"Why fly somebody into town for a one-hour meeting?" says Chuck Olminsky, chairman of Interactive Videoconferencing Centers, which has franchise sales operations in Cleveland. "Instead, meet them via a videoconference for an hour, then when you're done, each of you can head back to your respective offices without losing an entire day of work."
The beauty of videoconferencing is that it's interactive, Olminsky says. Users can share documents and make presentations as easily as they can in person. More importantly, they can see eye-to-eye with everyone in attendance.
But don't be fooled; videoconferencing has a high price tag-upwards of $600 per hour, including the room rental and ISDN phone line charges. Even so, that's still less than the combined cost of plane tickets, car rentals and hotel rooms. And, as the technology becomes more commonplace, rates are sure to drop.