Conference calls connect thousands of clients, business owners, and colleagues located around the world daily. Tight deadlines, demanding clients, and increasing competition drive today’s business environment around the globe. To stay ahead, many businesses look to cut bottom line budgets and reduce costs, as they work to decrease turnover and boost productivity. Ongoing communication with stakeholders helps maintain focus, inform constituents, and expedites decision making. Conference calling allows three or more people, whatever the location, to connect.
A standard request for businesses of all sizes, conference calling helps facilitate business operations. But, several types of conference calling services are available and the costs depends on what a business requires, the audiences, and locations of participants. AVOXI takes a look at these options and the associated benefits to help you determine how much conference calling costs.
NOTE: Recently, AVOXI added conference calling as a feature available with toll free business numbers in 25+ countries.
How to Determine the Cost of Conference Calling Services
Conference calling, also known as audio, voice or teleconferencing is a phone call that allows several people to dial in and communicate at the same time. Through conference calling people located around the world can meet and communicate almost immediately. Many businesses run regular world-wide meetings save on the costs associated with travel. Your business model, size, and communication requirements drive the type of conference calling service you select.
Questions to answer and help you identify what type of conference calling service to use include:
- What is your expected conference calling frequency?
- How many participants are typically on the calls?
- What is the typical conference call length?
- Do you already use VoIP services? And, does your provider offer conference calling as a feature?
Free Conference Calling Service
Getting a free conference service is as simple as going online and registering for an account with one of the free service providers. Once you set up and sign-in on your account, you receive a dial-in number and access pin that participants across the globe can use for international dial-in.
Companies like FreeConferenceCalling offer immediate access when signing up and allow up to 1000 participants for up to six hours per conference call. There is no call reservation required and calls can be made from a landline, or mobile device via their app. Set up international conference calls using a US toll number (not a 1800 toll free number). Any participant able to access international calling to the US can use the service.
But, it’s not completely free! While the call conferencing service is free, all participants pay per minute call rates and those rates are higher for international calls. For micro or small businesses or for those with limited conference call needs, a free service offers a simple cost-effective option.
Toll Free Conference Call Service
A toll free service provides conference call participants with a dedicated toll free 800 conference dial-in number. Unlike a free service that charges the individual participants per minute call rates, a toll free service charges the account holder rates per caller, per minute. Conference call participants dial-in to the conference toll free number using a landline, mobile or VoIP phone system. However, there are charges to mobile phone callers by their service providers for per minute call rates based on their individual calling plans.
Although there are many toll free conference call providers in the market, ConferenceCalling by Vast Conference provides an example to assess costs. Vast toll free conference numbers require no reservation and can host multiple calls at once with up to 300 participants per call. They offer unlimited international conference calls, including 52 local country numbers at $39.00 per month for a maximum of 15 participants. Toll free call rates cost an additional 5 cents per minute, per caller.
Related: Toll Free Call Forwarding
Call Conferencing Service
For businesses with higher conference call volume, providers like Unlimited Conferencing specialize in call conferencing services. Unlimited Conferencing promises high quality conferencing with immediate activation, no long term contract or set-up fees.
The provider’s charges a monthly fee based on the amount of meeting attendees. For example, the charges for up to 10 attendees is $14.95 per month with unlimited call duration. Rates per minute are an additional charge. However, Unlimited Conferencing offers an unlimited minutes plan for an additional $9.95 per month.
Cloud PBX Call Conferencing Service
Maintained through a VoIP provider, cloud-based call management systems typically come with advanced features like call conferencing. VoIP conference calls connect via a conference bridge that allows a group of callers to dial-in using a conference number.
Multiple callers from various locations around the world can enter the conference call simultaneously. Generally, Cloud PBX calls have no border limitation, offer unlimited call duration, and allow multiple conference calls at once. Call capacity does however vary between providers with some only allowing 15 participants per call. With VoIP conferencing callers can dial-in from their laptop or desktop computers via their desktop or softphone.
For Cloud PBX systems that do not include teleconferencing, you can usually add on the service for a minimal fee. The VoIP provider charges per minute rates; however, VoIP call rates are substantially lower making Cloud PBX Call Conferencing a convenient and cost saving option.
Whether your business holds small weekly conference calls, or your requirements are for a corporation that hosts multiple large group conference calls, there is an option to best suit your specific needs. Before choosing a system, you want to review the various pricing plans based on your expected usage to make an educated decision.
As for us, every AVOXI account comes with a conferencing feature. Talk to a VoIP specialist to get details on coverage and availability.