Green tip for week #39 — Week of January 25, 2009

Green Meetings

How do you make your corporate travel, personal travel, and across town meetings “go green”?  The answer is simple – use web conference or video conferencing to hold real-time conferences, getting the face-time you want without the carbon footprint attached to the typical cross-country flight or cross-town drive.

For those of you who think video conferencing is stuff from the Jetsons or sci-fi movies, think again.  In recent years particularly, internet-based video conferencing has not only become practical and dependable, but affordable.  Not only is it convenient, but it is a green (i.e., environmentally responsible) alternative to meeting travel.  If you have a computer, a high-speed internet connection, and a webcam, you can video conference with anyone else who has the same resources.

Web conferencing is great for keeping in touch with friends and relatives between visits, and terrific for leadership groups, committees, Boards of Directors, small companies with multiple offices, and everyone else who wants to host a face-to-face meeting, without requiring attendees to travel.  Use the idea of hosting a green conference to promote your business.  Or, be a superstar by telling your boss how much overhead can be shaved by eliminating some of your meeting travel with video conferencing.

What software or programs can you use?  For person-to-person (two party) conferences, Skype is a great option for free web conferencing.  For bsusiness users or those who want to conference with groups of up to 15, or beyond, services such as GoToMeeting are worth looking into.  These paid conferencing services typically offer some enhanced functionality at a reasonable price.

Using a service like GoToMeeting allows you to host a training seminar, have a strategy session, see or launch a new product or design idea within your company, and much more, all without leaving your home or office.

We are in an era where environmental responsibility, sustainable thinking, resource conservation, and cost conservation are all becoming increasingly important.  Individuals and businesses who rely on business travel, or even those who make frequent trips across the state or across town should consider whether some (or even one) of those trips can be replaced with a web conference.  It’s an easy way to save time, money, headache… and the environment.

Remember that simple green ideas and environmental responsibility solutions can be cost-effective and eco-sensitive at the same time.  Now go out and green some meetings.    


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