Conference calling vs. video calling
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Conference calling vs. video calling

21st November 2012
By Jacqui Beel

In business conference calling is relatively old hat. Keeping in touch with colleagues and clients all over the world has never been made easier. And for a time conference calling was all that was ever needed. It enhanced valuable face-to-face meetings and added an extra dimension to keeping in touch.

However, as time has gone on and the world has gone through an economic crisis, businesses have had to look at ways to dramatically cut costs and improve business efficiency. As a result video conferencing has radically increased over the last few years with companies looking for more collaborative ways of working. As well as looking for ways to keep travel costs to minimum and replacing face-to-face meetings with video calls.

But does one outperform the other in business? Or do both serve a purpose? Here we examine the advantages and disadvantages to both video and audio conference calling. How do they compare?
Let’s find out…

Audio conference calling Video conference calling
Advantages -Quick and simple to use-You can find relatively cheap and free services
-It is common place in business so people understand how it works
-People can’t see you, so there is no need to make an effort
-Sometimes you don’t want to see the people you are talking too
-You can pick-up on visual cues-You can create the bond that can only happen when you see someone
-Sometimes it is easier to understand when you see something rather than just hear it
-Video calling allows a greater level of intimacy then audio calls
Disadvantages -You cannot pick up on visual cues when people are talking-Sometimes a meeting just needs to be face-to-face
-Things can be missed when audio calls take place – especially if the line isn’t 100% clear
-Video calling is often more expensive than audio conference calls-You have to make an effort with how you look
-Although still convenient, not as convenient as simply dialling a number at your desk

So it looks like they are relatively similar in their advantages and disadvantages, and it appears that the situation plays a heavy role in what conferencing approach you would take. In which situations would you pick voice over video and vice versa?

Or maybe it is about combining the two approaches – using video for visual cues and audio for clear communication. Tools such as one click collaboration are combining these elements allowing people a more sophisticated way of keeping in touch… we think this is the future…