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What Are Web Conference Calls?

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  • Written By: Daphne Mallory
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 08 August 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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Web conference calls are telephone calls that happen between groups of people over the Internet. Several different web services allow users in separate locations to call a central phone number, and they’re then connected and able to communicate with each other. Depending on the level of service, calls can be use to conduct company meetings, hold training seminars, and market new products to consumers. Some web conferencing technology is free to use, but the more sophisticated systems often charge a monthly fee for service. Web conference calls can be small, with a group of only three people, or they can be much larger, accommodating thousands of callers at once.

The most basic web conference calls are similar to a conference call by telephone, with a few differences. Each caller will often be given the central phone number and an access code to dial in. The moderator of the call will often have a separate access code, which gives him or her more controls to use during the meeting. The moderator can usually mute the other callers so only one person can talk at a time. Other functions often include locking out additional callers once the meeting has started or recording the call if needed. Some web conferencing systems allow the user to record the calls as an MP3 or WAV file, which can be downloaded for review or distribution.

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More sophisticated web conference calls utilize video conferencing. In this case, the callers use a computer with a microphone and a web cam. The moderator for the meeting has many of the same functions, including the ability to mute callers, to allow different people to speak, and to record the conference call. The person speaking appears on each of the users’ computer screens, and the microphone relays the audio. Callers can often alert the moderator when they have a question or comment by clicking on a button, which notifies the moderator on their screen.

Web conference calls that incorporate videoconferencing often charge a fee, but they also offer many additional features. For example, the moderator can often show the other callers his or her computer screen and carry out tasks in front of them. This can be useful for training employees how to use new software or perform other tasks. Videoconferencing also allows the moderator to show PowerPoint presentations or videos to aid in training or other functions. Other functions include those for educational purposes, such as distance learning programs for college credit and motivational seminars or conferences.

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