This is a guest post from Kaitlin Little.
- Free plan for up to 10 participants and unlimited conferences.
- Business plan starts at $15/month per user for up to 100 participants and dial-in number (local and international). Discount available for yearly billing.
Table of Contents
- What is UberConference
- How to Use UberConference
- What I Like About UberConference
- UberConference Drawbacks
- Is UberConference Right for You?
As a freelancer, I understand the challenges of working remotely, particularly when it comes to communication. If you've ever tried to coordinate a meeting with team members across multiple time zones, you'll know exactly what I mean—it can be painful!
Meetings almost always never start on time as people struggle to dial in or frequently run into connection issues. It can also be expensive if you're calling international mobile numbers for 'quick' project updates.
When you rely on these meetings to generate new business or move projects forward, it's imperative that you have an effective web conferencing system in place. For my business, this is UberConference.
What is UberConference?
UberConference is a powerful audio conferencing tool that makes it easy to host online meetings with your team or clients around the world.
Organizers can schedule a conference and invite participants, who can join from any location using their phone, mobile app, or web browser. The company has eliminated long dial-in PIN codes and provides a more efficient process for users.
I've found UberConference to be an extremely cost-effective solution for conducting meetings with clients or team members across different time zones. Using the free plan, I can quickly set a date, share my conference details, and see exactly who is on the call using the visual avatars. The software is incredibly easy to use and has resulted in more productive meetings.
Although, one thing I should mention is that UberConference is audio only. This means if you need to run video conferences you will need to utilize other software such as Skype or GoToMeeting. While this hasn't been an issue for me, as I use audio only, it is definitely something to consider before using UberConference in your business.
How to Use UberConference
UberConference has an excellent user interface which makes it easy for both organizers and participants. Below, I'll run through the steps on how to set up your account and start a conference.
Set up Profile
Once you sign up, you're ready to go! Although, before you start a conference, I highly recommend you set up your profile and update your account settings. This is where you can add a photo of yourself (shown to participants), set the required time zone, and customize different aspects of your calls. For example, you can allow participants to start the conference without you or enable screen sharing for all users if you want a more collaborative call.
If you're only using the Free account, you will need to provide participants with a PIN, although this can be disabled for Business accounts. You can also set reminder notifications (e.g. five minutes before the call) to ensure everybody is on time.
Create a Conference
To create your first conference from the main dashboard, you'll simply need to click on the 'Start Conference' button. This will direct you to a unique conference room where you can either dial in via phone or connect using your computer. You can also schedule a conference for a later date, and UberConference will send invites and reminder emails to your participants.
Your conference details are situated at the top of the screen and include your web link, dial-in number (US), and pin code. Anyone with these details can enter your conference room, although you can change these intermittently from your settings.
Verify Call Quality
One of the most common issues I run into with virtual conferences is call quality. As I frequently work from different locations, before I start any conference (sometimes hours before), I always check UberConference's call diagnostics to assess the internet quality and make sure that I won't run into any issues. UberConference has a simple step-by-step process and conducts different tests to assess your microphone, audio playback, and network connectivity.
The software offers HD quality using OPUS audio codec, which dynamically adapts to any changes in the network. This means I can run meetings without losing connection, even with a slower internet speed. Unfortunately, HD audio isn't supported using a phone or mobile, since quality is based on your carrier's network, so I recommend using a computer and reliable WIFI wherever possible.
Manage Your Conference
One thing I really like about UberConference is the flexibility and options that the software provides when you're on a call. As a conference call organizer, I can choose to mute everyone at once if I want to speak or mute individual participants if I can hear background noise. I can also share my screen and record the meeting to playback later. If you're discussing confidential information you can choose to 'lock' the conference, which will block any additional callers from connecting. However, just make sure everyone is on the call before you decide to lock a conference.
What I Like About UberConference
I've been using UberConference in my business for the past few years. It's an incredibly easy tool to use and has enabled me to conduct productive meetings with both team members and clients around the world. Below are a few things that I really like about UberConference (and why I will continue using it).
UberConference is Free!
UberConference is free—free for organizers and free for participants. If you run a small business and need reliable conferencing software on a budget, then UberConference delivers amazing value. You get access to an unlimited number of conferences and can utilize the mobile apps, screen sharing, recording, and chat features.
However, the catch with the free plan is that each conference is limited to 45-minutes in duration. If you run long meetings over this limit, the software will automatically cancel the call, and you will need to start a new conference, which can be slightly annoying. Also, you can only add up to 10 participants at once on the free plan, which means if you're organizing large sales meetings you might need to upgrade to the Business plan (allows up to 100 participants at once).
One of the reasons I like UberConference is the flexibility it provides for my clients and team. While I almost always use my computer browser for conferences, my participants have the option to call in using their phone, their web browser, UberConference's app.
