Understanding Web Conferencing - Meaning and Definitions
Web Conferencing has steadily been on the increase over the last five years. With the improvements in IT, web cameras and the internet, communicating via web has become efficient and effective.
Put simply, web conferencing is using desktop computers to communicate, together with a telephone conference. Throughout its development a range of options have been implemented that now makes web conferencing more sophisticated – and maybe a little more confusing?
Here is a list of the key terms you may encounter when looking into web conferencing:
- Web Conferencing: Using your computer to communicate and share documents with other colleagues and business associates, while also dialling into the computer or phone conferencing service.
- Teleconferencing: Alongside the web conference, hosts and guests still need to verbally communicate. You can dial into your existing teleconferencing service to get audio alongside the visual and interactive component of the web.
- VOIP: Some web conferencing programs allow you to also access audio over internet technology. This means that as well as sharing documents you can also talk via the computer. (Be careful here, everyone needs the appropriate headset, be able to access VOIP, and the quality can be lower then using the telephone lines)
- Webinar (Or Web Presentation): A webinar is like a normal presentation – just done online. Presenters are able to share documents and slides, while giving a lecture or presentation over the internet. Guests are able to dial into to hear the presentation and interact by typing their questions into a messaging software (i.e chat)
- Web Meeting: A smaller meeting where guests need to sharing documents or participate fully the meeting. Usually a smaller group, this type of conferencing allows guests to all talk via audio, while be able to view and share the control of the presentations they are seeing on the computer.
- Host: The host of a web conference is the person who is organising the meeting. They are the person responsible for setting up the web conference in the appropriate format (is it a web meeting or seminar, or a webinar) and sending out the invitations. They are usually the person who is responsible for the businesses unique codes.
- Guests: Are any participants that have been invited to the web conference. They are provided a guest code (from the host) and the meeting details. They simply dial into the audio and access the conference on their computer.
- Presenters: Presenters do not have to be the host. The host can set up meetings so that multiple presenters can contribute to a web conference. They are the people responsible for delivering the content of the meeting.
- WebCam(Video Streaming): A web cam provides an added extra to a small web conference. If participants have a web camera, they are able to seen via other meeting participants.
- Video Conferencing: Video conferencing is where two (or more) designated meeting rooms have specialised video conferencing equipment. This is not done via the web conferencing platform – and allows guests to view each meeting room rather then share documents.
Now that you have a better understanding of the basics, read more about how web conferencing and virtual meetings can enhance your business. Read our whitepaper Virtual Meetings to enhance communication, collaboration and savings, that is free to download.