Video conferencing has come a long way in the last few years. You no longer have to dread an hour or more full of glitches, pixelation, choppy sound, freezing video, and that guy who doesn’t realize his mute is off while he watches football and eats potato chips during the meeting.
Modern software today is just that. Software. You don’t need anything special to host or join a meeting besides your video conferencing app and a cell phone, but you also have the option to go full-on high-tech multimedia if you want. You have all the control, and you can customize the call to flow however you like. Check out the latest developments in video conferencing technology below:
1. Minimal Hardware Needed
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Remember when people carried bag phones? The Motorola bag phone was a big deal in the ‘90s. It was also large. About eight pounds with the battery. Video conferencing hardware was not much better until recently. Even when it got smaller, the process to set up for a call almost made video conferencing not worth it.
Now, you don’t really need any special hardware other than what you probably already have. Your teensy mobile phone will suffice. Modern video conferencing services usually offer a video conferencing app users can download and use to create, manage, or join apps with the touch of a button.
2. Clearer Sound/Smoother Picture
Another advancement in technology that will make you breathe a sigh of relief, is the vast improvement in audio and video quality. No more videos freezing up just as you made the weirdest face possible. No more sound cutting out at the moment you are about to make a sale.
Today’s video conferencing software uses cutting-edge HD technology to bring you the clearest picture and purest sound available so you never have to worry about your deal-closing smile getting pixelated again.
Screen-sharing used to be only something people at places like Microsoft Tech Support could do. When they demonstrated how to do something for you on your own computer screen at home, it was like sorcery.
Now, you don’t need a magic wand to share screens demonstrating your product or driving your point home. Just the touch of a button will allow everyone in your meeting to see exactly what you are talking about.
You don’t have to worry about remembering to send that file you discussed in your meeting. Share it immediately so everyone can collaborate on the same page in real-time, and your meeting will actually be over when it wraps up.
5. Customization and Control
Complete control overflow of the meeting is in your hands with modern video conferencing software. Does someone like to interrupt too much?
Require people to raise their virtual hands in order to talk. Tired of hearing someone typing in the background because they forgot to mute themselves? Hit the mute for them.
You can designate presenters, hold questions and answers, choose who you are interacting face-to-face with, select branded hold music and entry notifications, and customize every element of your call from your app or web interface.
6. Track Attendance
It’s nice to know who is in your meeting and who has left. It used to be that if your video was turned off, you had no idea who was in the call. “Rob, are you there? Rob?” With current video conferencing software, you never have to feel deserted again.
You will know when Rob leaves, whether he says goodbye or not. You can even get a printout with information about your call attendees, when they arrived, and when they left.
7. Joining Options
In the olden days, video conferencing was more complicated. The software was cumbersome to use, and dialing in was a pain. Sometimes you had to dial a special number in addition to several number sequences in order to get in.
Now, you can dial in if you prefer, but you also have the option of joining in HD quality by simply clicking a button.
8. Single Sign-On Options
Make sure your calls are secure and user-friendly with single sign-on options. Meeting participants only have to enter their credentials once, and then they can always enter new meetings automatically from their device.
9. Automated Instant Conference Calls
Sometimes, you just need to have a conference call without scheduling ahead of time. Some video conferencing services offer on-demand conference calling so you don’t have to wait to get everyone on the same page about a project.
Live recordings of your video calls make it easy for you to go back and retrieve information. You don’t have to balance taking notes with being fully present in the meeting when you can review everything later. Make sure you make the most of your face-to-face time by keeping your face in the meeting.