Connecting Conference Call Attendees from Multiple International Locations

By: michael framer | Posted: 03rd May 2011

With a domestic teleconference, you simply tell participants the phone

number, access code, and time and everything falls into place. With an

international conference call, you could have dozens of separate phone

numbers, multiple time zones, and varying per minute rates.

In order to ensure a smooth conference call, international

teleconference hosts need to plan in advance. Start by identifying the

countries that will be involved in the conference. For example, if

you're hosting a U.S.-based international conference call involving

managers from your regional offices in China, Norway, New Zealand,

Italy, South Africa, and Canada, you know that your attendees in these

countries will need to dial a U.S. phone number in order to connect to

the teleconference, right?

Not so fast. Sure, you could set up the call that way. However, this

would mean that each attendee would need to dial out of their country

using an unfamiliar "country code" and pay long distance rates out of

pocket. If you use a toll free 800 number, that number may not support

callers from outside the U.S. which would make the conference

inaccessible to your international callers.

International conference calls don't need to be this challenging. In

fact, conference call international plans exist to overcome these

challenges. Instead of providing your callers with a foreign phone

number, use an international conference call service provider and issue

local toll free phone numbers for your global participants.

Depending on your billing preferences, you can host toll free

international conference calls where you pay all toll charges or you

could issue local toll numbers. Either way, your callers in China,

Norway, New Zealand, Italy, South Africa, Canada, and other countries

would dial phone numbers local to their countries.

After identifying the countries involved and finding a reliable

conference call international service provider, check the per minute

rates for each country involved so that you can budget accordingly.

Rates vary dramatically. For example, Canadian rates are as low as 4

cents per minute while you'll pay over 40 cents per minute for your

Chinese callers if they dial the China Toll Free number.

When examining the different per minute rates, you may find that for

some countries, it's less expensive to dial out than it is to have

those callers dial in. For example, where your mainland Chinese callers

may pay over 40 cents per minute to dial directly, you may pay less

than 10 cents per minute to dial-out to them. If you're ultimately

paying the bill either way and the difference is significant, it's

worth preprogramming the teleconference to automatically dial out to

attendees in those countries. It takes a little work to enter the phone

numbers in advance but once it's done, the conference call

international service automatically handles the dialing when the

conference time arrives.

You'll need to let your participants know the details of the call

including the local Toll Free access phone number, the international

conference call PIN number, and the local time and date of the call.

You can approach announcing your international conference calls in

several ways. You could send out one email to all attendees listing the

teleconference phone numbers and local times by country or you could

send individual emails to attendees detailing their specific

instructions. Let the size of the group and your knowledge of the

callers' locations guide you. In general, the easier you can make it on

your attendees, the better. Instead of relying on individuals to

convert the time and date of the call and risking inaction or mistakes,

convert the international conference call's start time to local time

for your callers. They'll know exactly when to call into the conference

call international and your call can begin.

Connecting callers from multiple countries into your international

conference calls does take some advanced planning by your moderator.

However, with the right international conference call service plan in

place, the process is easy. If you hold regular international

teleconferences with the same global attendees, you can even preprogram

the entire group for automatic dial out. This makes future

international conference calls a breeze! offers
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Tags: country code, dozens, attendee, south africa, toll free phone, attendees, time zones, teleconference, access code, free phone numbers, toll free phone numbers, regional offices, conference call service