AV technology has been an important part of successful meetings for decades. Modern AV solutions can speed up communication, bring order to the meeting and make them more engaging with visual information. According to research published in Inc. Magazine, poorly organized meetings were projected to cost U.S. companies nearly $400 billion in 2019, so there’s a lot of inefficiencies that could be worked out with better technology, and better use of that technology.
Here’s how AV technology and solutions can make meetings more cost effective:
Streamline room reserving
In many companies, people assume there will always be a meeting room available, but what if there isn’t? The meeting is rescheduled, moved to another spot or it’s forgotten about entirely. No matter the outcome, some people will be left confused, others will be frustrated, and no one will be on the same page. This can produce significant drag on an organization’s ability to get things done.
Room reservation solutions are the answer to this common issue. Most room reservation solutions combine software and hardware, and using the software, individual meeting rooms can be reserved for a specified block of time. Everyone involved in the meeting is sent a notification via e-mail or text, so everyone knows where to go, when to be there and what the meeting will touch on. As rooms are booked, the software updates the available time slots so no double-booking occurs. Because this is visible to anyone attempting to organize a meeting, there’s no need for someone to occupy the room in advance and save the seats.
Room reservation works best when there’s a hardware component to reinforce the process. This may only require a small digital display mounted outside the meeting room. When a reserved block of time comes up, the display confirms this, showing who has the room reserved and how long the reservation lasts.
Simplify room controls
Many meetings never get off the ground because no one is comfortable enough with the technology. This is often the case when companies purchase and install AV equipment without the help of an integrator. AV integrators are focused on the total AV experience, which includes how AV solutions are controlled.
There are multiple control interfaces available to organizations. For decades, basic wall and table switches have been used to switch equipment on or ready a room’s lighting and audio for a meeting. Modern AV control systems are far more robust while offering the same degree of simplicity. For example, touchscreen displays can be built into a wall, a table, a lectern or even placed in a separate room. These displays come with vivid, intuitive interfaces that anyone can use, and with a few button presses, they can power up conferencing equipment, start a conference, set the lights and adjust volume. No technical knowledge is required, and AV integrators also configure these systems with the user in mind, so IT personnel, for example, can access additional controls that other users can’t.
With better controls in place, professionals can walk into the meeting confident it will go as planned. That will save precious time and allow people to take full advantage of the technology.
Maximize conferencing audio and video quality
There’s a lot of research concerning the effects of poor video and audio quality on a conference call. When audio quality is lacking and people have to strain to hear, it reduces their ability to recall what the speaker says. That has an immediate impact on meeting productivity. Background noise is also a problem, as research shows that extended exposure can result in migraines and higher blood pressure. Another study, joint published by the University of Southern California and the Australian National University, found that poor audio quality affects the speaker’s credibility. That could be devastating for a meeting’s outcome.
Video quality is also important, and the top priority is to prevent the video feed from stopping and starting like a slideshow. People are willing to tolerate small, temporary quality dips as long as it doesn’t interrupt hand movements or body language, but if the video stops, it will disrupt the conversation immediately.
Companies can avoid audio and video quality issues by opting for a reputable product, through a reputable AV integrator. Current generation conferencing solutions are built with noise suppression features to reduce ambient noise. Top hard and soft conferencing codecs are also better optimized for call quality and reliability. AV integrators are also masters of intercompatibility, and know which products to pair together for the best performance.
Be BYOD ready
Many organizations are transitioning to a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model, where employees use their personal devices to present work-related information.
Companies that choose to go with a BYOD approach will need the right in-house AV technologies to make it happen. Device connectivity is a priority for AV manufacturers, and modern conferencing and presentation solutions are designed with it in mind.
For example, interactive display manufacturers like Clevertouch make it simple to pair a device with the display, using an app to facilitate the connection. This can be done from a mobile device or a laptop, and once connected, the user can send their device’s screen to the display, where it can be viewed and easily interacted with. This is just one example, but many meetings now feature BYOD to an extent. Whether it’s via wire or over the air, companies should have the necessary infrastructure to facilitate a quick connection.
Effective meetings are efficient, engaging and easy to remember. AV technology is ideal for facilitating all three, with solutions like conferencing systems, digital displays and improved audio. When these solutions are designed, implemented and supported by an AV integrator, they also provide excellent reliability.
How can interactive whiteboard technology improve meetings?
Interactive whiteboards facilitate collaboration by allowing people to annotate and present examples as needed. Remote meeting members can also join an interactive whiteboarding session, allowing for remote collaboration as well.
Interactive flat panels and whiteboards also provide a powerful visual aid in meetings, with imagery that’s easier to remember and easier to pay attention to.
How much time can better room scheduling technology save?
According to a Performance Building Ltd. study, in a typical organization 92 percent of meeting rooms are booked. That’s why professionals spend an average of 30 minutes a day just looking for and securing meeting spaces. Room scheduling software can reduce this time dramatically.
What should managers do to ensure AV technology is working properly before a meeting?
It’s a good idea to check any AV technology before the meeting to ensure it is working as intended. If any devices are to be connected to the system, this should also be tested before the meeting.
Partnering with an experienced AV integrator means the company always has an AV expert on hand, so if technical support is needed, it can be provided quickly. AV integrators can also manage and monitor AV systems to ensure they are operating properly.