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The Five AV Solutions Every Public Board Meeting Should Have

AV technology can help public board meetings proceed smoothly and deliver information clearly, so they’re more efficient and more effective. AV solutions are also practical for public boards, because reputable integrators can support them for years after installation. Further, AV integrators can provide AV-as-a-Service (AVaaS) to their clients, which eliminates budgeting uncertainty and ensures the system is always kept up to date.

Investing in AV makes sense for public board rooms, and here are the technologies to target:

Digital displays

During every public board meeting, a lot of information is exchanged. Presentation materials, voting results, proposal details – these are difficult to track without a visual aid, and digital displays are the perfect medium.

In public board rooms, digital displays can be positioned on either side of the board for maximum visibility, so people can clearly see one of the displays wherever they sit. Additional displays can be positioned further back if the room is particularly large. Modern displays are pretty versatile, though, and can be sized to fit the room. AV integrators are experts at judging this, using proven formulas to find a display size that is just right.

Digital displays are excellent information reinforcers, helping people follow what is being said without hanging on every word. People vary in their ability to process spoken audio in real time, and digital displays help those people better understand what is being said. Further, board members and guest speakers can use the displays for presentation materials, which will also increase interest and engagement in the meeting.

LED technology is the primary choice for current generation digital displays as they last longer than older models, are more durable and generate superior image contrast.

When displays are not in use for a meeting, they can be used for digital signage. For example, the displays can cycle through meeting agendas and event schedules. It’s an added feature that will help keep people interested when there’s nothing else going on.

Audio reinforcement

Clear audio is essential for any presentation or meeting, and public board meetings are no exception. Research published by the University of Southern California and Australia National University demonstrates that poor audio quality negatively affects the speaker’s credibility. That’s something no public board wants to fall into, and AV solutions ensure they won’t.

Quality audio requires a few components. It needs microphones, speakers and a processor to keep input and output signals organized. There are plenty of options here that can provide that optimal mix of function and aesthetics. Gooseneck microphones, for example, can be mounted to each board member’s desk and to the public lectern, and they provide top audio quality that will not pick up ambient noise. Ceiling microphones are invisible, so they don’t take up desk space, and if properly positioned and configured, they can provide excellent audio quality too. Boundary microphones are a compromise between the two, with a compact profile that keeps them out of the way, but they remain on the desk so they don’t pick up extra noise.

Speakers are all about positioning, and an experienced AV integrator will arrange them so they provide even, comfortable volume throughout the board chambers. Audio signal processors enhance sound quality further and deliver that sound on time, so there’s no disconnect between the person speaking and what is heard.

Simple voting controls

Board meetings also involve the occasional vote, and these results are of interest to everyone in attendance. As such, voting should be simple, quick and easy for everyone to interpret.

There are also AV solutions for this. Digital displays are handy for showing voting results, and control panels at every board member’s desk can help speed voting along. Control panels can be built into the desk or mounted to it, and they feature touch controls that anyone can learn to use immediately. All board members have to do is press a button to vote when prompted, and the system tallies everything up automatically. There’s no confusion and no misheard yay or nay, so people can follow along with ease.

AV control panels can do more than facilitate voting. They can also be used to switch audio feeds on or off, navigate through a presentation or send messages to each other. Control panels give board members more control in how they participate in a public meeting.

Press feed connections

Press feed boxes (also termed mult boxes) are needed when press are expected to be in attendance, and it’s useful to have one available just in case. A press feed box connects a single audio source (usually a microphone) to many outputs, so media members can record audio with ease.

Press feed connections are especially important when a lot of media is expected in attendance, or if it is otherwise impossible for media to sit close enough to capture audio. A press feed box allows media to sit anywhere and still walk away with a high quality audio recording.

Recording and streaming solutions

Public boards are realizing the power of live streaming their meetings online, so interested people can track voting results and discussion without having to be there. Recording and streaming equipment is easy to set up, and can be set up a single time without need to reconfigure it for every meeting. There are plenty of video capturing and streaming software options, too, and many of them are available inexpensively.

Live streaming also helps bring younger people into the conversation, as they are much more likely to follow a public meeting online. If added public participation is what the board is looking for, an effective first step is making the meeting more accessible to the public. Video capturing and streaming is an ideal solution in this regard.

Without AV technology, public board meetings can be tough to follow and confusing for everyone in the audience. With AV technology, audio and visuals are clear, people can follow from their own devices and the overall experience is modern and inviting. That’s what public boards strive for – to open conversation between the board and the public, and AV solutions can help make that happen.

Robby