I’m going to say it … A picture really IS worth 1,000 words. We’ve all heard this saying 1,000 times and while it may seem old and cliche, there really is some merit to it.
Think about it for a second. Are you more productive during a conference call or an in-person meeting? Do you feel like you are able to establish deeper relationships in person or over the phone? And last but not least, how many times have you opted to travel, whether a long or short distance, to hold a meeting?
If I were a betting person, I would say that you have opted for in-person meetings whenever possible. Luckily for us, the evolution and accessibility of video conferencing over the years has made it easier to connect face to face even when miles apart.
Video Conferencing Can Be Affordable
Video conferencing has typically been a technology that only larger Fortune 500-scale organizations have had the ability to use.
According to our video conferencing partner, LifeSize®, 20 years ago the average price for a video device was $200,000. Ten years ago the price dropped to $15,000-$20,000. Now the cost can be as little as $3,000, which now allows small to mid-sized businesses the opportunity to fully benefit from video conferencing technology.
Ten Reasons Video Conferencing is Better Than a Conference Call
The benefits of video conferencing are abundant. Here are 10 reasons we love it so much.
1. Reduce Unproductive Travel Time
Why spend unnecessary travel time in a car or even a plane when you can simply hold a meeting in your conference room or even your desk?
2. Prevent Meeting Delays
Don’t let traffic or airline delays derail your meeting plans. With a video conferencing solution your team is sure to be on time for all meetings – or at least they will have to search for a different excuse!
3. Create Shorter and More Structured Meetings
How many times have you sat on a conference call and asked a question but no one answered because they weren’t paying attention or they were trying to multitask? Video conferencing will almost certainly keep the attention of all meeting participants.
4. Include More Individuals in Meetings
Why exclude people from meetings when you can include and everyone, thanks to video conferencing. Gone are the days of deciding which members were important enough to travel for meetings. The more the merrier!
5. Bring in Remote Experts for Consultation or Training
Got a great guest speaker or expert that you want to share with all of your employees? No need to pay extra money for them to travel between your locations. Simply set up a video conference so everyone can benefit without spending extra money or wasting travel time.
6. Interview Job Candidates or Witnesses
We all know how time consuming interviewing candidates can be. Instead of traveling between offices to meet potential employees you can just hold the interview via video conference.
Fun fact: When I interviewed at Sebastian half of the team was in another location and interviewed me via video conference. We were able to have a productive conversation and it was really nice to see their faces instead of just hearing voices.
7. Troubleshoot Problems
Some companies use their video conferencing systems to troubleshoot technical problems. Instead of having a technician travel between facilities they simply hop on a quick video conference call so they can see the problem and hopefully fix it within minutes.
8. Allow for true collaboration and team building
According to a study by Fraunhofer Institute, teams who worked together via video conferencing rather than email and phone were more productive.
Specifically, “81% of participants said that, on phone and email, the task felt divided rather than united – whereas video-conferencing delivered genuine collaboration,” and “74% felt that decisions reached through video-conferencing felt more like joint decisions than those reached via phone/email.”
9. Ability to Read Body Language and Faces
We’ve all experienced it. You are on a conference call and the other end goes silient. Are they upset? Are they thinking? What are they doing?
Video conferencing takes some of the guess work out of trying to figure out what the other party is doing or thinking and allows for a more transparent conversation.
10. Bolster the Bottom Line
Frost & Sullivan’s recently published whitepaper, Identifying the Value of Video Collaboration: Critical Steps for Supporting Social Business, found that using next generation tools, like video conferencing, enterprises can expect to bolster the bottom line, cut down on decision periods, reduce costs and boost productivity.
“Video conferencing supports the shift in the way people work, allowing participants in different time zones and locations to not only increase personal interaction, but also to share data and information via social business,” said Frost & Sullivan Vice President of Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Research Melanie Turek. “This saves employers the overhead and loss in productivity caused by constant travel, and companies can see a reduction of capital, infrastructure, operational and energy costs with hosted video conferencing solutions.”
These 10 benefits are just a few of the ways that companies use video conferencing – including Sebastian. Each business is unique and there are many other ways that this technology can be used. Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments below.
Once you make your own list of needs, it is time to research. Download our free Video Conferencing 101 Guide to learn the basics of the three main types of video conferencing systems and the requirements for each.