Video conference

Video conference

A video conference enables a thematic exchange among several people without the need for a physical presence. Modern means of communication generate both an acoustic and visual representation of the participants, which is often perceived as more authentic and familiar than an ordinary telephone conversation.

What is a video conference?

It is a form of digital meeting held entirely via a video link, meaning a physical meeting at a location is not necessary. At the same time, the greatest possible degree of authenticity is generated through the acoustic and visual representation of the participants. Not necessarily, but most often, a video conference is held in a professional or political environment - e.g. between heads of state. Video conferences are also a popular means of communication between students or students and teachers in the context of distance learning.

How do video conferences work?

A video conference is a live connection between several participants at different locations for the purpose of a real-time meeting. The participants can both see and hear each other. The technical requirements for this are digital end devices such as computers, tablets, or smartphones that have a microphone and a webcam. In addition, a sufficiently powerful internet connection must be available. After a prior invitation, often via e-mail, the participants arrange to meet at a specific time at different locations, log into the conference tool and begin the video conference. A quiet and well-lit environment for each participant is conducive to a pleasant discussion atmosphere. In addition, both the choice of topics and the debate should be very focused. A video conference that is too long has a negative effect on concentration and thus on the result.

Which topics are suitable for a video conference?

In general, all topics are suitable, for example, project meetings and strategic planning discussions. The progress of certain operational processes can also be discussed digitally. Even job interviews can occur via a video conference.

What do the minutes look like during a video conference?

Minutes are also indispensable during a video conference. A participant should be designated in advance to document the conversation, at least in bullet points. This is then sent to all the people who took part in the digital meeting.

What are the advantages of video conferencing?

One of the main advantages of video conferencing is the ability to bring together participants at different, sometimes very far-flung locations. This avoids a lengthy and costly journey and the travel time can be used for productive activities. This also saves money and reduces the impact on the environment. In addition, video conferencing allows for quick and uncomplicated access to professional expertise. Special situations (e.g. crises) of globally operating companies can be managed independently of location, and decisions can be made quicker. Many employees consider the fact that they are not tied to a particular location to be easier on the nerves and conducive to concentration and is often preferred by those working from home.

Skype is very popular but lacks typical business features. Microsoft Teams took over the business version of Skype and is specially tailored to business video conferences. Zoom Meetings is also frequently used, of which - as with many providers - there is a free and professional version. Other popular tools are Amazon Chime, Cisco Webex, and Placetel UC-One.