If you’re a late night TV junkie, you’ve no doubt seen advertisements for singles chat lines. These lines allow you to call into a number, for a fee, and join a conversation among a number of people all on the same telephone call.
Ironically, it’s similar to the old party-line telephone system, where all your neighbors shared the same phone line that we were all so happy to get rid of. These chat lines are the result of new products designed to provide a conference call system to consumers that is easy to use and inexpensive to access.
A conference call is simply a conference by telephone. Video may be incorporated, but the equipment is much more expensive and is less commonly used, as each end of the call must have the equipment for the video to work. A conference call can include any number of people, from a mere handful to thousands.
Calls can be set up as meetings where each party to the call can speak and be heard by every other party, or they can be set up as presentations, where the majority of callers cannot speak to the group but rather listen to a few speakers. More and more groups are using the latter type of call to conduct short continuing education seminars.
Anyone Can Use Conference Calling
Advances in telecommunications technology have made the conference call easier, cheaper and much higher quality in recent years. As a result, the conference call has become a common tool for businesses in all sorts of ways. A few of the many uses for a conference call are:
Home based workers at larger companies can participate in office meetings. Companies can hold meetings with field offices without the expense of travel and accommodations to bring employees to a central location and meetings can be held with clients anywhere in the world on short notice. Families with far-flung relatives may set up prearranged conference calls to allow group conversations.
It is easy for anyone to use conference calling, whether for business or for family phone use. There is specialized equipment necessary to conduct a conference call, and businesses that do a lot of conference calling may own their own equipment.
But many companies, including the phone companies themselves, are available to conduct a conference call for anyone that wants it. For a relatively small fee, anyone can set up a conference call.