When done right, meetings can foster collaboration, enable information exchange, and help build relationships. How and where meetings take place is unique to each company, but there’s no denying that remote meetings and hybrid workplaces are becoming the norm. According to the Harvard Business Review executives spend an average of 23 hours a week in meetings, yet 71% of the senior managers interviewed said they found the meetings to be unproductive and inefficient. That’s not a strong case for more meetings, but it does mean that there is room for improvement.
A great way to start improving efficiency is to look at the physical space being used for meetings. A quality conference room should encourage interaction and innovation and the technology used for meetings should be seamlessly operating in the background. By considering some key elements you can create a stellar video conference room on your own. The key categories below should be considered if you’re going the DIY route.
Video Conference Room Design
The physical space where meetings are hosted sets the stage for the experience of attendees. You don’t have to be an interior designer to understand that meeting participants shouldn’t have to shout across a room to be heard or be bumping into one another when moving their chairs.
The goal is to have a comfortable space that promotes participation from virtual attendees as well as those in person. Some questions to consider:
- How many attendees do you expect to use the space?
- Is there a facilitator or moderator who will be using the space as well?
- What is the budget?
- What are the dimensions of the room?
Once the purpose of the room has been defined and the budget and size restraints are clear, then there are several options for the room design. Common meeting room designs include:
Traditionally a long table surrounded by chairs, the boardroom is a classic setup for relatively large meetings. It promotes conversation and can be adjusted in size depending on the room you are working with.
Designed for presentations or lectures, this setup puts all tables and chairs facing the front of the room. This allows for great visibility of a board or screen, but it does not promote group interaction.
Ideal for meetings that include meals or break-out group work, this setup includes multiple round tables in the room. It requires a relatively large space and is not ideal for presentations.
Similar to the classroom style, this setup has all participants facing the front of the room for presentations or lectures. The difference is that the tables are removed so that larger groups of people can attend.
Great for collaboration these meeting rooms are typically in a small space with one table and only a few chairs. While it’s common to have comfy chairs and in-person meetings here, audio-visual equipment should still be included to promote hybrid meetings.
Essential Conferencing Equipment
The audio and video equipment set up in a conference room must support the needs of meeting participants. This includes remote participants and those in the room, and it should be seamlessly operating so that everyone can focus on the business at hand. Some essential hardware for your conference room includes:
Meeting participants can share presentations and view remote speakers from their seats. There are many types of displays to install ranging from LED, LCD, and projectors. It’s important to consider the size of the room, and the mounting height before making a purchase and installing.
Cameras allow for hybrid meetings and give remote participants the opportunity to fully participate by seeing the room, facial expressions, and interactions taking place in real-time. Some cameras have a small range of view, so for larger rooms and situations where you want to promote interaction consider cameras that have 180-degree or even 360-degree ranges.
- Microphones & Speakers
Studies have found that audio quality is essential to the success of a meeting. If there are poor acoustics in a meeting (whether in person or remote) then participants get distracted and collaboration is reduced. Depending on the size of the room everything from in-ceiling speakers to sound bars or multiple mics and speakers on the tables can be installed.
- Control Panel
Often overlooked when a conference room is a DIY project, the control panel makes meetings much easier to organize and conduct. The panel integrates all of the hardware and software so that participants can connect with the click of a button and view meeting room schedules among other functionalities.
Software and technology that sets you up for success
Meeting rooms are no longer just about the physical space. The ability to share, innovate, and collaborate requires technology for the modern participants. Common software solutions used for meetings include:
- Microsoft Teams
- Google Meet
- Skype for Business
When selecting the right software for your business needs consider your use cases. What features are needed? Webinars and online classrooms likely will need the option for recording. Will be it used only for team meetings? Will these be small or large meetings? The ability to share screens is essential for small teams looking to collaborate and the option to have massive numbers of participants will be required for large meetings or presentations.
How can an AV expert help?
Setting up your own video conference room can be a daunting task. As outlined above, there are many design features to consider, pieces of equipment to install, and software solutions to choose from. An audiovisual provider can walk you through the process from start to finish and ensure that you get the results you are after.
At High Country, our team of qualified professionals is ready to listen to your specific requirements. We don’t use contract labor and have a proven process to ensure customers get the best experience starting with the proposal through to installation and ongoing support.
Contact us today for a free consultation and let’s see how efficiently we can get your AV project done so that you can grow your business.