What is Web Conferencing? A few years ago, people having conversations and meetings while they are in different locations means having the conversation over the phone. But today, people can communicate, even conduct live meetings and presentation even if they are half a world away. All you need is a computer, internet access and a downloaded web-based application to communicate effectively over the internet. This technology is called web conferencing. So, what exactly is web conferencing? With web conferencing, participants can share audio, video, content or combination of these in real time. This enables people to attend meetings or presentations when they can’t attend them physically. Attendees or participants of web conferencing can have a downloaded application on their computer or they can just access a website or URL to join the group having the meeting or presentation. Web conferencing enables us to share presentations, documents, videos and multimedia applications. Is also enables us to save money on the costs associated with high bandwidth. You can meet whenever from wherever, as long as you have a personal computer/ laptop and internet access. Since web conferencing allows users to have business meetings, trainings and conduct presentations and demonstration, it is a requirement that attendees have high-speed internet connection in all user and web sites. Presiding over a session can be passed among the users or the attendees, so that another user can act as the presenter or demonstrator. Some web conferencing systems or providers include several features in their systems like texting, VoIP (voice over internet protocol) and fullmotion video. Audio streaming was also added as an additional feature since web conferencing started in the early 1990s. With audio streaming, attendees can listen to the audio as they view the presentations. Messaging or sending messages also became more efficient. The leaders can entertain live questions or conduct answer sessions. Attendees can send private messages to the leader, who can answer trough private messages or may publish the message so the entire team or attendees can view the message. There are attendance rosters which allow the leader and the attendees to view who is currently involved in the conference. There is also a tool for recording. Recording allows for the synching voice and visuals into a permanent record which can be shared with others on a later date. Whiteboard also allows the leader or the attendees to highlight items in the presentation or can be used to make notes. There are also tools for polls and surveys, allowing the leader to ask questions with multiple choices addressed to the attendees. Screen sharing is also another feature of web conferencing. With screen sharing or desktop sharing participants can view the screen or whatever
is on the screen of the leader. Some screen sharing applications also allow remote desktop control which means participants can take control or manipulate the leader’s desktop or screen. This feature is seldom used. Of course, there are web conferencing vendors or providers that provide these services of different basis. Some web conferencing providers charge a nominal monthly fee while others may charge for every time the software was used. Readying up your computer or your personal stuff to be used with web conferencing is really not that complicated. New computers normally would have installed software in them that is necessary for web conferencing, if none, the installation process is relatively easy to accomplish. Web conferencing provides a great way and venue for short and straightforward business related exchanges like meetings, demonstrations, orientation or even product roll-outs. Web conferencing made it possible for us to have non- physical communication for business meetings and affairs. Technology certainly makes life easier.