Web Conferencing is a technology which is used to conduct conferences with the help of the web. Its main benefit is the bandwidth required and the setup costs are less. Seminars that are conducted by organizations with the help of this technology are called Webinars. It is not necessary to set up any special application software to enable his technology, as web browsers in your computer does all the work.
The host who is conducting the conference will send an email to the participants of the conference, which comprises the URL of the website containing the conference data, time of the conference, ID number, toll-free number etc. At the prearranged time, the participants will get ready and enter the ID number in the website prescribed by the conference leader, and call the toll-free number to start the conference. Webcam, whiteboard (virtual), and synchronous are some of the additional vocabularies required for web conferencing. Some examples of such services are mentioned below:
- Adobe Acrobat Connect
- Genesys Conferencing
- Skype Pro
- Microsoft Office Live Meeting
1. Sharing PowerPoint Presentations
This is the main use of this technology. You can upload your presentation to a website and direct the participants in the conference to the website. This type of technology used can be combined with others such as conference call via telephone, Instant Messaging (IM) or Internet call. If appropriate, you can obviate the live component of the web conference and allow the participants to view the recorded presentation later, leisurely.
2. Sharing Applications
The applications that are used by the host, while presenting the information in the conference, can be shared with other participants also. By passing the control of the applications to the participants, the meeting will be more interactive and lively. This kind of hands-on approach will be useful for training corporates and demonstrating the working of a software.
3. Sharing Documents
This enables all the conference attendees to view the document or graphics on a projector or computer screen. The text document can be edited and modified by the conference participants by adding their valuable inputs. This kind of work collaboration will make the final work accurate and efficient. The remote participants can also participate in modifying the text documents such as sales and marketing documents, promotional materials, official letters etc.
4. Sharing Web Browser
The web browsing handled by the head of the conference can be linked with the browsing set of other participants. This synchronization of web browsing, makes others follow the page to page proceedings of the leader. If the leader chooses, the other active participants can also take turns to control the action. This kind of sharing is also called group surfing.
5. Conducting Real-time Polling
The host can make a questionnaire document and get the response from the participants and also display the result of the polling in the computer screen, after the answers are tabulated. The process is done instantaneously and this is an additional advantage.
6. Data Archiving
The data which is recorded for the conference, can be archived and retrieved whenever required.
7. Internet Call Capability
Money spent on long distance phone calls can be eliminated as voice communication can be made through Internet.
8. Instant Messaging
Instead of using voice communication, messages can be delivered to all the participants by the use of Instant Messaging(IM). IBM and Microsoft have introduced a product that combines the features of IM and web conferencing.
9. Audio/Video Streaming
With desktop and web camera, it is possible to conduct video conferencing and people can view live videos on their web browsers.
When you're planning a web conference, you need to request the participants to close all other applications working in their computers, to avoid any computer and communication errors. You need to make sure that the application which you are using, can work properly with the firewall installed on your computer. Due to the advantages of this technology, it is employed in many places, over videoconferencing. Through this technology, education passes on to people from rural areas, thereby providing a seamless learning experience.