How to run an international conference call
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How to run an international conference call

2nd October 2020
By Tom Ladle

So, you’ve got colleagues and clients from all corners of the world wanting to jump on a call with you and they need to know how to run an international conference call. Well, luckily for you, with PowWowNow it’s a cakewalk. We’re here to guide you through the process, think of us as your international conference calling guardian angel. Let’s get stuck in and look at how to set up an international conference call.

Start with your agenda

Before you think about who you’re going to invite, what time and what dial-in numbers to include, you need to know why you’re having the call in the first place. What’s on a conference call agenda? Glad you asked. An agenda should include these key points:

  • Name of meeting (keep it profesh).
  • Date of meeting.
  • Discussion points (keep them relevant).
  • Objective (what you hope to achieve).

Once you’re happy with these points and feel you have a solid basis for a call, you can decide on who you need to invite.

Deciding who to invite

This is crucial as it determines what dial-in numbers you need to include. You’ll also want to consider how the people you invite could impact the time of your call when running an international conference call.

Here’s just a few examples of countries, where teleconferencing time zones could wreak havoc:

  • Teleconferencing New Zealand – A massive 12 hours ahead of the UK.
  • Teleconferencing Australia – 9 hours ahead of the UK.
  • Teleconferencing Japan – 8 hours ahead of the UK.

There’s plenty more countries where time zones are different to ours, calling USA from UK for example, but we’re not here to give a lesson on geographical time zones. The point we’re trying to make is to consider this when deciding who to invite and what country they’ll be dialling in from.

Our advice when considering how to set up a conference call is to hold a call with people dialling in from a similar region in the world, this will make it less likely that any of you will need to wake up at stupid o’clock.

Sending out your meeting invitation

Your meeting invitation needs to include all the necessary dial-in numbers, otherwise poor so and so will be in a different country, unable to join the call. To see a list of international dial-in numbers, your chosen provider will often have a numbers page, just like us. This will show you the international dial-in numbers you have access to and the cost per minute.

Now when it comes to sending the meeting invite, you’ll be happy to know that with us, it’s all rather straightforward. We offer Outlook and Browser plugins which you can download from your PowWowNow Account.

On the left you can see all the international dial-in numbers for your international conference call, which you simply tick, and they will be automatically added to your meeting invite. How handy is that? Very handy. You’ll also see a section where you can add the agenda we previously mentioned.

If you’re scheduling your meeting via mobile, then we also offer a mobile App. This can be downloaded on the App store or the Google Play store. Just like the Outlook and browser plug-ins our mobile App allows you to add any international dial-in numbers to your meeting invite.

Holding your international conference call

It’s showtime, now comes the part of holding your international conference call. To run a successful international call there are some pointers to consider.

  • Make sure everyone can speak the same language – An obvious one we know, but a call with participants who are unable to understand each other isn’t exactly what we’d describe as productive. Ensure everyone you invite can successfully communicate with one another.
  • Brief introductions – If you’re having a call with unfamiliar people, or people who haven’t met one another, make sure you allocate some time for brief introductions. This will help people feel more comfortable and understand why everyone is on the call.
  • Stick to the agenda – We’ve probably all had our fair share of meetings that were being frank, a waste of time. By sticking to the pre-planned agenda, you’re much more likely to achieve you desired objective.
  • Encourage interaction – Consistently ask questions that encourage interaction from everyone on the call. No one wants to hear one person drone on for an hour. To have the most productive call you need to get input from everyone.
  • Provide a summary of action – Towards the tail end of your call, you’ll want to come up with some actions. This will give everyone on the call a sense of direction and responsibility.

Don’t forget to follow up

After you’ve had your international conference call, it’s key that you follow up. This can be an email detailing the actions or just thanking everyone for attending. If you recorded the meeting then you’ll want to share this, along with any materials and resources that were discussed. It will stop people from just forgetting the meeting took place and going on about their daily lives.

Get dialling…

Communicating effectively and efficiently with international colleagues or clients is no easy feat. We hope that we’ve shown that setting up an international conference call is easier than you think, it’s down to you to ensure that your call is productive (no pressure 😉).

Conference call time zones

  • Buenos Aires, Argentina: GMT-3 (44 844 4 73 73 73)
  • Sydney, Australia: GMT+10 (44 844 4 73 73 73)
  • Vienna, Austria: GMT+1 (0820 4000 1503)
  • Brussels, Belgium: GMT+1 (070 35 99 45)
  • Toronto, Canada: GMT-5 (1 213 289 3444)
  • Beijing, The People’s Republic of China: GMT+8 (44 844 4 73 73 73)
  • Paris, France: GMT+1 (0821 230 748)
  • Berlin, Germany: GMT+1 (01803 001 178)
  • Dublin, Ireland: GMT (0818 270 007)
  • Rome, Italy: GMT+1 (848 390 166)
  • Tokyo, Japan: GMT+9 (44 844 4 73 73 73)
  • Mexico City, Mexico: GMT-6 (44 844 4 73 73 73)
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands: GMT+1 (0870 001 901)
  • Warsaw, Poland: GMT+1 (0801 003 543)
  • Moscow, Russia: GMT+3 (44 844 4 73 73 73)
  • Johannesburg, South Africa: GMT+2 (087 550 0375)
  • Seoul, South Korea: GMT+9 (44 844 4 73 73 73)
  • Barcelona, Spain: GMT+1 (902 885 318)
  • Stockholm, Sweden: GMT+1 (0939 2066 300)
  • Zurich, Switzerland: GMT+1 (0848 560 190)
  • New York, United States: GMT-5 (1 415 363 0833)
  • Chicago, United States: GMT-6 (1 415 363 0833)
  • Los Angeles, United States: GMT-8(1 415 363 0833)

To find out what the best dial in numbers are for your participants, visit our international numbers page. Here you can find out all the local dial in numbers to keep your costs at a minimum.


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