TL;DR: New video conferencing tool 8×8.vc makes it easy to connect with employees and customers on the go key features at no additional cost.

Video conferencing is cheaper than travel (and with 8×8, it’s free!). Let’s say you want to meet with a customer in another state to go over plans for a new project. You’ve got everything spec’d out and your team is excited about what the project could mean for your organization. But there’s just one problem — the best way to convey all sides of the plan would require at least three of the main contributors on the project. Sure you could hop on a plane (BTW — I LOVE planes) but what if the cost to get everyone in front of the customer was more than the value of the project? What if you’re only planning to meet for an hour? What if you need multiple meetings over time and it’s just not feasible to have key team members shuttling back and forth to the client site because it’s not in the contract? Have you ever been in this predicament? Video conferencing is the best solution for these problems because it helps bridge the communication divide while also having the feel of a face-to-face meeting. With 8×8’s new, free video conferencing software, you can meet over video and not worry about time limits, usage, or anything like that. It’s free and limitless — the power to be productive is at your fingertips!

Video conferencing brings employees together. When you run a startup or small business, you don’t always build your team from the talent pool in your backyard. For example, my company has employees and contractors who live in three time zones… An in-person meeting just doesn’t work for us! If you’re reading this article, you’re probably running a business that is very similar — am I right? These days many businesses know that the best talent isn’t always living in your backyard and many employees value the ability to work remotely for their employer. So, what’s the best way to keep everyone in the loop and build a sense of community? Definitely not email threads and “instachatbook” messages where you’re wondering if it’s okay to send that emoji that gets your point across. It’s video conferencing! Employees use video conferencing for many different reasons. With 8×8, it’s super easy to connect with colleagues in another county and another cubicle. You can have a standing meeting room, which makes it easy to share a custom URL with your teammates. You can also sync your availability with your calendar so people know when to chat about work and when to chat about your holiday plans! Did I also mention that you can meet via a web browser, tablet, and cell phone?

Video conferencing is a great way to make a first impression with prospects and potential new hires. Pro Tip: If you want to make a good first impression with a business colleague, you might want to have a pretty sweet looking office. Advanced Tip? Show that office off on a video conference call. Super-Next-Level Tip? Show that office off in HD! 8×8 offers feature-rich HD video and audio conferencing at no cost. That means you can leverage the space around you to help make your meeting participants feel like they’re right there with you — and do so with crystal clear visibility. Because let’s face it, as much as people lock into what’s being said at a meeting, they also want to see surroundings. Get good lighting, set up in your conference room or room with a view, and nail that next presentation or interview!

Video conferencing extends your ability to create meaningful content. This might actually be one of my favorite reasons for using video conferencing software. You don’t have to use it only for meetings. With 8×8, you can record podcasts/interviews, create video SOPs, share your screen and create training guides, and more! If you don’t think video is a popular form of content, think again! Over 500 million hours of video content is consumed on YouTube every day. Create internal and external video content with 8×8 and watch employee engagement and your marketing efforts soar!

Video conferencing is the communication tool of today — and tomorrow. Ask any millennial today and 8 times out of 10, they probably won’t be able to tell you the last person they talked to on the phone. The same number of millennials likely would tell you that they suffer from “app fatigue,” a condition that causes burnout due to the number of chat, email, text, and phone apps on our phones and the constant need to switch between them all to communicate with those who are important to us. But, remember what I said earlier about video consumption on YouTube? That trend alone is a good indicator that people crave video. People consume video to be entertained, to be informed, to learn new skills, and to keep in touch. Software like 8×8 makes that possible at work with a simple setup process and many key features. Want to know how many people attended a meeting and how many minutes they spoke in the meeting? 8×8 meeting analytics can show you. Worried about people not being able to speak up in heated discussion or one person monopolizing camera time? 8×8 has a hand-raise feature that let’s you acknowledge who wants to speak next. Video is the primary replacement for face-to-face communication when meeting IRL isn’t possible.

So, there you have it! As we look at 2020, you should consider using video conferencing software more often to communicate with employees, customers, and potential new hires. Not only is it the most preferred method of communication behind face-to-face meetings, you can have memorable meetings for free with 8×8’s new software offering. Take that next step and go register for an 8×8 profile for free today! And after the ball drops and we welcome 2020 with open arms, reach out to a colleague over video to say “Happy New Year and we’re going to have an amazing year together!”

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