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Net Conferencing: Preparing For Your Conference

Net conferencing is an amazing 21st-century way of saving both time and money when a face-to-face, interactive meeting is simply necessary to seal a deal. You do need to lay out some pretty pennies when you buy the necessary software, but you'll find that short-term expense quickly recovered and exceeded by long-term savings as you no longer need to do the traveling and coordinating, with all of the money and time that it all entails, that you used to have to do.

Net conferencing also makes it possible for you to operate much more of a virtual office. No longer do you need to fly in, or fly out to see, or even drive to see, those employees who live a long distance from your central office and with whom you need to meet. Think of the fuel expenses, food money, and once again time that you save by not having to deal with all of that.

And if your meeting is really just between you and one or two other people who live thousand of miles away from you, all you need is an instant messenger such as Yahoo orMSN IM and a webcam . You'll be able to instantly send documents and photographs back and forth while seeing each other and talking together in an intuitive way that is often necessary for the furthering of a business relationship built on trust.

There are some important steps to follow to make sure that your net conferencing is a success, though.

*Test out the software first. Make sure that everyone's computer will be able to run the software at hand before you buy it or make them all buy it. Oh, and you do want everyone using the same software program. It's possible to mix and match, but don't try it. There's too much that could go wrong or lead to confusion.

*Know exactly how to operate it. Okay, you are going to be running a meeting--you should really have mastery of the means of the meeting, now don't you think? Don't go into this cold, expecting to wing it with the software. Practice first. And it's very important, along with this, that you not allow the virtual format to fool you into some kind of improvised meeting. One designated person needs to be the leader of the meeting.

*Get your calendars in sync. Everyone involved needs to know exactly when the meeting is. You should send out e-mail invitations at least 24 hours in advance.

*If you are going to be meeting with three or more people on a routine basis, don't use the webcam and IM conferencing format. Use something like Webex, without the video aspect, instead. You'll all be able to hear each other and see the necessary desktops, plus if anyone really wants to they'll be able to click on a particular person and get a little live camera image of them anyway.

*Don't get caught up in the fascination with the technology. Be like an ace pitcher in the World Series--do your stuff without being awed by the event, and get offline. You can marvel at the Space Age technology later on, in private.

Follow those guidelines and save yourself countless headaches with Net conferencing.



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