A video conference is a live, visual connection between two or more people residing in separate locations for the purpose of communication. At its simplest, video conferencing provides transmission of static images and text between two locations. At its most sophisticated, it provides transmission of full-motion video images and high-quality audio between multiple locations.
Video conferencing is important because it joins people who would not normally be able to form a face-to-face connection. In businesses, it can increase productivity amongst employees as well as provide an improved way of communicating and interacting with colleagues, partners and customers.
For businesses, the tangible benefits of video conferencing include lower travel costs — especially for employee training — and shortened project times as a result of improved communications among team members.
The intangible benefits of video conferencing include more efficient meetings with the exchange of non-verbal communications and a stronger sense of community among business contacts, both within and between companies, as well as with customers. On a personal level, the face-to-face connection adds non-verbal communication to the exchange and allows participants to develop a stronger sense of familiarity with individuals they may never actually meet in person.