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A Glossary Of Conference Call Terms and Definitions – Let's Meet

If you’re not using conference call services you’ve been left behind. Don’t let the techno-talk fool you into submissiveness and dial into mega savings and benefits. Maximize profits and minimize wasted time with the most explosive growth industry of today, call conference services.

Settle back and familiarize yourself with this easy-reference user guide to conference calling. We have included a well rounded group of the most popular conference call terms to get you well on your way with need-to-know business communication terms for your conferencing solutions.

  • Access Code
    A series of numeric digits entered by a touch tone phone after dialing into a conference call number which is then connected through a conference bridge. The access code directs the caller to the appropriate conference.
  • Address Book
    A contact and group management system.
  • Alternative Dial-in Number
    An additional Dial-in number offered for international callers on a web or audio conference call. As only callers within the US or the US and Canada can access toll free numbers, the alternative dial-in number enables participants anywhere in the world to joint the call. Typically, the international caller will pay international long distance charges from their end from their own long distance provider. As a conference call organizer, you will likely pay a pre-determined per minute charge for each caller, regardless of their location.
  • Application Viewing & Sharing
    A web conferencing collaboration tool that allows the conferencing host and participants to share software applications during a web conference.
  • Announcer
    Staff from your chosen conferencing company will offer professional staff trained to provide assistance to the moderator/s throughout your call. Roles such as welcoming, introductions, roll call, and leading a question and answer period are common.
  • Attended Call
    A conference call with a dedicated operator to help provide you with assistance you request in advance. The operator will likely announce the call, monitor it and manage the question and answer components (or any other operator service that is pre-arranged) for your convenience.
  • Automated Call
    A conference call in which participants access the call through a passcode (there is no operator on the call).
  • Auto-Expansion
    Will allow more than the scheduled number of participants to enter the call, if space is available.
  • Auto-Extension
    Will automatically allow the call to be extended beyond the scheduled end time (as resources permit).
  • Bridge
    A piece of equipment used to connect a conference call with three of more telephone lines, so all participants can access the same call.
  • Chat and Messaging
    A web collaboration feature that permits the host to instantly send or receive feedback to others. Private, one-on-one chats are also possible amongst participants.
  • Collaboration
    This term is used to refer to working together remotely while conferencing. It often refers to the benefits of web conferencing, which allow users to share applications, documents, or do a presentation on their PC in real time.
  • Computer Download
    Allows you to retrieve and save your Conference Recording for playback on multimedia computers and digital audio players. This is only available when Conference Recording is selected in your conference. Once you have downloaded the recording it can be burned to a CD-ROM, saved on your computer, or sent by e-mail to colleagues.
  • Conference call
    A telephone meeting that involves three or more participants, with telephone lines connected via a conferencing bridge. It is also known as audio or teleconferencing.
  • Conference ID
    Something that you can use to track your conference calls according to criteria of your choice (e.g. department, project, client, expense, etc.) that will appear on your receipt.
  • Conference Recording
    A digital audio file recording of your conference call, usually in an MP3 format for computer download and/or telephone playback.
  • Conference Transcription
    A text copy of your conference call prepared by a third-party service. This service is selected in advance of the conference call.
  • Conference Manager
    An online system that stores your upcoming scheduled conferencing, including e-mail invitation details, conference Participants and RSVP statuses.
  • Conference Bridge
    A computer which manages the resources available for conference calls.
  • Conversation Mode
    A mode which allows an open, un-muted conference call in which all participants can speak freely. At any time during a conference call the mode can be changed by the conference organizer between Conversation Mode, Q&A Mode and Presentation Mode by toggling the “7” on the telephone keypad.
  • Comm Line
    A behind-the-scenes phone line used during an operator-attended conference to assist the Moderator or Host in matters such as troubleshooting and verifying unlisted participants.
  • CSP
    Stands for Conferencing Service Providers. CSP refers to companies who offer conferencing services to the public.
  • Desktop Sharing & Desktop Transfer
    A web conferencing collaboration feature which permits the conference Host to show participants operations from their desktop. Desktop sharing may also be transferred over to anyone in the meeting.
  • Dial-In Number
    The dial in phone number all participants dial to access the conference call. It may also be referred to as ‘access number’.
  • Dial Out
    This feature allows the host or conferencing operator to add a participant after the conference call has begun.
  • Entry Chimes
    An call chime will sound as new participants joint the call. This helps the host welcome new guests, which can be turned on or off at any time during the call.
  • E-mail Invitation
    An e-mail invitation is sent requesting/allowing a participant to access the call
  • Exit Chimes
    Exit chimes will sound when a participant exits the conference. The exit chimes may also be turned on or off at any point during the conference call by the conference Host..
  • Event Manager
    A dedicated conferencing customer service specialist who manages the logistics and organization of a conference call.
  • File Transfer
