I was sitting in front of my computer on a Friday morning, drinking yet another cup of coffee, when a thought crossed my mind – what if we did not have web conferencing in the modern day and age? What would the world be like if this technology never existed?
For one thing, Drum, a video conferencing service provider would not exist today. And I mean, let’s all agree that a world without Drum is a world we wouldn’t want to be part of (am I right?). But if we think beyond Drum, beyond any other web meeting or web conference software provider and instead think about what the world would look like void of this technology itself.
Think about it for a minute.
Maybe give it another minute (so the idea really, truly sinks in).
In order to understand the true value of this technological development, let’s go back to the basics. Specifically to April 20, 1964, when the world stood still as AT&T demonstrated the first real video conferencing device called the Picturephone, and the first transcontinental video call was made. For the first time in history, instead of just hearing a disembodied voice at the other end of the line, a caller could see the person as well. This was considered revolutionary and clearly served as a start of something that would be considered integral to our daily lives. With that, one thing is for sure, life would have been completely different without this moment in the history of web conferencing and this is how:
To start with, the concept of you and people in your company travelling the world without leaving their desk would just be a concept of imagination. In order to meet clients, you would have to do so in person. Frequent travel would, therefore, be an essential, if not the most important aspect of any successful business. Yet, this would take up a lot more time while requiring an increase in company expenses. Moreover, web conferencing offers great options for smaller companies to reach potential clients. Without it, their chances of successful progress would be significantly diminished. Competing against big companies would, therefore, be much harder.
However, this will not only impact small businesses as business growth would be affected across all platforms- no matter the size. This is because offices would no longer be able to connect and communicate quickly with one another. Today, video conferencing allows free screen and file sharing, making it easier for companies to share information in an efficient manner. Without this affordance offered by web conferencing, business growth would have undoubtedly been directly inhibited, or even worse, become completely stagnant.
Moreover, you can forget about the idea of attending a meeting from the comfort of your home. Meetings will once again require extensive scheduling and planning by the meeting host. While meeting attendees will also need to consider travelling time and cost into their schedule. With that, you can wave goodbye to convenience. Delays would once again be central in any and every meeting, possibly affecting its overall effectiveness. By the time attendees get to the scheduled meeting, they could be too tired to actively participate and engage productively within the meeting.
Restricted business progress is one thing but just think of the effect of not being able to video call someone on our personal lives. Distance will be a more significant factor than it is today. Not being able to see each other during a call could lead to an array of issues which would undoubtedly affect the interconnected lifestyle that we have become accustomed to.
You can easily see that living without video conferencing technology would affect every aspect of our personal and professional lives (making you appreciate something you typically take for granted today, just a little more). I think from today on, I will be looking at the concept of web conferencing in a whole new light and you should too.