Call it the modern meeting or the meeting reinvented, just don’t call it a fad. It doesn’t matter if you commute to the office every day or work remotely, web conferencing is quickly becoming an invaluable tool with 87% of those who use it feeling more connected to their peers and clients.
Before we get into how web conferencing is benefiting companies and workers all over the world, let’s rewind for a second and consider how we got here. It was just over 100 years ago that the first conference call was made, taking hours to set up and a costing a small fortune to execute. Fast forward to 1964 when the Picturephone debuted at the World’s Fair, allowing both audio and images to be transmitted simultaneously via phone line, thereby allowing users to literally put faces to names. From there the technology improved and advanced with the times, eventually ending up where we are now - capable of connecting almost an unlimited number of people in real time video via the internet.
1. 75% of managers believe web conferencing will replace conference calls.
Don’t throw out your phones just yet - what this stat is really saying is that the benefits of video meetings have surpassed those of conference calls. Personally, I can’t remember when my last conference call was, but I do remember what it was like - disorganized. I called up a number, had no idea who else was on the call unless they introduced themselves, and I spent half the time distracted as I struggled to take notes.
Web conferencing has changed all of that. Interfaces now show a list of participants, hosts can share screens and decks with easy, and the session can be recorded and reviewed on a whim.
2. Regular web conference users participate in at least 1 online meeting a week.
This is the stat that I see growing the most in the next 5 years. We already know web conferencing enjoys a 45% adoption rate, meaning the thing that is preventing people from using it more regularly is likely user experience.
And who can blame them - change is hard, right?
If you spent the last few years picking up the phone or taking a drive every time you wanted to have a client meeting, switching to video meetings might be hard to pill to swallow. That pill, however, is becoming smaller and smaller thanks to the newest wave of conferencing software and features.
Access regardless of device or browser? Check.
Click to join? Check.
Hosted in the cloud? Check.
Unlimited number of participants? Check.
Web conferencing is becoming the rule instead of the exception and I expect more people will be connecting over the web versus the phone in near future.
3. On average, businesses that utilize web conferencing save 30% in travel expenses.
Convenience and functionality aside, the truth for a lot of companies is that money talks, right? Video conferencing offers a huge upside for companies with employees that travel frequently and bottom lines are likely one of the driving forces behind the rapid adoption.
In addition to money, there are numerous other benefits for companies the use web conferencing in lieu of traditional meetings:
- Happier Employees - that same study noted 70% of employees preferred a video meeting versus having to travel.
- Sharing Information Is Easier - forget taking notes, online meetings allow screen and deck sharing, ensuring the focus is on the information and not your pen and paper.
4. 96% of participants believe web conferencing improves productivity between remote teams.
When you consider that 23% of workers did at least some remote work in 2015, it makes sense that companies would be adopting strategies to accommodate this growing trend. Holding meetings via web conference is one of the obvious solutions as it allows individuals and teams to communicate more efficiently that email and phone calls. Having the ability to press a button and collaborate with a coworker on the other side of the world not only saves time, it can improve morale with remote workers feeling more connected than ever.
In addition, companies that do not adapt to the growing remote workforce risk appearing less attractive to potential employees as 68% of millennial job seekers say their interest in a company would increase if they allowed remote work.
5. 75% of surveyed organizations plan on utilizing mobile web conferencing.
Just like #3 in this list talked about saving money, this stat shows that companies who do not actively utilize web conferencing risk losing out on business and revenue. Imagine a potential client requests a video call and your organization is either ill-equipped to handle it or has no experience conducting business online - how will that look to the client? This is the reality for a lot of companies and it puts them at a disadvantage compared to those who have adapted to and embraced new technologies. The goal here is to be leading the charge, not playing catch up.
While the tools and methods have changed and evolved, a meeting’s purpose has always been the same - to connect with people quickly and easily in order to achieve more in less time. And regardless of if you use it for sales, business development, or just internally, the benefits of web conferencing have never been clearer.