Ash cloud further promotes video conferencing

It has been reported that many businesses turned to video conferencing during the standstill that followed the eruption of the Icelandic volcano last year, just as another threatens to do the same.

In April last year, flights around the world were grounded following an eruption from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which sent a thick cloud of ash into the skies of Europe. Now, with the eruption of the Grimsvotn volcano threatening to so the same, businesses are again looking to the technology as a means of communication.

In total, some 100,000 flights were cancelled in the aftermath of the eruption, and video conferencing saw a boom, with companies seeing a month-on-month rise of almost 200 per cent in April and May of 2010. The success of the technology during the crisis has supposedly lead to more businesses taking on video conferencing in case of another such event reoccurring.

Video Conferencing expert Celia Doone told Fresh Business Thinking how the event was beneficial, even if only for some industries. “The worldwide disruption caused by the volcanic ash cloud of 2010 had a beneficial consequence,” she said, “it taught businesses that video communication can replace time consuming and costly air travel.”

“At a time when companies of all sizes want to cut travel costs and shrink their carbon footprint, why spend money on flights abroad when they can achieve the same results at a nearby video communication studio?”

Doone’s comments were echoed by fellow industry expert James Campanini, who told that recent events which ground other mediums to a halt have only further promoted video conferencing’s adaptability.

“Events that have happened over the last couple of years such as Iceland’s volcanic ash cloud and heavy snow fall are all symptoms of the changing environment that we live and work in,” he said, “causing severely disrupted international and domestic travel, and in some cases making travel impossible.”

In such cases, Campanini claimed, video conferencing would still allow businesses to effectively communicate with people whom they may otherwise be cut off from.