How Conference Calls Work:
Conference calls set up by a conference call company are
inherently different from the 3 or 4 person calls you might be
able to set up from your in-house telephone system. When using
your own phone system, you will experience an uneven balance in
volume from one line to the next which will degrade as you add
callers, finally making it impossible to conduct your meeting.
This usually happens when you get to 4 or more participants.
With a professionally set up conference call, each participantís
telephone line is routed through sophisticated equipment called
a "bridge". This bridging equipment receives and enhances
each line electronically, evening out the volume levels and
then sends the electronic voice signal back out to each
listening ear. This allows everyone participating to sound just
like they would in a regular 1 to 1 call. This way even hundreds
of people can be connected in a single call.
In order to achieve this, the participants first need to dial
into the bridge. The conference call company gives the call host
a special dial-in telephone number (usually toll-free) and a pass code. The host
distributes those numbers to all intended participants. At the
pre-arranged date and time, all participants dial that phone
number, enter the pass code and are joined into their
Difference Between Direct Dial and 800 Calls:
All conference calls have 2 components that can be paid for
separately or together:
The cost for the use of the bridge.
The cost for the long distance phone call to the bridge.
The host of the call can choose to pay for both parts or for
only the use of the bridge.
800 Calls: The host chooses to pay for both the bridge and the
participantís long distance call to the bridge. This call is
more expensive because Domestic participants will dial an
800 number at no expense to themselves. The cost for their lines
into the bridge, as well as the cost for the use of the bridge
is borne entirely by the host.
Direct Dial Calls: The host chooses to pay for only the bridge use.
That reduces his/her cost because all participants
are dialing a regular area code and are paying for their own
long distance call to the bridge. The host pays for the bridge
use portion and the participants will see the long
distance portion on their own, regular phone bill. At CONTACT,
the bridging equipment is in the 706, 720, 770 and 641 area codes.
Because 800 numbers do not work overseas, in the case of both
domestic and international callers on the same conference call,
Direct Dial and 800 lines can be mixed. The bridge places each
participant into the same conference by pass code.
Types of Calls:
You will want to choose the type of call that is right for
your particular application.
Reservationless: The fastest growing
application of conference call technology today. The host calls
800 836-3920 Reservations Line and is given a permanent Dial-in
Number as well as a Participant Pass Code. This special
combination of Dial-in Number and Pass Code is available AT ALL
TIMES. It is YOUR set of numbers. You never need to call us
again. Anytime you want to have a conference, you only need to
let the participants know the date and time. Participants will
be automatically prompted to enter the Pass Code when they dial
in. The Pass Code gives the bridge the direction to put each
participant into the correct conference call. As with all
CONTACT conference calls, there is always an operator available
by pressing *0 (star-zero) anytime during the
Automated: The host calls our 800 836-3920
Reservations Line and
reserves each call ahead of time. We give the host
a Permanent Dial-in Number and a Participant Access Code which
is only valid for the requested date and time.
Standing reservations can be made for recurring calls (weekly,
monthly, etc.). Upon dialing in, participants are prompted by
the automated bridge to enter their Pass Code and participants
are automatically connected. As with all CONTACT conference
calls, there is always an operator available by pressing *0
(star-zero) any time during the call.
Operator Assisted: At times the personal
touch of a live operator is required for special calls. They can
check in each participant, taking down participant names and
company names or can check callers off a participant list for
security purposes. Operators can moderate question-and-answer
sessions for large presentations; they can introduce individual
speakers or moderate a panel discussion with world-wide
How to Set Up a Conference Call:
You can call 800 836-3920 and set up your account by
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