    A web conferencing collaboration feature, which permits the host and participants to transfer files electronically without disconnecting from the conference call.
  • Listen-Only Mode
    A one-way communication mode which only permits the host of the call to be heard. Conference call participants do not have the ability to speak to others on the call. This feature is beneficial to avoid back round noise while the call is in process. Listen only may be turned off or on at any point during the call to allow for call participants to interact during the call.
  • Local Access
    A local dial in phone number is used to permit access to the call. This increases the convenience to access multi-national conferencing and reduces participant costs.
  • Locking the Conference
    This feature promotes conference call security by only allowing participants to enter the call with and organizer access code when entering the call. The call organizer may lock or unlock the call to allow for others to join in. Caution if a participant drops off the call (ex. using a cell phone), the conference call must first be unlocked before the participant can rejoin the conference.
  • Moderator
    The person who facilitates the conference call. This is often the host or an appointed representative.
  • Mood Indicator
    A web conferencing collaboration feature which permits participants to share their opinions about how well they feel the conference call is going. This supports the host with the ability to change the volume, pace, and direction of the call accordingly.
  • MP3 File
    A compressed digital audio file which permits the transfer of the call for playback. the Internet multimedia computers are typically equipped with audio file players which support MP3 playback (ex. Windows Media Player, iTunes, WinAmp, etc).
  • Mute
    This feature allows the participant to block access to the call which prevents sound from their telephone interfering with the call.
  • Number sign/pound sign
    The number sign is commonly referred to as the ‘pound’ sign on touch tone telephones.
  • Open Conference
    A conference call that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is also referred to as an automated conference.
  • Panel
    A group of participants on a call that will access it through the organizer access code so that they are heard (not subject to muting) throughout the call.
  • Panelist
    An individual member of the pre-designated panel.
  • Participant
    A person who dials in to the conference call.
  • Participant Access Code
    The code entered by the participant in order to join the call.
  • Participant List
    The list of invited participants or attendees on a conference call.
  • Playback Access Code
    An access code given to participants who wish to hear the recorded conference call, once the recording becomes available.
  • Playback Dial-in Number
    The phone number a participant will dial in to access the conference call recording playback. Toll-free access is not available for playback.
  • Presentation Mode
    The mode that permits only the call host and designated panel to speak during the call. This mode automatically mutes members of the conference call not on the panel to ‘listen only’. At any time during a conference, the conferencing host may switch back and forth between Presentation Mode, Conversation Mode and Question and Answer Mode.
  • Polling/Voting
    A web conferencing collaboration feature which allows participants to respond the questions using their keypads.
  • Port
    The point at which phone lines enters or leaves the bridging equipment. One port usually represents one phone line.
  • Q&A
    The questions and answer period of a call in which participants can ask questions of the host or panel. This is done by signaling on their telephone keypads or via Web collaboration features. Surveys can also be conducted by allowing participants to vote.
  • Record and Playback
    A feature which allows the conference call to be recorded for later playback. Playback is accessed by phone (or by Web in the case of Web conferences) usually for a specified period of time after the conference is over.
  • Res-Less
    A term used for a reservationless conference call in which there is no need to schedule the call in advance. It is available 24/7.
  • Reservationless Standard Conference
    A conference call that does not require an advance reservation.
  • RSVP Receipt
    A response given by an invited participant of the conference call organizer who replies with their RSVP status.
  • RSVP Status
    Is sent to the host or organizer of the call as to whether the participant accepts or declines the conference call invitation.
  • Sub Conference
    A small group of members on a conference call who communicate with the moderator or host, without the rest of a larger group of conference call participants.
  • Toll
    National/international number where you pay for your phone call.
  • Toll Free
    A call by the participant in which they do not pay for long distance charges.
  • Telephone Playback
    The ability to access a conference call recording with playback. Toll free access is not available for playback calls
  • Toggle
    To switch back and for the between a particular status, for example, mute/un-mute.
  • Voice on entry/exit
    This feature announces the conference call participants’ names as they enter or exit the call.
  • Web-Scheduled Conference
    A web conference call which may be scheduled at any time, from any Web browser, without the assistance of an operator.
  • Web Conferencing
    A web link that enables participants to access an online conference. It usually includes online collaboration and desktop sharing.
  • Web Reservation
    The web conferencing host uses this feature to schedule their conferences online.
  • White Boarding
    A feature of a web conference that permits collaboration sessions which provides a blank canvas with annotations and test tools. It is often used for brainstorming sessions, and may be accessed by participants when the host grants control.

Also See All-Conferencing.com.

About The Author

Kay Johnson has been working in the telecommunications industry for over ten years, and has many internet published articles. She writes for All-Conferencing.com, a website dedicated to de-mystifying audio and Internet web conferencing to promote cost effective business communication solutions.

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