Summary: There are two ways to manage large conference calls. One method is to host the call yourself. The other option is to run an operator-assisted call where all aspects of the event are overseen by a specially-trained professional lead moderator.
Manage Conference Calling Events With Confidence
Whether it’s the first large conference call you are hosting or your 50th, it’s normal to feel some nervousness leading up to the meeting. Big conference calls usually signify important events. If it’s your responsibility to make them run smoothly and it’s best you do everything you can to ensure success. There are two ways to go about managing a large conference call. You can host the meeting yourself, or utilize a specially-trained conference call operator to manage the specific needs of a VIP call. Let’s review the difference between a self-hosted call and one managed by an event operator and when to use each.
Tips for Hosting a Large Conference Call
Large audio conference calls aren’t difficult to manage, but you do need to prepare for the meeting in advance. And it’s necessary to know the tools and steps that are required to keep your call from running off the rails. If you were put in charge of managing an in-person event for your company, you wouldn’t just wing it. You’d plan ahead of time to make sure everything goes according to plan. The process of preparing for a large conference call is no different. In our experience working with clients who have managed large conferencing events, we’ve heard all the stories imaginable. Such as corporate investor relations meetings with nothing but commuter traffic in the background. Or free-for-all Q&A sessions where attendees talk over each other. We’re here to help you avoid issues such as these. These best practices will ensure you manage your large conferencing events effectively.
Familiarize Yourself With Your Conferencing Service and Its Features
Knowing how and when to use select features will lend an air of professionalism to your calls. Right from the beginning of your call you can welcome participants with a custom conference call greeting. This not only lets participants know they have joined the correct call but can also reinforce your brand name or meeting topic. An added touch is selecting custom hold music if you choose for the meeting not to start until you join in as the host.
The curse of many unsuccessful conference calls is that one person with a bad connection or unspecified background noise intruding and interrupting your meeting. You can easily prevent this through the use of our host telephone controls by pressing 1* to mute your conference or turn on the mute feature using the online conference manager. Muting is especially important during a Q&A session so make sure you and your participants know how to use the telephone keypad controls. Important telephone keypad controls are:
1* Mute All Callers
2* Lock and Unlock Call
5* Call Recording
6* Request Participant Names
4* Mute Your Line
5* Ask Permission to Speak
Prepare and Distribute a Meeting Agenda
There’s a purpose for your conference call, therefore, it’s important to create a meeting agenda so you get your desired end results. Whether you’ll be hosting a 40 or 400-person conference call, the preparation and end result should be the same. Visualize how you would like the conference to go and map out your meeting agenda.
Record Your Conference Call and Follow-Up
The meeting doesn’t end when you hang up. The best way to make sure that your meeting objectives will be met is to send out meeting minutes and next steps. By recording your meeting you have a record of the event for drafting notes and a follow-up email. You can also send a direct link to the recording or attach a download of the meeting for participants and additional team members to review.
Operator-Assisted Conference Calls
Some calls such legal proceedings, quarterly investor calls, critically important business calls, press junkets and high-volume calls benefit from the next level of professionalism and management. Operator-assisted calls ensure that you can be confident in the success and security of your call.
Benefits of an Operator-Assisted Call
When nothing can be left to chance, take advantage of meeting with your lead moderator before your call to review your meeting objective and agenda. Your operator will review which call features will be necessary for such as:
- Creating the participant list to ensure only invited participants are allowed to join
- Call recording
- Event transcription
During the call, your lead moderator can also stay on the line for:
- Technical assistance and call quality monitoring
- Call dial-out when you want to bring a participant or speaker into a specified portion of the call
- Speaker and presenter introductions
- Q&A session hosting
Whether you choose to host a large conference call on your own or take advantage of an operator-assisted conference call use these tips to feel secure that your meeting will be a success.