Now that nearly all of us carry a smartphone or tablet and maintain high speed broadband internet connections, distance has become moot when it comes to meeting with people and communicating ideas over long distances. Many in the event world have been utilizing technology to shrink the distance between them and their clients and audience. Not only does this lower or remove many of the costs involved in a live presentation, but it allows for a convenient way to speak to your user base more intimately and more often.
The first step in deciding what type of web conferencing software or service is right for you is determining the size and style of your event. For meetings with two to four people, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on software designed to webcast to hundreds of people. Consider inexpensive options that you may already be using, such as Skype and Google Hangout—both of which offer free multi-user voice calls and, for a small fee, will allow everyone to be viewed via webcam, or even share their personal computer screens when they work collaboratively. These services are wonderful for communications and collaborations between small teams of people.
Maybe you don’t need to speak to just four people—you need to speak to four hundred! For larger seminars, presentations, and question and answer sessions you need a service that not only can connect 400 people to you and your team, but also has other robust tools for managing the back end of your event: marketing and inviting people to your web conference, statistical reporting abilities, allowing for multiple presenters, and more. With a service such as GoToMeeting or WebEx you get an entire package of tools that will give you solid control over your presentation, and has a customer support team on standby if you have problems.
With services like these, you can very closely mimic the same experience of having all of these people in the same room without anyone having to leave their home or office, never having to book a hotel, and never having to travel. The convenience factor often speaks for itself and you may even receive more attendees than you would have in person!