What Is 8-Point Conference Calling?

By Melissa LaRose

  • Overview

    Technological advances have affected the traditional meaning of "holding a conference." Conference calling can occur on a number of different platforms from phone to web, audio to video. When considering audio conference calling, choosing the right system depends on your company's size and its communication needs.
  • Definition

    An 8-point conference calling plan allows a maximum of eight participants per call. For many small companies, this is adequate for staff meetings, training sessions, and internal consulting.
  • Types

    There are three basic types of calling systems that can adapt to an 8-point calling system. -Call-out conference calling systems have a conference host that assembles the call by approaching each participant at a specific time. The host is generally the person running that particular conference. -Call-in conference calling systems typically use a predetermined number to call at a specific time. This system generally allows the caller to enter a room of participants through a code number once the call is made. -Permanent or on-demand conference calls are a made through a permanent number that allows for immediate conference calling with no setup required.

  • Function

    Taking full advantage of a conference calling system requires a company to assess their needs. Will you be using this tool for general discussion and decision making or will you be using it on a much larger scale for marketing, promotions, announcements, or special events? Knowing the average number of participants and general length of calls, and assessing the typical parameters of use allows you to find a system that meets your needs.
  • Benefits

    8-point systems can help a company improve work performance and business processes. They can: Save time through improved communications; Make it easy to disseminate information; Save money through reduced travel costs; Increase productivity via telecommuting.
  • Optional Features

    Look for audio recording options, playback or written transcripts, foreign language translations, polling during calls, the ability to open sub-conference rooms, or the ability to speak privately with other participants during the call. An 8-point conference system should always allow for full audio participation and interaction among participants and include the option of muting and adjusting volume.
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