Friends and Family Conference Calling over the U.S. Thanksgiving Holiday

This coming weekend sees the U.S. celebrating Thanksgiving Holiday. While it is their traditional "family" homecoming weekend (as opposed to, say, Christmas in Canada), there are still some who cannot get together with family for a wide range of reasons. This creates an ideal situation for learning more about friends and family conference calling (not just three-way calling). A couple of options to try out:

I. Free Conference Call from iotum (requires Facebook account; drawing for free iPod Touch):

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season, and I’m writing to tell you about a special Thanksgiving promotion we’re running for users of FREE Conference Calling. As you know, the FREE Conference Calls service is already free (except for the normal cost of your telephone call). However between now and midnight on November 26th, every call you make lasting longer than 5 minutes will earn you an entry into our drawing for a free iPod touch. We hope you’ll take advantage of this offer to stay in touch with your friends, family and loved ones at this special time of the year… and enter to win that 8G iPod Touch. Invite them to install FREE Conference Calls too, so they can have a chance to win as well.

In case you haven’t checked the application in a while, we’ve added a bunch of cool new features for moderating calls, plus a wall that you can use during, before, or after the call to post your thoughts. Shortly we’ll also have a recording feature and dial-in numbers for Europe starting with the UK.

Canadian firms have to give away the iPod Touch; we’re still waiting for the Canadian iPhone launch next spring.

II. Skype Conference Multi-Party Calling

Of course, Skype also offers the ability to host conference multi-party calls for up to 10 25 participants. Friday afternoon I had to quickly conference in participants in Toronto, San Diego and San Francisco. All done very quickly in an ad hoc fashion as the discussion grew and we needed the additional parties on the call. If not in a call use the "Create a Conference" menu item in your Skype Contacts tab to select all the participants you want (and add SkypeOut numbers, if necessary). On the other hand, when in a call, simply go to the Add Callers menu item at the top of the Active Call tab and either select the Skype contact you wish to add or enter the phone number.

It would be interesting to obtain your feedback as a result of trying both services via the comments to this post. Which you would recommend for family conference calls? In any event, if you cannot make it home for the weekend, at least take time for a family conference call.

Tags: conference call, iotum, FREE Conference Call, Skype, Skype Conference Call, SkypeOut

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About Jim Courtney

Bringing over thirty years' experience in the sales, marketing and management of cutting edge technology businesses.
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