Web and video conferencing can help many companies save time and money by reducing the need for long-distance travel, and there are a number of ways that businesses can make these online meetings flow more smoothly, the Appleton Post-Crescent reports.
According the paper, adding interactive tools such as instant messaging and polling to the web meeting can allow for each individual to be more directly involved in the process. In a face-to-face meeting, participants can raise their hands or use other cues to show their approval or disapproval of an idea. Using frequent polling invites people to share their opinions more freely.
To make everyone feel included, the paper says it is sometimes helpful to chart all of the meeting participants and their locations, giving those involved an understanding of everyone's perspective. Using names as often as possible also helps create a feeling of inclusion.
More companies are now turning to web and video conferencing solutions to reduce the need for business trips. A recent study by American Express predicted that due to rising fuel and airline expenses, the cost of an average business trip was set to increase by 15 percent in the coming years.