Behind the Scenes: How Web Conferencing Works

Behind the Scenes: How Web Conferencing Works

Web conferencing programs are readily available in the market nowadays. Web conferencing offers instant messaging and hosting of group discussions. It is a great way for conducting meetings, seminars, even presentations or product roll-outs.

Conferencing technology has already achieved immense improvement. Teleconferencing is a product of the conferencing technology. With teleconferencing, it is mainly about conference calls where small to very large groups of people can participate to or listen to the phone conversation. With video conferencing, the presenter can appear on the screens of all the attendees or for small groups, all the attendees can appear on the screen in separate webcam windows.

Web conferencing is often confused with web seminars. There is just a thin line separating or differentiating each other, it is mainly about the number of the attendees or participants and the amount of interactivity in the meeting or presentation.

Web seminars are usually more than ten people and only the organizer and a small number of panellists would have the control over the discussion. With web conferencing, it is normally limited to ten people, where the attendees or participants would have the opportunity to present and take control of the flow of the discussion.

Web conferencing programs use internet communication to transfer and share files and applications. These programs combine HTML, Java scripts, flash animation, instant messaging and even audio and video streaming.

Through the combination of these, web conferencing can offer several features. These features are application and file sharing, desktop sharing, co-browsing the internet, white boards, polling/surveying, text messaging, PowerPoint presentations and even private meeting rooms.

There are two options to choose from if a company or any institution is interested in using web conferencing. There are conferencing software that can be installed in computers and host the meeting themselves. Another way is by using a hosting service that provides the software and server space to conduct the web-based meetings.

How web conferences run depend on the software, hosting and how the moderator or organizer runs the meeting. Prior to the meeting the moderator or organizer often compiles the documents and files for the meeting and have them distributed. The organizer then sends out e-mails or text messages inviting the guests and participants citing the certain day and time the web conference will start.

Attendees may accept or reject the invitation and their calendar program will add the meeting to their schedule. The invitation sent out includes a link to the conference and a password or access code to join the conference. The attendee just have to click the URL and enter the password or access code.

Once the attendees have already logged on to the conference, the organizer or presenter controls the meeting. The presenter has the ability to share the desktop and other documents and applications. Control of the flow of the discussion can be handed over to other attendees letting them to present. Participants can communicate to each other by audio or video, voice chat, instant messaging or desktop sharing.

Images from the presenter’s computer are constantly being uploaded to the server and sent to attendees, it is much like video streaming. Participants can share documents and applications because the files are temporarily available on the server where anyone with the right link and password can access. To end the conference or to log out of the meeting, participants just simply close their conferencing programs.

Web conferences are easy to set up and can forge strong working relationships among employees. Collaborations and cooperation made through web conferencing can play a very important role in improving the business and the operations of certain institutions.