What is a conference line service?
A phone number configured to allow multiple individuals to join a phone call. The addition of a meeting number allows multiple meetings to take place at the same time. Some conference call services support features to record meetings, announce when callers join the meeting and methods for the call host to see who has joined the meeting.
Will it benefit my lodge?
It is a tool to increase participation, retain more members, and retain lodge history.
Reduced time requirements
A conference line makes it easier to get more members on committees by reducing the time commitment required. Knights no longer must stay late after a lodge meeting or drive across town in rush hour traffic to make a committee meeting. Now a simple phone from home, a parking lot, or while driving with a legal hands-free device is enough to be a contributing committee member. A member could even call in from a hotel room while on a business trip out of town.
Improved Meeting Records
The committee can quickly increase the quality of records by recording the meetings. The committee secretary can then review the recording to capture all details or even attach the audio file to the minutes. The auditory record can help determine the exact wording of a motion.
Committee members must have both the phone number and the access code to join the meeting. The meeting host can change the access code at any time through the phone app or website for increased security. This feature is also useful when members leave the committee or the lodge.
Improved Health & Safety
Knights can still participate when taking care of an ill child or spouse or when sick themselves without fear of spreading germs. Pythians can avoid inclement weather or when unable to drive for any reason. Committee members who can no longer drive can continue to participate and offer wisdom about past successes.
Many conference line services also include video conferencing with computers and cell phone apps. These features are helpful when reviewing documents or selecting photographs for a social media post without the cost of printing them on paper or the hassle of viewing on a cell phone. Other feature upgrades beyond those listed here may require a paid subscription.
A free service like www.freeConferenceCall.com requires only an email address to create a free account. Each lodge may create as many conference lines as necessary for committees, officers, or general meetings. This service can support 1000 Knights in a meeting and call durations of up to six hours.
Social Media Chair
Arizona Grand Lodge