Conference calls are a regular occurrence for many in the business world. For some professionals, it may seem like there’s another call to join every day - or at least every few days in any given week.
Finding time for those conference calls can become a major hurdle for would-be participants. Call organizers must be careful about taking into consideration everyone’s very busy schedules. At the same time, though, it can seem impossible to find times that work for everyone to join the call.
Luckily, there are many free tools available that can help anyone looking to schedule a conference call find a time that works for as many people as possible. We have taken some time to dive into a few of those options that could help take the headache out of scheduling conference calls. Here are our suggestions in alphabetical order.
Acuity Scheduling bills itself as a very simple and user-friendly scheduling tool. With Acuity, setting up a time that works for everyone is as simple as providing them with your availability.
Like all the services on our list of recommendations, Acuity comes with a free version. The free version offers client-self scheduling, perfect for managing many conference calls with different clients and there is no limit on the number of appointment times you put on the calendar.
Imagine being able to schedule conference calls without any of the redundant email message chains involving way too many people to track. That’s exactly what Calendly sets out to do with its service.
You simply tell Calendly how you would like your availability to be displayed on a calendar and share a link to that calendar with others. Then, people can pick available times from your calendar individually or in groups. Its features make it very well-suited for teams of coworkers who may have similar schedules.
Calendly offers a free version that includes great basic features. The free version comes with a few more extras than Acuity. It includes calendar integrations with Google Calendar, Office 365, Outlook and iCloud; unlimited events; a personalized link to your calendar; automated notifications and the ability to add Calendly to your website.
Think of a poll in which people looking to find a time that works for everyone vote for their preferences. You have essentially pictured how Doodle works.
These polls, sent via email or link, are called “Doodles.” The person trying to organize a meeting or conference call suggests times, invites participants, receives feedback and then selects the best option that works for most people possible. It’s really that easy.
Customize the Doodle by title, location and add a note to those you are inviting to participate in the conference calls. Doodle then sends the poll to everyone you have invited.
The free version of Doodle allows you to create your “Doodle” at any time and share it with people you want to include in your meeting or conference call. You can also add your calendar to see when you are available before suggesting times.
There are ads with the free version, though.
MeetingBird’s priority is to help its users save time when scheduling.
Whether you are allowing clients to schedule a conference call with you or are trying to find a time that works best for a group of people, MeetingBird offers convenient ways to make scheduling as hassle-free as possible. A couple of highlights include polls that allow people to vote on best times and the ability to sync multiple calendars, such as business and personal, so you never doublebook yourself.
Once you sign up, MeetingBird provides you with a Homepage where you can send invites to schedule meetings with you. MeetingBird also has a handy Gmail integration that allows you to schedule meetings without having to leave your email inbox.
MeetingBird’s free forever version comes with some valuable features. Those include unlimited customizable scheduling, unlimited number of calendars, integrations with popular apps, automated reminder emails and custom questions for invitees.
Once you have used one of the above tools to find a time and date that - hopefully - works for most of the people you want to invite to join the conference call, it’s time to actually schedule the call.
Now, unless you are incredibly lucky, there are probably very few (if any) times that will work for everyone on the invite list. This means it’s time to prioritize.
First, check the schedules of the people whose participation is critical to the call’s success. If there are any speakers, clients, managers or others who must be on the call, then prioritize their preferred time and date selections over others’.
If there are multiple times that work for this core group of people, then consider sending an email or other message to everyone on the invite list. If scheduling a call for a larger group, then you may want to use one of the apps or websites above to offer another poll updated with preferred choices.
From there, it’s time to pick a time, invite everyone to join the call and get it on the calendar.
When setting up a conference call, you must also keep in mind that some times are better than others. The same can be said for certain days of the week. Make sure you know how to identify what times and days work best for conference calls with your team.
One suggestion is to aim for Tuesday afternoons, but not too late in the day. If that doesn’t work out, try to make conference call times available in the middle of the week at times around mid-day.
Once you and your team have settled upon a conference call time, create a free account or start an instant conference call with Conference Town.
Our free conference call service comes loaded with features many other providers charge for. That’s how Conference Town has separated from the pack of other free providers.
Don’t just settle for free, expect the best.
ConferenceTown.com provides the highest quality, feature packed audio conferencing for free. There are no hidden fees. Our system can handle both small and large conference calls. When quality is what matters, there's just one choice.