Web conferencing makes business life easier. With the web conferencing technology, business cut their travel costs and other logistics expenditure by cutting down face-to-face meetings and replacing it with web-based conferences. Web conferencing enables people physically and geographically separated to conduct meetings, presentations, consultations and collaborations.
There are numerous web conferencing vendors in the market nowadays offering new features and services. Here are some of the common features of web conference programs:
• Web conferencing programs use common applications like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Adobe Flash Player to create graphic presentations with enhanced audio and video streaming. For PowerPoint presentation sharing, the presentation is compressed in the presenter’s computer and then sent to the server. The server then sends it to all the participants, caching it in the presenter’s computer. This allows the presenter to change the presentation slides.
• File sharing, document and application sharing allows the presenter to share a selected document with the participants. Documents or files created in Word, Excel, layouts in graphics program can be shared. File sharing is the same as the PowerPoint presentation sharing.
• Web page viewing allows the presenter and the participants to launch a browser and make it visible to everyone. Web page viewing is mainly used to check a competitor’s website, testing of the new website with technical and creative teams, and conducting software product tours.
• The moderator can also hand off the control of the flow of the discussion. One of the participants may run the meeting.
• Desktop sharing is also another great feature of web conferencing. Desktop or screen sharing allows the presenter to display everything that’s on his computer screen to be seen by the participants in real time. The presenter can also allow his desktop to be controlled by any of the other participants.
• Whiteboard encourages brainstorming and other on-the-spot creative process. With this feature, web conferencing provides text and drawing capability. Participants can illustrate or outline projects or ideas in the whiteboard.
• Most web conferencing providers have a window dedicated in viewing the roster of attendees of the conference.
• There are also backup systems. In case the first server fails, the conference is seamlessly moved to a second server. All the meeting materials are stored so that the important data will not be lost.
• Recording allows online archiving of the actual meeting. This is a reliable source or point of reference. Only the moderator determines who are allowed to access the recording after the conference.
• Instant messaging is also an important communication feature offered by web conferencing vendors.
• Aside from text chat or instant messaging, audio communication is in the form of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). This allows users to make telephone calls over the world wide web.
• For the security of the conference, web conference providers are using Secure Sockets Layer for full meeting security. Meeting attendees require a conference security code to access both live conferences and recorded meetings.
Web conference service providers are promoting different kinds of feature for their conference products. Knowing the right web conferencing program to use would rely on the objective for using this kind of program. Once the need and the ability are drawn, then the solution will be easier to find.