An Introduction: Conference Room AV Basics

Jul 22, 2022 9:36:08 AM

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We've all been there. You walk into a conference room or shared space and the presenter is trying to either connect their own laptop to the in room av system (BYOD) or they are struggling to pull up a presentation on the built-in system (RBM). This can be not only an annoyance, but a hindrance to productivity. Taking it a step further in today's remote and hybrid workplace, audio matters. No one wants to sit on that meeting where someone in the office who is presenting to a remote audience sounds like they are underwater, or gargled. Correcting these issues are the basics, in terms of the desired results of a conference room av revamp.

There are many businesses today that didn't update their av systems while the pandemic raged on and are now being forced to address these issues with a workforce that is growing more hybrid by the day. Even with all of the new technology today, we estimate over 40% of businesses are relying on antiquated av systems. In some cases, these businesses have patched over the poor systems with the use of modern  software technology like Zoom and GoToMeeting. conferencing, but when it comes to getting into a meeting room, the only equipment available is a flat panel, a connection cable, and a speakerphone. That isn't going to produce the quality audio or visual results that are required by most workers today to effectively communicate. Not only that, but it won't attract top talent either  Believe it or not, av tech and sophistication of the office matter in today's world of recruitment. t

SEE MORE: How Can You Design The Ultimate In-Office AV System?

Wake the tech easy to use

Sometimes conference room technology can be a struggle, both to learn new technology, and to effectively get guests to be able to utilize the systems. We’ve seen companies leave complex instructions that require diving into settings either on the devices themselves, or some sort of user interface. We have also watched employees at companies have to setup audio requirements separately from video requirements on multiple devices before starting a meeting. This shouldn't be happening, plain and simple. Everything in your conference room should be plug and play. A guest, or employee should walk in, plug in and go. Adjustments to volume or display size etc... should be easily made on the user interface as well. 

Conference room controls, including lights in many instances, should be controllable under a simple graphical interface that anyone in all user groups can easily comprehend. The interface can be on a dedicated room touchpad or an app on smartphones even.  Presentations should be able to be set up in under 2-3 minutes, audio conference calls should be crystal clear and adjustments to them easily made, and screen sharing should be able to be done in real-time. 

Go Wireless

Cable connections are dead. Truly they are as obsolete as the type-writer. We were just in a couple of conference rooms recently as a team that still had cable connections for BYOD and we had to make sure we had a Mac adaptor and a PC adaptor and so on and so forth. As you can imagine this killed productivity and the timeliness of the meeting itself.

In today's av world with Bluetooth and wireless connectivity, there is simply no reason connecting to in-room av systems shouldn't be done completely wire free. Today's smartphones, tablets, and computer technology all have usr interfaces that differ, but what they share in common is the ability to connect to Wi-Fi, and activate Bluetooth settings. The most up-to-date systems,  offer real-time solutions to connect any wireless device immediately in the click of a button and share that device content on the room displays, the facility displays, or even remotely to hybrid participants.

Everyone should have a voice

Effective av collaboration enhances communication for everyone in the room, or on the call. Poor audio can derail a meeting very quickly and can be a waste of time for participants if they can't even hear the presenter. Getting too much feedback, or experiencing volume fluctuation depending on the person speaking, and even a lack of microphone coverage to all in-room participants are often causes of poor sound quality and ultimately flat out bad meeting experiences in today's conference rooms. Quality microphones and microphone arrays can make a difference, but you need to partner with an av solutions provider like PTG to accurately map out the space and provide recommendations for optimal acoustic placement of microphones and to help with technology selection & microphone type. For example, we must always come to the conclusion on whether or not table top, or mounted microphones are best for the space at a minimal.

Similarly, additional speakers can sit on tables throughout a space or be installed in walls and ceilings in other rooms where overflow participants may take part in larger meetings. Don't forget to acoustically treat the room as well to optimize the in-room experience and effectively block out exterior noise from other meetings or spaces within your building. 

Scheduling & monitoring

Lastly, to create an optimal experience for attendees and employees you must account for scheduling and monitoring, especially in the post pandemic landscape where people are coming in and out of the office often on a varying array of schedules that change frequently. If you have multiple conference rooms and meeting spaces in your organization, efficient scheduling to avoid conflict is not only crucial it is a must.

Audio-video systems can integrate with popular calendar software like Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendar so that scheduling is a breeze, not to mention digital on-room displays can show availability for those walking past the space. Monitoring usage, remote management of the av systems from IT (to better troubleshoot issues that might arise), maintenance, and automation capability, are all pieces that should be considered before your next av project. 

If you are in need of an av solutions provider or integrator for your next audio-visual project or conference room makeover; look no further than PTG. We are here to answer your questions, and help guide you on the journey to a world-class av experience. 

 

 

Topics: Video Audio

Jacob Zupancic

Written by Jacob Zupancic

Jake is an Account Manager at PTG. He is responsible for taking care of existing clients and ensuring that any new projects are taken care of. As part of his role, he is also charged with the task of finding new and innovative ways to expand PTG's portfolio of clients.

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