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A quick feature guide for small businesses

A conference bridge is a dedicated telephone line that enables multiple people to communicate across a single platform. Although its functionality is

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A conference bridge is a dedicated telephone line that enables multiple people to communicate across a single platform. Although its functionality is similar to a conference call, a meeting host does not have to manually add callers to the meeting. Each participant dials the number or enters a code to join a virtual meeting room. This feature benefits businesses that want to manage dispersed teams, maximize productivity and minimize the cost of online team collaboration.

Keep reading below to learn more about what a conference bridge is, how it works, what makes it popular among remote teams, and the top conference call providers:

How a conference bridge works

How a conference bridge works

When we talk about what a conference bridge is, it refers to the equipment or software that connects a group of people in one call. It allows participants to dial a specific phone number or enter a meeting code, which gives them access to a centralized virtual meeting room. Depending on your phone system provider, a virtual meeting room can accommodate dozens or even hundreds of participants in a single meeting.

Here’s a step-by-step process on how to join a conference bridge call:

  1. The meeting host sends participants a dedicated link or code, which leads to a tab or a platform where the conference call will take place.
  2. The participant will call in with a link or code at a virtual meeting room.
  3. Once the host gives the participants access to the meeting, the group of callers now communicates and listens to each other as if they were in the same room.

In addition to the basics, many modern conference systems support multiple conference rooms and other advanced features, such as cloud capture and screen sharing. These tools facilitate team collaboration by making online meetings more efficient and productive.

Key Features of Conference Calling Services

Now that you know the meaning of a conference bridge, let’s discuss its popular features. According to Harvard Business Review, video conferencing is one of the most common methods of communicating authentically. With this in mind, many telephone system providers offer a number of features to support remote work communication.

For example, most providers offer the following business phone features in addition to conference bridge services:

Video conference

In remote team collaboration, video conferencing has become an essential tool as it enables distributed teams to engage in business discussions wherever they are. Its visual nature enables participants to see everyone’s non-verbal cues and maintain “virtual eye contact”. Conference call providers work hard to provide high quality audio and video to ensure a smooth video conferencing experience.

Learn transfer

When so much information is passed on during meetings, file transfer makes it a very useful feature for team collaboration. Sharing important documents with other users is simplified as it allows a specific number of files to be transferred while a meeting is in progress.

Screen sharing

Screen sharing has made online presentations easier by showing attendees to the meeting what is being offered. This eliminates the need to connect to a laptop or projector to show your work. Anyone in the meeting has the ability to share their screen with other participants, making project collaboration easier to manage.

Meeting recordings

Traditionally, recording meetings would require additional equipment and workforce resources. With online conferencing, a user will simply press the record button, and the entire meeting will be recorded and stored in the cloud. It saves everyone time to take notes and revisit project details. Those who could not make it will have the opportunity to see what was discussed in the meeting.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Many vendors have invested in AI and automation to build into their platforms and provide enriching business conversations. AI-driven features range from live transcription, real-time coaching, and post-call summaries. Through built-in machine learning, these AI features provide real-time recommendations and in-depth post-call notes.

What makes Conference Bridges popular?

Conference bridging has become more popular for teams that work remotely and want to maximize the benefits of online meetings. Here are some reasons why a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) conference bridge is a great communication investment for your business:

With the rise of remote and hybrid work, businesses with employees spread across multiple locations need a solution that helps ensure constant dialogue and teamwork. Conference bridging enables the entire workforce to come together virtually and connect to discuss the pressing issues in the workplace. All you need is a mobile device, such as a laptop, smartphone or VoIP-enabled phone, to take part in the conversation wherever you are.


Free conference calling services are available in the market for budget-conscious business owners and for those who want to eliminate the need to spend money on venues and travel expenses. Simply set up a conference bridge to avoid the cost of having your employees travel to the office to attend meetings. Most of the best business phone systems offer conference bridge services in their price packages, ranging from $ 15 to $ 45 per user, per month.


As conference bridges eliminate the need for a host to manually dial the numbers of meeting participants, it becomes a huge time saver for everyone. It also reduces the chances of making incorrect calls and dialing the same number to connect to a call. The host simply needs to provide a conference number to everyone, choose a date and time, and ensure that everyone joins the same meeting room.


VoIP Providers with Conference Calling Services

The best conference call system providers with conference calling services come with advanced features, streamlined communication and facilitating team collaboration. These features include the ability to record meetings, share files, and present slideshows. To help you find which one suits your needs, we’ve put together the top three providers that offer conference calling features:

RingSentraal

RingCentral MVP logo

RingCentral provides a robust, cloud-based platform for facilitating communication across multiple channels, such as voice, video, and text. By subscribing to the Standard plan, each user receives an unlimited number of audio conference calls, with up to 1,000 participants per conference. Hosts and attendees receive unique access codes to ensure security and privacy during meetings. It also comes with built-in integrations of popular business tools, such as Slack and Microsoft 365.

RingCentral provides an intuitive user interface

RingCentral provides an intuitive user interface for its PC and mobile conferencing app. (Source: RingCentral)

Check out our RingCentral review to learn more about its pricing packages and unique audio / video conferencing features.

Go to Connect

GoTo Connect logo

GoTo Connect is a unified communications solution with team collaboration capabilities, such as drawing tools, screen sharing, and remote screen management. All plans support calls via desktop phones, browsers and mobile and computer applications. One of its outstanding features is its ability to adjust its bandwidth, making it easier for remote users to join meetings amid varying internet speeds.

GoTo Connect hosts video conferencing for up to 250 participants with 25 simultaneous webcams

GoTo Connect allows its users to meet with up to 250 participants and supports up to 25 webcams. (Source: GoTo Connect)

If GoTo Connect fits your business communication needs, check out our GoTo Connect overview and learn more about its comprehensive offerings.

Dialpad

Dialpad logo

Dialpad is an all-in-one communication platform known for its advanced AI-powered phone call features, such as voicemail transcripts and automated post-call summaries. The base plan includes unlimited home calls, HD voice, toll-free number support and custom call routing. You can subscribe to Dialpad Meetings to get free unlimited video meetings and host up to 10 participants.

Dialpad Video Call App Interface

With Dialpad’s video calling application, all the call controls you need are easily within your reach. (Source: Dialpad)

To find out if Dialpad is right for your conference needs, read our Dialpad overview and discover more of its unique features.

Bottom Line

A conference bridge is simply a method of connecting several people in a single meeting. It offers a cost-effective solution, making teamwork more seamless and efficient. Regardless of the time and location, a conference bridge allows teams to meet virtually anywhere in the world, so you spend less time arranging face-to-face meetings.

If you are looking for more providers to consider, check out our guide to the best conference calling services. We reviewed the top six providers offering bridge conferencing services based on pricing and feature sets.

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