Effective teleconferencing: An international investigation of the factors influencing the effectiveness of distributed meetings

Joy Goodman-Deane, Anna Mieczakowski, Jeff Patmore, John Clarkson

Abstract


With many businesses becoming global in their reach, the use of distributed meetings and associated conferencing technologies is core to their successful and efficient operation. However, the actual effectiveness of these meetings is thought to vary enormously. This paper reports on a multi-country investigation into the factors that make for an effective distributed meeting in everyday practice. The results are based on a survey conducted with 400 professionals, supported by 40 interviews with experienced teleconferencing users. Ten interviews and 100 survey responses were obtained from each of four countries: Australia, China, the UK and the US.

The results indicate that a wide range of factors need to be optimised to ensure the most effective distributed meetings. The most influential factors were good sound quality and reliable conferencing technology, but other important aspects included having a good chairperson and attentive participants. The survey also identified some differences between countries, particularly between China and the other countries surveyed in issues such as speaker identification and the barriers to adopting new conferencing technology.


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