They're all awesome, hey-I-wish-I-thought-of-that ideas.

3 surprising ways people are using video conferencing

Goodbye geographical boundaries. Video conferencing enables face-to-face communication regardless of location. Some creative individuals take this basic premise and run with it, coming up with revolutionary new uses for the technology. Their ideas would have been unbelievable and impossible even five years ago – and they inspire us in our belief that the sky's the limit when it comes to video conferencing. 

Below are three surprising ways people are using video conferencing. They're all awesome, hey-I-wish-I-thought-of-that ideas – but the best thing is that any group can get the tools they need to use video communication in cool new ways. 

1. Face time with celebrities 

Many people dream of being able to spend 15 minutes chatting with their favorite celebrities – but video conferencing is now making these dreams a reality, while also raising money for charity. A new slew of apps are enabling high-quality live-streaming sessions with celebrities, such as Chatter for Charity. The startup holds raffles for the chance to win a 5-minute video chat session with a star – Chatter for Charity's celebrity roster includes DJ Khaled, Leonardo DiCaprio and Diddy. The proceeds from the raffle then go toward a charity chosen by the star. It's an innovative way to make it possible for people to spend some one-on-one time with their idols while supporting a good cause. 

2. Holiday office parties for remote workers

More and more companies are building teams of remote workers. While telecommuting can enable greater productivity and quality of life for employees while allowing companies to hire the best talent, no matter where they're located, it also means that remote workers are typically unable to take part in office camaraderie. That's all changing, however, with video conferencing. Some companies, such as Xerox, are hosting "virtual holiday parties" for their remote workforces, as The Atlantic detailed in an article. Employees dressed in festive outfits and then signed into the video conference, sharing stories over drinks and snacks just as if they were in the office. Some companies have taken things even further, having employees sign into a video conference from a restaurant while enjoying a meal paid for by the company dime. 

3. Educational connections

Video conferencing is also being used to expand access to education and enrich learning for students all over the world. For example, students at the Kenai Peninsula Borough School in Alaska work on projects with students in Ghana and Palestine through video conferencing platforms, as THE Journal reported. The technology is also being used to enable students in remote communities or at schools with limited resources to take classes at larger institutions, as well as making possible "virtual field trips" at museums, zoos, government offices and other locations. 

Video conferencing forges connections. Embrace it at your company to unite workers and enhance engagement. 

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