As your company grows in size and flexibility, it will become more and more difficult for your team members to stay connected. But there's no need to shy away from success and expansion, or tie employees to their desks. You simply need to know how to set up a conference call.
With the pandemic spurring a remote work boom and more and more companies opting for hybrid work policies, the value of a good video conferencing tool can go a long way to keep your team in the know while establishing a flexible company culture.
Still, not everyone knows how to get set up with conferencing calls, so a bit of information can seriously help. We've written this guide to help you learn how to set up a conference call, from start to finish.
The lowest starting price for a paid plan. The lowest price available for your business will depend on your needs.
Overall conference calling
Users that need hardware
Users that need customer support
Audio Conference Calls
- If you're setting up an audio-only conference call guests will typically be asked to dial in to a specific local number on a phone system.
You”ll be given the number for your guests to dial when you set up your account, or when you choose the date and time of your call. You can then put the right phone number on your invite.
- Some services will also ask guests to provide a PIN code when they connect to the call, to enter the meeting. This is for added security.
Again, the software will provide you with any PIN codes you need to tell your guests before you send out the invite. You may have a consistent set of PIN codes that guests always need to use when conference calling through your account. Think of these as passcodes for various virtual offices guests might want to enter for virtual meetings there. Alternatively you may be given a one-time PIN code for a specific conference call.
- Because there's no video component, audio conference calls will usually insist participants record their names when joining the call, much like an out-going voicemail message.
This is so the host, and others, know who is in the meeting, even if they're just listening.
Video Conference Calls
In most cases, video conference calls are notably easier to set up compared to their audio-exclusive counterparts.
- Guests will typically just have to click a link, and they'll be immediately taken to the virtual meeting room.
Your link is created and can be shared as soon as you choose the date and time for your conference call.
- In the event you don't have access to a computer, or even an accompanying app, most services will still allow you to dial in with a provided number as well.
Although you obviously won't have video capabilities unless you have an advanced video-calling enabled phone handset.
Depending on which conference call software you have and who you're calling with it, you can even invite guests within the platform itself. Check out this example video from Lifesize that shows you how to do exactly that:
Conference meeting guests that dial in late similarly have nothing to worry about. They'll simply be dropped into the meeting with everyone else. If you are late though, your tardy presence will be felt, as most services will announce the name or provide a notification when someone enters a meeting.
The only time you might be asked to pay for access to a meeting is through a free service, and that's only if the host asks you to split the costs. But if you're holding a smaller meeting, there should be no reason to pay an additional fee.
Additionally, paid services provide higher quality audio and video, so it feels like you're actually in the room, rather than talking through a garbled connection. You'll be able to actually communicate with your team, and isn't that the point?
Unwanted echo or feedback often happens when one participant's volume is too loud, and it's feeding back into the microphone. If adjusting the volume doesn't help, insist that all conference guests mute their microphones when they aren't talking. It's a bit of a hassle, but so is listening to that horrible echo.
Tech.co is reader-supported. Using Tech.co's comparison form, you can receive quotes from various suppliers, tailored to the needs of your business. If you enter into a contract with a provider, we may receive a payment for the introduction. Equally, if you make a purchase through the links on our site, we may earn a commission from the retailers of the products we have reviewed. This helps Tech.co to provide free advice and reviews. It carries no additional cost to you, and doesn’t affect our editorial independence.