Best Options for Long Distance Business Meetings

Long Distance Business MeetingsThere comes a time when businesses have to have meeting with partners, clients or employees over a long distance. Thankfully, we live in an age where long distance business meetings can be handled efficiently. With technology, we are able to communicate with one another easily. If you are ever in a predicament that requires a long distance meeting to take place, you will find the below options to be great choices for your needs.

Video Teleconferencing

Video teleconferencing is a great tool for long distance meetings because it enables you to see and hear your counterparts. If you are using a great provider, you will have high quality feed coming through your computer. You will need to have a laptop or desktop computer that has a webcam, microphone and speakers. It’s almost as good as meeting face to face, since you are able to interact in the same way, without the physical touch. Video teleconferences are commonly used for complex tasks that involve showcasing work or doing demonstrations. It’s a great replacement for when you can’t be in the same room.

Electronic White Boarding

Another tool that you can use for long distance business meetings is electronic white boarding. This enables you to digitize information and makes an electronic record of the work. This is great if you are looking for a way to eliminate handwritten recordings of ideas that are drawn on traditional white boards. If images are an important part of the meeting, then this is the tool to use. It enables you to draw images that appear on the monitors of the other people at the digital meeting. Audio is also provided. The sketches can be done in real-time, allowing you all to brainstorm together.

Discussion Boards

If you are looking for a good referencing tool, discussion boards may be the option for your long distance meeting. It provides records of what was written about an idea or project. There is no audio or visual with this tool, but it can be very effective for brainstorming, obtaining feedback and opinions, daily reporting and more. Asynchronous communication is also supported. In order to use these, you will need to obtain software and licensing from a provider that sells this type of product. It’s not intended for use with larger groups of people, which could become overwhelming (due to all of the threads to read).

Other Available Options

Likely, you have heard of MeetMeNow and Skype. These are commonly used for long distance meetings. They offer audio, visual and synchronous connections. The only difference is that Skype offers video as an option, allowing you to only use audio if needed and MeetMeNow has a monthly fee between $39 and $49. Skype is completely free when you are making Skype-to-Skype connections. Then there is email and instant messaging, both of which are free in most cases. Instant messaging is instant, making it more of a better option. Some providers even allow multiple users to join in instant messenger conversations.

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Comments

  1. I had heard about Virtual Office when I saw a banner ad on some IT news blog that was talking about the growth trends of video conferencing. Who would have thought that just a little over a decade ago that web chat on the internet would be so accessible to both business professionals as well as the average consumer. Now, there are services / platforms like this that make it so easy and affordable.

  2. We use SKYPE for long distance meetings every week but this sounds like it might be a better way to do it even. You have a lot of information here to process and I am going to have to read it again to get the complete gist of it all but I am going to send this to the people I meet with as well and see what they think. Keep up the good work.

  3. Brandon says:

    This is something I had no idea about, you can do electronic white boards? I am a drawer when I hold a meeting because I feel it gets the point across better and we have had to hold a lot of online meeting in the past few months where I haven’t been able to do that this is great news, I’m going to have to look into that further, thank you for the heads up.

  4. Stephanie says:

    Of all the different types of office communication services mentioned In this article, having already tried video conferencing (been there done that), I would have to say that white board technology is the most useful. I mean, you can come up with a myriad of uses for this technology right off the top of your head. How many times have you tried to explain to someone how to use something. Now, you can demonstrate it.

  5. I like the fact that you can use an electronic white board to draw real time pictures while in a meeting over the internet. Is it possible for other people to see your drawing other than people that are in the meeting? I wouldn’t want to have sensitive materials out there if it is possible for others to see it. Thank you for posting this it was very interesting.

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