Conference Call Bridge
A conference call bridge connects multiple lines into a conference call.
A conference call bridge links multiple telephone lines through a designated phone number. This allows individuals from different sites to talk to each other - all at once (if you like pandemonium).
Benefits of a Conference Call Bridge
A conference call bridge is a component that makes conference calling possible. Conference calling has become an important aspect of business communications because of its main benefits:
- Savings: A conference call bridge links people wherever they are. There's no need to drive or fly. No need to book hotels. No need to pay thousands of dollars in travel costs.
- Real-Time Collaboration: Conference call bridges allows participants of a conference call to collaborate and work on something together in real time. Conference call bridges may also support integration with web and video conferencing, which make the sessions even more interactive.
- Reach: Reach more people nationwide and globally. Conference call bridges can connect even international callers.
Conference calls are used by businesses for weekly sales meetings, earnings reports, distance training, company-wide announcements, and team meetings, among other uses.
Costs of a Conference Call Bridge
There are two ways to acquire a conference call bridge:
- Purchase or lease conference call bridge equipment.
- Subscribe to a conference call provider and use their conference call bridge.
If you have a big corporation, with deep pockets and a constant conference call compulsion, buy the conference call bridge. This can cost around $10,000 to $20,000, for the equipment itself. Plus, hundreds to thousands of dollars per phone line.
If you have a small to medium-sized business with average call conferencing needs, your best option is to subscribe to a dedicated conference call provider. These providers charge a flat rate per month for unlimited reservationless conference calling. You pay for the use of their call conference bridge without having to purchase nor maintain the bridge. If you have very minimal or sporadic call conferencing needs, you can even get a pay-as-you-go subscription which charges only a few cents per minute.
Using A Conference Call Bridge
There are two ways to connect to a conference call bridge: dial-in and dial-out.
Dial-in means that you provide your participants with a dial-in number and a code to join the session.
Dial-out means that you can call your participants, and even invite last-minute participants to join.
A conference call provider can give you a toll-free dial-in number for your conference call. That'll mean that you and your participants won't have to pay long distance charges. Otherwise, your participants are responsible for paying for their own long distance charges for dialing in to your session.
Conference Call Bridge Providers
Conference call providers let you use their conference bridges for a very small fee. The best part of subscribing to an outside provider, aside from the savings, is that these providers offer additional features and services.
Here are some examples:
- Technical Support: You don't need to hire a specialized team to set up a session or to maintain a conference call bridge. Your provider will host and maintain the conference call bridge and make sure there are no technical problems during your session. They will also provide tutorials and technical support to make sure your conference doesn't have any glitches.
- User Controls: Even if you don't own the conference call bridge, you'll be able to control your conference like you did. An administrator panel is offered by most providers so moderators can control the session. They can invite, block, or mute participants. Star commands (you know how you use *69 to call someone back after they called you? star commands are like that) can also be used by participants to control volume or 'raise a hand'.
- Recording: You can record a conference call session and download it for future playback. Useful for shareholder meetings.
- Operator Assistance: An operator, assigned by the provider, schedules the meeting, professionally greets each attendee, handles the Q&A, and makes sure your conference call goes smoothly.
- Integration of Web and Video Conferencing: No need to purchase conferencing software. Most providers also offer web and video conferencing capabilities. Participants can even work on a document at the same time. They can also share files and stream related videos.
We have listed several conference call providers below. Check out their services and features and pick the best provider for your business.