Whether you’re “down under” on business or need to have your Australian colleagues join a conference call from Australia, setting up an international conference call is easy if you have a telecommunications services provider offering support for Australia. Once you find a provider supporting the countries involved in your call, the process of setting up the call is fairly straightforward.
Calling rates for a conference call from Australia are among the lowest in the world, comparable to those in the United States. This is good news if you’re accustomed to holding conference calls in the U.S. as your budget for the call will be similar to what you’re used to. While rates are generally low for Australia, you’ll still want to compare each service provider’s rates and features. For example, if this is likely to be a one-time international call, you might be better off paying slightly more per minute for a “pay as you go” plan. After all, if you’ll never need to host a conference call from Australia again, why should you continue paying for a monthly service that you’ll use just once?
Once you have an international conference calling service provider lined up, you’ll then need to schedule the call. Before you do, get organized. Create a list of all participants along with their locations. If everyone is based in Australia or the United States, it’ll be a little easier than if participants are scattered around the globe. For example, if all participants are located in Australia, you’ll need just one toll-free Australian phone number for your participants. On the other hand, if some participants are in the United States, Australia, Germany, and China, then you’ll need toll free numbers for each country.
When other countries are involved, not only will you need additional toll free numbers, you’ll need to pay more attention to rates as rates can vary dramatically between countries. For example, you may pay between seven and nine cents per minute for US and Australian callers and well over forty cents per minute for Chinese participants. When you host a conference call from Australia with other countries involved, you may find that it makes sense to “dial out” to callers located elsewhere in the world. If your conference calling service provider offers a dial-out feature, take the time to find out if it might be less expensive to set this option up for some countries.
An important consideration, when involved with a conference call from Australia, is the teleconference’s time and date. Because the United States and Australia are on opposite sides of the International Date Line, not only do you need to consider the time differences in terms of the time of the call but the date as well. For example, if you want to hold the conference call in Sydney, Australia at 7:30 AM on June 10th, your callers in the United States will call at different times (such as 4:30 PM in Chicago) on June 9th because Australia is a day ahead of the United States.
Once the call’s start time arrives, all attendees dial a toll-free access number that’s local for their countries. For instance, callers in the U.S. will dial a familiar 800 number without having to worry about how to dial an Australian phone number. Each caller enters a PIN number that you will have provided and the call begins. Despite the challenges of scheduling a conference call amongst callers from around the world, providing callers with toll-free phone numbers is easier than it sounds. In the case of Australian attendees, look for an international conference call provider that offers a toll-free Australia access number and plan features that appeal to you. Many providers offer tools that make scheduling international calls and comparing rates a snap.