Let's start with the low-hanging fruit: Raise your hand if you think hosting an international conference call is far less expensive than arranging an in-person conference with participants located around the world.
Thank you, I see that hand… thank you… okay, if you did not raise your hand, please surf on over to find out what the Kardashian sisters are wearing tonight. Have a good one.
Are they gone? Good. Now, that conference call set up is easier than you may realize. But, according to
industry observer Michael Framer, before you schedule the call, "you'll need to select a telecommunications provider that supports international conference calls as well as do a little pre-call organizing."
If your international conference calls will involve participants from different countries, find an international conference calling plan that supports those specific countries or offers "dial out" to those countries, Framer says: "The way international conference calling works, participants from other countries dial a toll free number for their countries in order to connect to the phone conference."
This is important, because if a country is not supported, Framer cautions, or "if toll free access from that country is more expensive than expected" - and it will be - "you can optionally dial out to those participants. For example, toll free international conference call rates in the Philippines may be higher than you're willing to pay per minute. You may be able to get a better rate for your Filipino participants by dialing out to them directly."
But of course a provider who can deliver the most locations is ideal.
And we don't need to tell you to get your time zones straight. A great resource for this is the Customized World Clock
, which has pretty much all the major cities and countries you'd want on one Web page, with the current times in each. Would that more of this reporter's friends and family from America referred to this resource when calling down here to New Zealand.
Lots of other good, practical advice for the calls on the page.David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David's articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Juliana Kenny