How Do Conference Calls Work? The Basics Explained

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It seems like everyone’s conference calling these days.

But how do conference calls work? If you’ve asked that question, you’re probably trying to understand the buzz about conference calls. COVID-19 has accelerated the rising popularity of conference calls, so it makes sense to catch up.

Here are the basics of conference calls explained.

What are Conference Calls?

A conference call is a popular way to conduct modern business meetings. That said, they’ve also found a home outside the business world, as they can connect groups of families and friends.

The concept is simple: a conference call allows multiple people to join a single phone call at once. A conference call works more like a virtual meeting than a traditional telephone call. Many conference calls even feature a visual component so that callers can see each other, too.

Participants can speak in real-time as in any other meeting. They can play an active role in the conversation or even just listen in, as though attending a briefing.

Conference calls are a flexible way to connect people, so it’s no surprise they’ve become so popular. That goes double for our new socially-distant world, where meeting face to face isn’t even an option, sometimes.

How Conference Calls Work

The method for setting up a conference call varies based on your chosen platform.

Conference calls used to be an extension of business telephony, being part of your business phone package. These days, it’s becoming more common to use software solutions that work via a computer and an internet connection. This has led to the rise of popular software like Skype and Zoom.

The cost of a conference call also varies, but there are usually ways to set up a free conference call to keep costs down.

The underlying principle remains the same. A host can set up a scheduled call and invite participants or establish an open “room” that others can join. Participants can then discuss anything in real-time, often with the support of a space where participants can swap files, display images, or paste links.

Benefits of Conference Calls

Conference calls have many benefits that make them popular in modern business environments. Here are a few common conference call benefits that have led to their uptake across the world:

  • Virtual meeting: Participants can dial in from anywhere on the globe—no need for long-distance travel
  • Speedier resolution: Long email chains can take days to resolve, while a conference call might take an hour or so
  • Promote collaboration: With all parties working in real-time, calls enable collaborative projects
  • Greener communication: With no travel involved, conference calls are an eco way to stay in touch

How Do Conference Calls Work? The Basics Explained

If you’ve ever found yourself asking “how do conference calls work? And what’s all the fuss?” then this handy guide should have helped. You can see by now why conference calls have become such a popular way of communicating—in both the business and personal worlds.

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