An Oversimplified Guide To Dial-Out & Dial-In Conference Calling

Audio conferencing is vital for many businesses. In 2016, the US and the UK alone spent about 163 billion minutes on call conferences. They used these conference calls for client meetings, project meetings, team briefs, etc.

While the process has come a long way from conference bridges, Pins/Passcodes, and email reminders, audio conferencing continues to be classified into two broad categories – dial-in and dial-out conferencing.

Now, you’re probably wondering what is dial-in and dial-out conferencing? Below, we attempt to simplify it for you:

The Difference Between Dial-In & Dial-Out Conferencing:


This is a traditional conferencing practice where a host shares an email or an SMS invite detailing the bridge number and a unique PIN to every participant, which they use to dial-in to the teleconference. Anyone who has the bridge number and unique passcode can join the conference.


In this setup, the host will initiate the call to multiple people at the same time from a single phone, and the conference call begins as soon as the first participant answers their phone. It’s a more modern approach to the conference call, which circumvents the bridge number and PIN process, and ultimately saves businesses revenue and time.

Why Enterprises prefer Dial-In Conferencing?

Quite simply, it’s the old way to conference call, and old habits die hard. Dial-in has been synonymous with audio conferencing ever since its inception. While web and video conferencing are emerging as the viable alternatives to it, dial-in remains the go-to conferencing model for enterprises.

More surprisingly, dial-in conference calls with fixed-line telephones are the anachronism of today, with 70% of conference calls taking place on fixed-lines, and only 22% participants preferring to make conference calls on their mobile phones.

Why Enterprises need Dial-Out Conferencing?

Although the market for audio conferencing is worth $3.8 bn, the potential loss of revenue and productivity due to inefficient processes and delayed start times lead to an annual loss of $34bn for most companies.

The host can only send the bridge number and a PIN to the participants but has no control over the call. The onus is on the participants to commence the teleconference, with nearly 15 minutes of every con-call wasted due to various distraction and delays.

[Read Link: Do You Really Need a Bridge Number to Conference Call?]

Security is another critical issue when it comes to dial-in. In most instances, enterprises tend to use the same passcodes for multiple teleconferences. This poses a danger as business critical and confidential information is often shared on such calls. A whopping 70% of the participants confirmed that they shared confidential information on the con-calls. The magnitude of the security lapse can be gauged by the fact that over 50% participants said that it’s normal not to know all the participants of a conference call.

One classic example of this is a 2012 case, where the FBI was on a conference call with foreign security agencies to curb the menace of hackers. It took agencies quite some time to learn that the hackers were also a part of the audio conference. Hacking into one of the participants’ emails helped them to eavesdrop on the high-profile investigation. The inability to dial-in conferencing to provide the host with complete visibility and control of the con-call is one of the reasons why this could soon go obsolete.

Though not as prevalent as it should be, dial-out gets rid of all the challenges that arise with dial-in conferencing. Firstly, it does away with the hassle of using the bridge numbers and PINs to join a teleconference. Dial-out also enables the host to initiate the call instantly or at a scheduled time to all the participants across mobile devices and landlines at the same time. It typically works like the regular call but with multiple respondents. This solves the joining delay problem as the host is initiating the call for the participants to answer.

Since the participants include a predetermined set of people, who are the only ones to get the invite/call for the teleconference, it removes the possibility of outsiders or unwanted participants eavesdropping on the call, thereby making it a secure alternative.

Though dial-in is mired with security challenges, its familiarity remains the primary selling point. There are a few dial-out conferencing apps that offer secure and efficient con-calls, without making the process complex – much like our conference calling app grptalk.

Why grptalk is the best audio conferencing app?

grptalk offers the flexibility to choose how you conference with both inbound and outbound calls. In dial-out calls, the participants just need to answer an incoming call to join the conference. If you choose the traditional dial-in method, grptalk sends SMS invites, along with bridge numbers, to all participants. They simply have to dial-in the PIN at the scheduled time.

[Read Link: Top 5 Benefits of Audio Conferencing the Easy Way]

grptalk provides reliability and irons out poor audio quality and network issues, as it leverages PSTN to make the calls and not VoIP. It is also a secure option since the host has complete control over the call. Consequently, it prevents unwanted participants to eavesdrop or gatecrash the conference.

Tell us which conferencing method is convenient for your large-scale conferences requirements?