We take a personal interest in covering the issues surrounding conference calling services for churches and other religious organisations, because, unlike a business conference call, we find that a lot of religious organisations make use of conference calling to allow members of their congregation to join daily, weekly or monthly when unable to join a session in body due to ill health or perhaps working away from home.
Stay away from VoIP…for now
We’ve written in quite some detail about the reasons for staying away from VoIP services, here. Just in case you’re not aware, VoIP is the acronym for ‘Voice over Internet Protocol’. But, how do you know if a conference call provider is VoIP based or not?
Well, to begin with, our top 10 conference call providers list are all non-VoIP providers, so picking a provider from that list will ensure you don’t take services from such a business. View the top 10 providers here.
What’s so bad about VoIP? Well, there’s 2 key reasons that makes VoIP redundant for most:
a. It’s purely internet based. That means, anyone that joins your conference call must have a internet connection and it must be a good connection. Why? Because unlike browsing the web, audio from a conference call over VoIP needs a good quality, consistent connection to the internet. This is the first big issue with VoIP as it has a direct and detrimental impact on the call quality.
b. Everyone that will be using your service has a great internet connection? Superb. The second biggest issues we find with VoIP conference call providers is that each and every single person will need to download some software that will help bridge the connection. Several key issues with this: 1) some people just don’t ‘get it’ when it comes to IT related matters and 2) as the leader of the conference call, you’ll find that YOU become the IT support person for all those on your call while they click around trying to figure out why they can’t connect. Before you know it – 30 minutes have passed and you’re yet to start the call.
Cater for all?
Here’s a list of other areas you should think about when choosing a provider:
- Are international dial-in numbers required?
- Do we need call recording, i.e., for those that are unable to attend or listen live?
- Do we want to take the full cost or share among those that dial-in?