Table of contents


Conference Calling for ILYM Committees

Two Audiences for This Page

Conference calling can be an inexpensive alternative to face-to-face committee meetings. In many cases, business can be discerned over a conference call, and then finalized in a face-to-face meeting amid worship. This can reduce the number of face-to-face meetings called by a committee each year, which means less travel, with its associated expenses and wear on the planet.

The ILYM Finance committee is always ready to hear of your suggestions, including tips for having ILYM committee conference calls. In the absence of a more inexpensive or convenient system, we suggest that your committee can use the Friends General Conference system described under Typical Users below.

Communications methods are constantly evolving. There are creative ways to use these methods to create conference calls that are free or nearly free for the participants and ILYM. However, these systems assume a certain amount of comfort with technology. This document is divided into two sections: first, for Typical Users, it gives instructions on creating a conference that is toll free for participants while resulting in a charge to ILYM. This is a simple, cost effective means of doing committee work. Second, there is a section called Power Users that gives suggestions for arranging a conference call that's free or nearly free for participants and ILYM.

Committees are welcome to use either method.

Conference Calling Tips - Typical Users

IYM committees should try to budget for their conference calling expense and let Finance committee know each May what the committee expenses are likely to be for the following year, including conference call time.

The person responsible for setting up the conference call (typically a committee clerk) should contact the Administrative Coordinator (Sharon) for the phone number and codes, and provide them to the participants. Also contact the payments co-treasurer (Roger Laughlin) to let him know when your call is scheduled, so that he can expect to see the bill arrive for payment.

There is a toll free number to call in to the conference (contact the Administrative Coordinator). If you have someone calling from an international location they will need to call the toll number 719-359-4032. They will need to pay for the call on their own and there will also be the 7 cents per minute charge for the conferencing.

The conferencing doesn't start until the moderator calls in, so it is important for the moderator to be on time. Once the moderator is on the call participants can call in and leave and come back or come in at any point and be in on the conversation.

To set up a call, just inform those who are to be on the call about the time and day of the call, and give them the toll free number and the participant code.

The cost will be 5 cents per minute per person plus a small amount of tax and $5 billing fee for FGC per month that there is activity. The $5 billing fee will be drawn from the IYM "Office" line item expense, while the call time will be paid from the committee's budgeted expenses. Below are some features that you might want to use.

Schedule - this Conference is available for your use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Features
. Tone on Entry
. Tone on Exit
. Participants on hold until the moderator passcode is entered

Conference Shortcuts
. Press *1 to hear a help menu.
. Press *0 to reach an operator.
. Press *6 to mute or "un-mute" line.
. Press *4 to increase conference volume.
. Press *7 to decrease conference volume.
. Press *5 to increase your voice volume.
. Press *8 to decrease your voice volume.

Moderator Features
. Press *91 to hear a participant count.
. Press *92 to hear a roll call of participants.
. Press *93 to disconnect all participant lines.
. Press *94 to lock or unlock conference.
. Press *95 to dial out to participants.
. Press *96 to mute all participant lines.
. Press *97 to un-mute all participant lines.
. Press *21 to activate Subconferencing.
. Press *22 to initiate record and playback (*22 again to pause/stop the recording)
. Press *31 to turn Conference Security Code on/off.
. Press *32 to record your Conference Introduction.

Conference Calling Tips - Power Users

Here are some alternate providers, and suggestions Friends have provided for arranging free or nearly free conference calls.
  • I've used http://www.freeconference.com/ConferenceCall.aspx several times for work-related conference calls and it served us just fine. It's easy, straightforward, and fast. You just set it up on the web, get your dial-in number, and carry out the call. Participants are notified by the service as part of the setup. As usual, participants pay the long distance charges normally associated with long distance calls. (See tip below for how the long distance charges can be free for the participants.)
  • Set up the conference at http://www.nocostconference.com/. Send a reminder email with the CONFERENCE NUMBER which is the same every time. Reserve a specific time interval, and after that the service eventually does disconnect anyone still remaining in the conference.
I call that number using Skype, where $11 per year covers UNLIMITED US CALLING. The price has gone up some since then. I don't make any long-distance calls other than my Skype use, which provides unlimited national calling for my business needs.

Some participants may have cell phones where week-end minutes or long distance are FREE.

One of my participants uses three-way calling to call in to the home land line so my wife can join in without using her computer. It's a local call but it is also free minutes.