— Frequently Asked Questions
1. How is FacilitatePro different from other web conferencing tools?
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FacilitatePro™ is similar to web conferencing solutions because it allows people to collaborate via the web. However, web conferencing solutions were designed primarily for one to many communication, such as training, webinars, sales presentations. FacilitatePro was designed for many to many problem-solving and decision-making events with tools that enable group idea generation, data capture and prioritization, surveying, action planning and documentation. FacilitatePro turns an ordinary web conference into a smart web conference by facilitating two-way collaboration and exchange. Learn more about Smart Web Conferencing.
2. How may concurrent users or meetings does the software allow? read on »
FacilitatePro was designed from the outset for the virtual environment. Efficient and robust, FacilitatePro supports unlimited concurrent users, unlimited facilitators and unlimited concurrent sessions for one low price.
3. FacilitatePro is licensed for several User Groups. What is a User Group? read on »
FacilitatePro is an electronic conference center; think of it as a virtual multi-story building. Each User Group represents a different floor of the building where there are any number of conference rooms and meeting spaces available. Typically a team or work group is assigned to a separate User Group or virtual story of the building in order to neatly separate out their activity and keep them from running into each other. Facilitators are also assigned to User Groups and sometimes prefer to have one each so that they have their own meeting area to manage in any way they choose. A FacilitatePro Standard License includes three User Groups, providing lots of capacity and flexibility for running multiple teams, meetings and surveys simultaneously.
4. Does the software require you to download plug-ins or run Flash? read on »
We’ve been designing collaboration software for the Internet since 1996. We know that the simpler the requirements, the less glitches you’ll have with users who can’t join the meeting. That’s why FacilitatePro runs in any browser, no add-ons required.
5. How is this kind of meeting software helpful in a face to face meeting? read on »
FacilitatePro improves the productivity and quality of meetings and workshops by enabling fast paced idea generation, prioritization, and action planning. Having participants use their computer to add ideas and respond directly to questions in their own words provides an efficient and energizing way to gather data, share ideas and build creative solutions. Anonymity helps get difficult issues on the table and changes the tone of a discussion from a focus on personalities to a focus on common ground. And at the end of the day, all of your meeting output is already documented - no more flip charts to roll up and type up.
6. When is it appropriate to use anonymous brainstorming? read on »
Anonymity during brainstorming and idea generation changes the group dynamic; it tends to make people more open about sharing their ideas, less concerned about whether their idea is “good enough” and more prepared to risk something out of the ordinary. Anonymity can also help people listen to other people's ideas, stripping away assumptions about hidden agendas, personalities and biases and allowing people to focus on what is actually being said. In some instances, not often, anonymity could cause problems. If a group is already talking behind each other's backs or not taking responsibility for their opinions then anonymous brainstorming may exacerbate the behavior. It is important to determine when anonymity will support your meeting outcomes and when it would get in the way.
7. I want to hold a large meeting for 200+ participants -- can FacilitatePro scale? read on »
FacilitatePro has proven very successful with large groups from 200 to 700 and more. The software is designed to support groups of any size and is licensed for an unlimited number of participants. Using FacilitatePro as part of a large event allows you to engage participants in detailed discussions, dialogues and idea generation, whether as part of one large forum or several special interest groups, each with their own computer or with one computer per table of six or so participants. From a technical viewpoint, FacilitatePro sends small packages of data across the network so even with large groups the data transfer is relatively small with minimal impact on the server and network.
8. How do you handle security? read on »
FacilitatePro provides several levels of security implementation to meet the particular requirements of your organization. Participant access is controlled by user IDs and passwords that limit users to particular online conferences and topics as appropriate. FacilitatePro allows for SSL encryption, custom Port designations and IP address restrictions. Faciltate.com can be installed behind a firewall and on an intranet for additional organizational security.
9. How many people can participate in a distributed meeting? read on »
The simple answer is that any number can participate. FacilitatePro does not impose limits on the number of seats at the meeting or the number of concurrent users. The most appropriate number of people depends on the meeting objectives, the unique contributions different people can provide, and the extent of participation desired for purposes of buy-in and communication. Typical group size in a real time web conference is in the range of 4 to 30 for idea generation, problem-solving and decision-making kinds of activities. Facilitate.com's distributed meeting and survey tools work very well for groups of 100's or 1,000's particularly for data gathering and opinion seeking types of events.
10. How does FacilitatePro add to my current video conferencing capability? read on »
FacilitatePro makes teleconferences, web conferences and video conferences more collaborative with online meeting tools for brainstorming, prioritizing, voting and action planning. Rather than waiting for one person to speak at a time, every member of a video conference can participate at the same time, responding to group questions, adding ideas, prioritizing issues, voting on solutions. FacilitatePro helps turn the usual one-way information flow of a video conference into a full two-way exchange. Combine the benefits of face-to-face dialogue with the added benefit of electronic flip charts and voting tools.
11. How can I calculate the return on investment of purchasing FacilitatePro? read on »
ROI is calculated in many ways including cost and time savings from travel eliminated, reduction in meeting times and project/survey schedules, increased participation in meetings and surveys, improvements in the quality of ideas and level of buy-in to solutions, and more. Take a look at our Product Benefits page and determine what benefits apply to you. Very often the price of a FacilitatePro license is paid for by the savings in travel costs from your first distributed meeting.
12. Do I have to install any special software for my meeting or survey participants? read on »
A standard web browser is all your users need to login to your FacilitatePro web conference. Use a FacilitatePro hosted solution and you don't have to manage any software at all. License your own version of FacilitatePro and run the software to build your web facilitation conferences on your own server, or allow your IT department to host it for you -- the choice is yours.
More questions? Contact us and we'll be happy to help you.