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Using a computer for conference calling

I have been a fan of telephone conference calling for many years.  As a work-at-home entrepreneur and living 90 miles away from a major city, I prefer to attend meetings virtually.  I recently learned of a slick telephone conference program called UberConference.  It has a free plan, that allows for up to 10 participants, which is all I usually require for my business meetings.  So if you’re like me, and are interested in a teleconference service for small groups of people, you too may become a fan of UberConference.

The first thing I liked about UberConference is that it is so simple to use.  When you sign up for a free account, you will be assigned a unique telephone number and URL to use for all your conferences.  While you don’t get to choose the telephone number (it is automatically assigned), you can choose your URL.  Your custom UberConference domain, allows you to design a unique URL to complement your business.

As the conference host, I have the option of starting a conference immediately or scheduling a conference later at a specific date and time.  I like programs that allow for flexibility between now or later meetings.  You can schedule one meeting in advance, or a bunch of meetings.  There is even the option to give each of your meetings a unique name.  Nice.

Conference calling clock used for UberConfernce

To invite participants to a meeting, you simply type in their telephone number or email address.  Once a contact has been entered, they will now be in your address book for future meetings.  If use invite participants via a telephone number they will receive their invite via text.  Email invitees receive their invitation via email – which can be saved to their online calendar.  For meetings scheduled for a later date and time, invitees are sent a 5-minute text and/or email reminder.  How cool is that?

What I especially like is that invitees have the option of attending the teleconference either by using their telephone or using their computer’s built-in microphone and speakers.  This feature is especially nice for people who are outside the United States.  Attending the conference using Wi-Fi, allows participants to never worry about long distance fees or international mobile phone data charges.  This is great news for business professionals on a budget.

With regards to how long your conference calls can run, currently the maximum length is 5 hours.  I don’t know if I would ever want to attend a business meeting that ran that long.  However, it’s nice to know the option for marathon meetings does exist.

If you ever want to record your conference calls, it’s so easy.  Simply click the record button (via the web dashboard), or dial 00 on your telephone.  After the conference is over, the host is emailed a copy of the recording, which can be listened to online and/or downloaded as an mp3 file.  You can even just forward a copy of your recording email to anyone you’d like to access the call.

Recording data from UberConference conference calling

One thing that I especially like about UberConference is that you can see (via the web) who is on the call and know exactly who is talking.  The host always has the option of muting callers and/or even ejecting participants from the meeting.  Finally, to keep your meeting secure, the host can lock the meeting by clicking the lock meeting button (via the web) or dialing ##.

To access your UberConference meeting, your attendees can use any type of telephone – cell phone or land line.  To access meetings via the web, meeting attendees must use the following internet browsers:  Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.  Sorry, Safari is currently not supported.

As an added benefit, conference hosts can facilitate meetings from their mobile devices.  There is a free app (iOS and Android) that allows you to run meetings with ease.

A feature that I especially like is that UberConference has really nice pre-conference hold music.  There are several different tracks that you can choose from.  Or if you prefer, you can opt to have no music playing and instead greet participants with the sounds of silence.

Last but not least, UberConference allows web-based attendees to participate in screen-sharing and group chat.  While it doesn’t allow for video conferencing, it is still a neat feature to be able to combine audio and screen-share functions in a group setting.  Best of all, participants do not have to download or install any programs to use these advanced features.

I believe the free version of UberConference is an awesome and professional telephone conference tool.  Down the road, if you find you need additional features (ex. allow more than 10 participants, international telephone numbers, a toll-free access number, custom local phone number, etc.) it’s good to know that you can upgrade to a premium account.  In the meantime, for any business on a budget UberConference  the free version is a great way to meet anyone’s basic telephone conference needs.

Launch4Life - Gillian Whitney

By Gillian Whitney

Communications Consultant