Recently I was contacted by the Education Institute a project of a consortium of Canadian library associations to do a second lecture for them on a topic pertaining to genealogical librarianship. I did my first lecture for them in November, a lecture called”Romancing the Genealogist” and found it a pleasant and interesting educational experience.
What’s an audio conference? The audio conference is a teleconference and it works like this. The Education Institute is the host. On lecture day I call a toll free number and reach an operator. She connects me with the person hosting the event in a virtual “green room” as they say in the TV world. Just before the lecture, those registered call in on a regular line and punch in a password to identify themselves. They assemble in the “lecture room”. The registration seems to be so much per line. If at the listeners end of the line there are 18 or 2 people listening in, the cost per line is the same.
So the appointed time comes up, the operator explains that the first 40 minutes will be one way from me, and the last 20 will be two way so I can handle questions. The operator introduces the host, and she introduces me.
Before the event every person has downloaded my handout. Now with handout in hand they wait for me to pontificate words of wisdom. Meanwhile I am sitting in a very comfortable chair, my telephone headset on ( a great invention I’ve used for three years now) and my notes before me.
After 45 minutes I wrap up my lecture and take questions. The host or operator identifies the questioner and their location. I had previously been sent a list of those13 registered but did not know who was with them. I listened the questions and responded. It went very well. I was impressed.
So impressed was I with theconcept that I called my local phone company and checked out the costs. It was really very economical. Think of the possibilities. Can you imagine having a guest speaker from Florida at your local society meeting next month in Oregon or Manitoba? You pay the speakers fee. You have no hotel, air fare, meals, ground transportation expenses. You have the speakers phone charge, and your phone charge and the cost of printing handouts and setting up you the call is sent through your speaker system.
Tell me, what do you think about this?