If you sign up for the business plan, you can choose a local conference number for participants to dial-in (U.S or Canada only). UberConference also provides local numbers for international callers covering more than 50 destinations around the world (e.g. United Kingdom, Australia, etc.), making it easy for anyone to join your call in any location without having to pay expensive fees for international calls.
Large conferences can also be a logistical nightmare, with participants joining late or forgetting about the call. The business plan also comes with a useful auto-dial feature to keep your conferences running to schedule. UberConference will automatically call your participants at the scheduled time and allow them to join by pressing 1. They will also receive a reminder SMS message 5-minutes prior to the conference. If you accidentally miss inviting someone, you can auto-dial them directly from the conference interface. At this stage, the auto-dial feature is restricted to U.S and Canada numbers only.
When you're running a conference call with multiple people, it can be challenging to know exactly who is on the call and who is speaking. Previously, this has resulted in situations where people speak at the same time and the awkward 'check-ins' to see exactly who is on the call.
UberConference helps solve this problem by providing a visual representation of all participants. You can see individual profiles of who's on the call, where they are calling from, and the device they are using (e.g. computer or phone). Participants can also have the option to upload a photo (which replaces the location image) and connect their social profiles. When someone is talking, their name will appear at the top of the conference room with an audio wave.
UberConference has some excellent in-conference collaboration tools including file sharing, screen sharing, and a built-in chat. As an organizer, you can share your screen with participants to conduct a presentation, provide a product demo walkthrough, or get feedback on a project. If you have a large conference, you might decide to mute all participants and allow them to utilize the chat feature to ask questions without interrupting.
You can also enable screen sharing for participants if you need a more collaborative conversation. Just bear in mind that if participants are using a mobile device, they will be able to view your screen share but won't be able to share themselves.
While UberConference has some excellent collaboration tools, I would love to see a virtual whiteboard or drawing feature implemented. A whiteboard can help you come up with ideas and sketch out problems in a real-time collaborative virtual environment.
Finally, UberConference offers some excellent integrations that can enhance your conference calls. For example, you can integrate UberConference with Salesforce to gain useful insights about your participants' profile or integrate UberConference within G Suite to use directly with Gmail, Google Calendar, and even Google Docs. This has been an important integration in my business, as I can now schedule conferences with contacts directly in my calendar and share files with my team directly from Google Drive.
While UberConference is a market leader, it's not an all-in-one conferencing tool to cover any situation. Depending on your needs, there may be some better alternatives on the market. Below, I'll go through some of the key drawbacks that I've come across with UberConference to help you make an informed decision.
No Native Video Conferencing Feature
One problem you may run into is if you need to conduct video conferences. Video conferences allow you to see other participants on the call and can be highly beneficial as you can keep everyone engaged in the conversation.
At this stage, UberConference only supports audio and visual screen sharing. However, the company does integrate with Google+ Hangouts, which allows you to have a video call with up 10 participants (a restriction imposed by Google). If you need to add more people to a group video chat, I recommend using Skype, which allows you to have up to 25 participants in one call.
Not as Feature-rich as Other Software
UberConference has an amazing free plan, which is extremely beneficial to smaller businesses. However, once you join the paid plan for $15/month, you may come to realize that it's not as feature-rich as others on the market and you might need other software to pick up the slack in certain situations.
For example, Google offers a business account for $10/month which includes both HD video and voice conferencing. In addition, Zoom, at $14.99/month, has a broader range of features such as video conferencing, webinars, and whiteboards. If you only need audio, I highly recommend UberConference, but if you need more flexibility in your business, it's worth assessing other options on the market first.
Screen sharing is Limited to Chrome
One concern with UberConference, which I've experienced first-hand, is the limitation with screen sharing. While you can view a screen share on a variety of different browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer), you can only share your screen if you're using the latest version of Chrome. This can be problematic (and a little annoying) if you want to use another browser. I would like to see screen sharing expanded to other browsers (particularly Safari or Internet Explorer).
Is UberConference Right for You?
UberConference is one of the best free audio conferencing tools on the market. The software has an incredibly simple interface, HD audio, and solid collaboration tools (screen sharing, file sharing, and chat). In addition, the paid plan also supports large conferences (10+ people) with international dial-in numbers and analytics.
However, one thing to consider is that UberConference is audio only, meaning you won't be able to make video calls. That said, if you need a reliable tool to conduct remote meetings with clients and work on projects with team members around the world, I'd highly recommend UberConference.
Kaitlin Little is a Freelance Writer who helps Health and Wellness brands grow their audience online. She's an Exercise Sports Scientist, Health and Physical Education Teacher and has a background in Physical Rehabilitation. Kaitlin is an active traveler and blogs at Balanced Abroad.