Since I work with team members all over the globe, scheduling meetings can be a pain. It sometimes takes me longer to find a single time that works for five people in four different time zones than the actual meeting itself.
But I recently discovered a tool that makes scheduling meetings with international colleagues lightning fast: a time zone converter. If you plan any sort of events, webinars, conference calls or web conferences with overseas participants, you absolutely need to check this out!
What is a time zone converter?
Available online or via one of 250 apps from iTunes or Google Play, a time zone converter does exactly what it says on the tin. It takes the time you enter and converts it to the correct time for a specific city or country. So if you want to have a meeting at 3 PM GMT with someone in Sao Paulo, it will tell you what time that will be for that person.
Alternatively, if you need to see what time would work well for participants in multiple locations —let’s say London, Paris and New York — you can view this information in just a few clicks. Most sites will let you view up to 10 cities at the same time, rather than searching one after the after. Using a time zone converter instantly helps you find the best meeting times for your globe-spanning attendees.
Who uses time zone converters?
While there are more reasons that I could count that someone may need a time zone converter, it’s an absolute must for anyone who needs to:
– Organise a face to face or online meeting with clients in another country
– Plan a webinar with a global audience
– Plan international travel
– Look up public holidays in another location
– Decide on the best time to hold that next conference call
The ultimate planner for webinar organisers
As a regular webinar host, one of my favourite tools is timeanddate.com’s live event planner. If you want your attendees to quickly convert the time of your webinar into their own time zone, take a look at this handy event time announcer.
Simply enter the time of your webinar, and the planner will automatically convert it into the relevant time zones for countries around the world. Then just add a link to your registration email, so your attendees can quickly see what time the virtual event will be in their locations.
Other great uses to keep in mind
But don’t think this is a tool that just skims the surface for usefulness. It does it all. Let’s say you’re looking to plan your next team meeting but you aren’t sure if your colleagues in Germany have a national holiday that day. Some time zone converters — timeanddate.com again as an example — will list the public holidays for your specific country. They will even take daylight saving times (DST) around the world into consideration.
To sum it all up, using a time zone converter will simplify your scheduling and save you time — and keep you from having to calculate time zones in your head!
A converter will also give you the confidence to plan in advance and work better with international colleagues and clients. So find one online or download an app on your mobile device to check time zones when you’re on the go.
If you have a particular time zone converter that you like to use, recommend it in the comments below. Or if I missed a way you use your converter, let us know!Image credit: leoplus via flickr