none of the participants needs to be physically
present at an office or logged into a computer. Participants can call in from virtually any location including
the beach, a parking lot, a park bench, a coffee shop, or even while commuting to work on a train.
Why not just send email messages? After all, email messages are free and they reach all intended recipients in
an instant, no matter where in the world they are located. Email certainly has its place; however, international
conference calls occur in real time and allow team members from around the globe to interact and get to know each
other on a more personal level. You'll still use email as a regular means of communication. By holding regular
conference calls with your team, everyone can interact with each other as well as pick up on verbal cues that would
otherwise be lost through the written word.
International conference calls also help team members realize that others are involved in the project, each with
their own responsibilities and concerns. Holding regular team meetings through a group phone call puts this into
perspective and facilitates team building.
Another huge advantage of international conference calls is the elimination of travel. Instead of booking flights
or holding expensive regional meetings, hold a conference call. Not only does doing so save significant sums of
money, it also saves time. Participants do not need to make a special trip to the office in order to participate
in the meeting. Instead, they simply dial into a telephone-based conference room at the appointed time and then
International calling rates have fallen dramatically, making conference calls more attractive than ever. With low
per minute rates and toll free access for the callers, a teleconference is by far one of the most cost-effective
meetings you will ever hold. Because participants only need a phone, it doesn't matter where they happen to be
when the conference call's start time arrives. Whether callers are using VoIP phones, land lines, or cell phones,
doesn't matter. Internet access is not an issue either because these calls use regular telephone lines.
International conference calls can be held at any time, 24/7. Of course, this requires a bit of advance planning
as you must consider time zone differences. If participants are scattered all over the world, it's inevitable that
some participants will need to call in at an awkward time of the day such as in the middle of the night. For best
results, try to schedule the conference call at a time that's convenient for the majority of participants. If you
will be holding regular and frequent calls, consider rotating the schedule so that no team members are repeatedly
asked to call at inconvenient times.
In addition, many teleconference service providers offer call recording. By recording the conference call, you
can later listen to it and share the recording with the call's participants or other key people who were unable
to attend. How you use these recordings is limited only by your imagination. For example, if you are holding an
employee orientation teleconference, you may want to post an excerpt from the call on your company's intranet.
Later, new hires can listen to the call and hear the same information that past employees have heard.
If you need to communicate with vendors, suppliers, customers, or employees located in other countries, consider
using international conference calls. You'll save money, improve relationships, and be able to communicate on a
more personal level.
Despite new technologies like instant messaging, webinars, and video conferencing, international conference calls
continue to be effective communications tools. In fact, conference
calls offer several advantages over these newer technologies.
American International Telephonics offers cost-effective international conference calls. Low rates, high quality
calls, and ease-of-use are among the highlights of AIT's conference
calling plans. With support for 63 countries and dial-out support for an additional 270 countries as well as
no contracts and no monthly fees, AIT provides you with a complete, affordable international calling solution.