Video conferencing is the next generation of business communication, and it’s fast replacing older formats like webinars and regular phone calls. In a way, it’s also returning to an old school meeting format: face to face interaction, only over a distance. Here are some of the main reasons that video conferencing has become many businesses’ first choice for professional communication.

Starting with the Basics

Before you schedule any kind of meeting, you should start from the beginning and establish that you actually need one. The business world is notorious for having meetings that go nowhere, or get waylaid and end up being unproductive.

The golden rule of knowing when it’s time to call a meeting are defined by Business 2 Community as three simple “p” words:

  1. People
  2. Process
  3. Profits

These guiding points should always be in your mind when you’re planning a meeting and setting goals for the outcome. This can be applied both to video conferencing as well as physical meetings, but it’s especially useful as the you plan the former. Just because a video conference is convenient, doesn’t mean that it should be as any less of a commitment. Always approach meeting participants the same way you would with scheduling a regular meeting. Stress the importance of the meeting and the reason it’s necessary, and get firm dates and times of availability. Reinforcing the idea that your next video conference will be a milestone is important, since it puts everyone in the mindset of productivity and cooperation.

Collaboration Is Key

Video conferencing is just like a regular meeting, only with the ability to transfer information more quickly, and utilize collaborative tools that are more efficient. For example, by using a professional service like Blue Jeans Video Conferencing, instead of rifling through a stack of papers or awkwardly flipping through a PowerPoint presentation with a clicker, you’re able to efficiently coordinate all of your meeting materials in one central location.

Having an agenda is extremely helpful as well, since that will keep everyone on track. Starting a video conference by stating the exact reason why you’ve called the meeting is important as you lay the groundwork for reaching an actionable conclusion once everyone disconnects. Collaboration is essential to keeping up creativity and fostering new ideas, and the ability to feed off one another in a video conference helps move this process along in ways that a webinar, chat session, or phone call cannot.

How Video Conferencing Goes above and Beyond

TheNextWoman compares video conferencing to a chat room, where lots of participants can join in on multiple devices, replete with the added element of face to face interaction. A major shift has taken in place in recent years as businesses move away from using webinars and toward video conferencing. While webinars are more presentational in nature, video conferencing fosters collaboration and brainstorming. However, one the most useful parts of being able to video conference is mobility.

In a world where most business professionals are using more than just a desktop computer and always on the go, enabling colleagues to join a video conference from anywhere they find themselves with a simple mobile device, such as a tablet or smartphone, maximizes efficiency and meeting productivity. One major issue that crops up when you call a meeting is accommodating everyone’s schedules or dealing with last minute cancellations, which can render a meeting completely useless is the absent person is critical to the discussion. Video conferencing eliminates many of these problems, allowing participants to connect at their own convenience from almost any location, whether from a desktop computer in their office, or via a tablet on the train. Whatever the situation, video conferencing takes business meetings to a higher level of efficiency.

How Technology Builds Client Confidence

If you’ve scheduled a meeting with clients, you want to put your best face forward. In this case, that happens to be your actual face, as well as the method of connection you’re using. For example, Millennials in particular are more likely to fully engage and become more deeply involved with something happening on a screen, since they’re used to sitting in front of one, according to Business 2 Community. This is a reason why video conferencing is a reliable way to present a professional appearance, especially while using a video conference service provider like BlueJeans, since it shows that you’re using the most efficient, cutting-edge technology to conduct your meetings. Not only does this appeal to younger colleagues since it’s forward thinking and new, but it also shows that you value communication and collaboration as an important priority.

Video conferencing is fast becoming the number one resource for professional communication in the business world. It mixes the convenience of a high-tech system that makes sharing materials with colleagues simpler, with the classic approach of interacting face to face. Most of all, however, is that one of the strongest points that video conferences stress is collaboration, which is always key in coming up with great ideas and putting them to work.