What Are The Business Benefits Of Video Conferencing?
What is video conferencing?
Video conferencing is a real-time meeting solution that can connect two or more participants’ video and audio via the internet.
The flexibility and on-demand nature of video conferencing makes it an excellent tool for increasing collaboration whilst also reducing costs associated with organizing physical face-to-face meetings.
A brief history of video conferencing
Video conferencing has taken on many names since its first introduction, including video calling, video meeting and even video telephony!
The first recognized video conference call was devised by AT&T at the New York World Fair in 1964. Whilst it may come as surprise as this pre-dates the world wide web by over 30 years, it’s worth noting that this particular incarnation was a more primitive form that involved two closed-circuit television systems (CCTV) connected together by a cable.
In 1994 Apple Macintosh introduced audio to their CU-SeeMe system which had previously offered video-only connectivity on calls. This combination of audio and video created the first commercially viable video conferencing solution for businesses.
Since then, video conferencing solutions have continued to evolve in terms of software, hardware, and affordability.
Most modern video conferencing solutions now offer seamless collaboration experiences, with features such as screen-sharing and the ability to send and receive files becoming the industry standard.
Why has video conferencing become so popular?
Remote working practices have continued to become more commonplace in business, due to the growth of cloud-based storage solutions and the adoption of portable computer hardware.
These trends were further accelerated by the effects of COVID-19 which forced many businesses to rethink their internal communication solutions, office structures and the technologies they rely on.
With millions of workers around the world working from home, the demand for reliable and cost-effective video conferencing solutions skyrocketed.
With the ability to screen-share, record calls and host meetings with multiple participants simultaneously, businesses can keep their workforce productive and connected from any location.
Yet even before the outbreak of COVID-19, an increasing number of businesses were adopting video conferencing as part of their internal business communications with data indicating that between 2015 and 2018, live video chat usage within US businesses and brands grew by 233% (source).
So, if your business is still yet to fully embrace video calls and team messaging, this article will help answer some of the questions you may have. We will also touch on the main considerations and benefits of utilizing video conferencing in business, which can include:
- Reduced costs
- Higher meeting engagement
- Improved communication
- Easier recording of meeting agendas
- Simplified meeting scheduling
What are the business benefits of video conferencing?
There is often a misconception that video conferencing is a highly expensive, non-essential communication tool.
Whilst some video conferencing solutions can require an upfront investment of expensive hardware such as webcams or audio equipment, most services are affordable and can also reduce costs associated with hosting face-to-face meetings.
For many businesses, particularly within larger organizations, employee travel costs can be very expensive, yet with the ability to communicate with your teams remotely and on-demand via video conferencing, companies can save money on meeting-related travel expenses.
The rise of social media use has resulted in users consuming more video content than ever before.
When compared to a standard audio call, video conferencing offers a much richer and more collaborative experience for all meeting participants.
With the ability to screen share, transfer files and send messages, ideas and topics can be conveyed in a much clearer and more visual manner.
When arranging a face-to-face meeting, the booking of meeting rooms, organization of participants and set up of presentation hardware can often take a great deal of time.
By adopting video conferencing, meeting hosts no longer need to wait for participants to arrive within a physical meeting space. Instead, calls can be made on the go to best suit participants’ needs and schedules, meaning more time discussing the detail and less time spent in transit.
For medium to large-scale organizations, it can be difficult to arrange face-to-face meetings or audio calls with a large number of participants due to limitations in technology or the availability of suitable meeting spaces.
With many video conferencing services allowing up to 300 meeting participants on one call, businesses can reduce costs and time associated with organizing adequately sized meeting spaces.
This flexibility to host a large number of video meeting participants allows businesses to focus less on the logistics of their meetings and more on the detail and delivery of the presentation.
Easier recording of meeting agendas
When conducting face-to-face or phone meetings, one participant is often required to record the discussed topics or take notes of the action points.
Many video conferencing services have built-in recording features to allow meeting hosts to distribute copies of the call to ensure all the key details are captured.
Simplified meeting scheduling
Scheduling face-to-face meetings with numerous participants can often be a challenge with multiple calendars to synchronize.
Video conferencing solutions simplify this process, making it easier to organize, edit and cancel meetings with multiple participants.
What are the considerations when implementing video conferencing into your business?
Before deciding on whether to adopt a video conferencing solution for your business, it is important to conduct a full review of your current situation and requirements to ensure you select the right service for your needs.
How are your meetings conducted currently?
Reviewing how your current communication tools are performing is an excellent first step to determining whether or not adopting a video conferencing platform will help or hinder your business.
For example, a business with a low employee headcount and single office space may have little to no need for video conferencing as all employees can easily collaborate on-site in the office.
By contrast, a larger organization that relies on multiple daily face-to-face meetings may benefit more from implementing a collaborative video conferencing platform.
During this review stage, it can also be beneficial to involve your wider team to listen to their thoughts and feedback.
Do members of your organization believe that the company’s current face-to-face meetings are too frequent? Do meetings often overrun? Are they unstructured with little or no post-meeting actions? Are certain participants regularly unable to make the meeting in person and if so, why?
These insights will help highlight your business’ video conferencing requirements, whilst also providing make it easier to choose the perfect software to meet your needs. For further reading see our article The Importance Of Involving Employees In The Change Cycle that covers this in more detail.
Costs of implementation
Once your requirements have been clearly identified, it’s time to research the services on the market and compare costs, features, and ease of use.
At this stage, it is advisable to create a spreadsheet including your video conferencing market research or alternatively search via a reputable comparison website to simplify the process further.
After completing your review, identifying a need, and selecting a video conferencing service that meets your needs – it’s now time to implement the rollout. Ensuring all members of your organization are notified is crucial to ensuring a smooth transition and planned usage uptake.
It can also be beneficial to detail the problems you intend this new platform to solve and the dos and don’ts for its use. Ensuring adequate time, quality and resources are allocated to training your team is paramount for the successful integration of any new software or system.
Kradle Konnect offers businesses and individuals an affordable video conferencing solution for making calls and scheduling meetings. To learn more about Kradle’s powerful collaboration tool please see: Konnect Video Conferencing.