Video conferencing is a technology that allows users in different locations to hold face-to-face meetings without having to move to a single location together. This technology is particularly convenient for business users in different cities or even different countries because it saves time, expense, and hassle associated with business travel. Uses for video conferencing include holding routine meetings, negotiating business deals, and interviewing job candidates.
Video conferencing's main advantage over teleconferencing is that users can see each other, which allows them to develop stronger relationships. When a video conference is held for informal purposes, it is called a video call or video chat.
There are a variety of ways video conferencing can be conducted. Individuals may use web cameras connected to our built into laptop, tablet, or desktop computers. Smartphones equipped with cameras may also be used to connect for video conferences. In such instances, a software-based platform typically is used to transmit communication over Internet protocols.
Some businesses use dedicated video conferencing rooms that have been equipped with high-grade cameras and screens to ensure the conversation is clear and with limited technical faults. Third-party providers often install and assemble the hardware needed to conduct the video conference.
Companies with multiple offices might establish direct video communications between their locations in order to allow their teams to work more collaboratively.
Video conferencing can also be used as a medium for conducting training, with the instructor teaching a remote class from almost anywhere. This can be done in a corporate context, especially for getting workers the knowledge they need to better perform their jobs. The academic world can also make use of video conferencing to connect a traditional classroom setting with students who have based a considerable distance from the school.
A video conference may also be used to conduct regular meetings with a company staff or to confer with shareholders about the latest activities at the business. It may be used to announce significant changes at a company, such as introducing a new CEO or to present information in an interactive way that allows all participants to engage in discussion about what they see on screen.
Hotels and conference centers sometimes make video conferencing services available to guests who require such services. This may be offered in suites or conference rooms that have been equipped for this purpose.
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F.A.Q. about Video Conferencing
What is video conferencing?
Video conferencing is two-way interactive communication delivered using telephone or Internet technologies that allows people at a different location to come together for a meeting. The video conference can be as simple as a conversation between two people in private offices (point-to-point) or involve several sites (multi-point) with more than one person in large rooms at different sites.
A basic video conference setup has a camera and a microphone. Video from the camera and audio from the microphone is converted into a digital format and transmitted to a receiving location using a coding and decoding device, often referred to as a "codec".
At that receiving location is another codec device that decodes the receiving digital stream into a form that can be seen and heard on monitors or televisions. At the same time, video and audio from cameras and microphones at the received location is sent back to the original location.
What are the benefits of video conferencing?
Video conferencing saves travel time and money. Participants can see and hear all other participants and communicate both verbally and visually, creating a face-to-face experience. PowerPoint and other on-screen graphics, as well as other cameras, are also available presentation options. People's downtime is reduced and productivity gains are achieved by removing the logistics of flight preparations, airport delays, hotel stays, and all the other inconveniences of business travel. In distance education, video conferencing provides quality access to students who could not travel to or could afford to relocate to a traditional campus. Video conferences can also be recorded and made available in a variety of ways, e.g., DVDs, streaming video. Besides distance education, other applications include meetings, dissertation and thesis defenses, telemedical procedures, and online conferences.
People use video conferencing when:
- a live conversation is needed;
- visual information is an important component of the conversation;
- the parties of the conversation can't physically come to the same location;
- the expense or time of travel is a consideration.
Examples of how video conferencing can benefit people around campus:
- Guest lecturer invited into a class from another institution.
- The researcher collaborates with colleagues at other institutions on a regular basis.
- Thesis defense at another institution.
- Administrators from different parts of campus need to collaborate on administrator issues such as a campus strategic plan.
- Researcher needs to meet with a review committee about a grant.
- Student interviews with an employer in another city.
Please explain the etiquette for video conferencing
- Allow a few minutes for setting up and shutting down the video conference.
- Stick to time limits.
- Remember to mute your microphone when you are not talking.
- Consider using a location banner.
- Take turns speaking and allow time for audio delay.
- Don't multi-task on camera.
- Be aware of possible audio distractions if your microphone is not muted - coughing, paper shuffling, air conditioning units, laptop and projector fans, phone ringing, etc.
What are some suggestions for a successful video conference?
Provide an overview for new users so they can learn the basics of videoconferencing:
- Share rules of etiquette.
- Get experience using the remote control (room based systems) or using the desktop client software.
- Emphasize the importance of muting the microphone when you are not speaking.
- Test with each location prior to the video conference. Testing provides experience and creates a positive experience.