By Julie Bawden-Davis
A freelancer since 1985, Julie Bawden-Davis has written for many publications, including Entrepreneur, Better Homes & Gardens and Family Circle
While conference calls do get your message across to a targeted audience, web meetings are superior when it comes to virtual meetings.
Unlike one-dimensional conference calls, web meetings allow you to create a multi-faceted, collaborative environment that offers participants many opportunities for learning, communicating, and sharing information.
Consider the following five advantages to web meetings over conference calls.
1. It’s Visual
Never underestimate the power of viewing the materials being discussed. Web meetings are especially important for visual learners, who may not fully comprehend a task or concept until they see it. Conference calls are limited to audio for sharing pertinent information, while web meetings incorporate a variety of the senses.
The PowerPoint presentations that web meetings allow you to share with participants give your message a visual backup and even offer an opportunity to share more key points than you actually mention.
The visual aspects of the webinar format also provide you with a branding opportunity, as you can easily add your company logo or other desired graphics or photos.
2. Encourages Participation and Interaction
With screen and application-sharing capabilities and the incorporation of text conferencing, web meetings offer participants the opportunity to jump in and respond verbally and visually, which is especially useful for training and research purposes.
Participants become involved and invested in the virtual meeting, resulting in better comprehension of the information being shared. The likelihood of idea generation and problem solving is also higher with web meetings, as participants are prone to become inspired by the combination of verbal and visual ideas presented.
3. Better for Training
You can certainly explain how a task is to be accomplished during a conference call and the listener can view supporting documents, but a webinar is a much more effective method for simultaneously explaining and instructing. The use of webinar tools such as whiteboards allows you to clearly show how to perform even intricate tasks.
4. Keeps Participants Focused
Engaging the various senses of viewers through tools such as PowerPoint, whiteboards, video, and instant messaging make it more likely that each attendee’s mind stays focused on the webinar. When you hold a conference call, you run the risk of listeners becoming distracted as they try to simultaneously complete other tasks like surf the Internet or clean out a desk drawer.
5. Results in More Appealing Recordings
Web meetings are generally recorded so that those who didn’t have a chance to attend can review the materials, and the recordings can be distributed in the future.
Conference calls are also recorded for later use, but web meetings — with their audio and visual components — are much more attractive to today’s viewers, who are used to being entertained.