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The way companies conduct business is changing. Budgets are tighter, board rooms are seemingly always occupied, and the bottom line seems to be an ever-moving target. In response, board members are scrambling to find ways to make their business more profitable and effective. If we look at business efficiency in the light of Occam’s razor, the simplest solution is often the right one. For modern businesses, the simplest way to improve their businesses is by communicating more, and doing it better. That’s why businesses are embracing the power of video conferencing solutions.
As a leading provider of audio and video conferencing equipment, The VideoConference Store carries all of the products and programs you need to empower your employees to collaborate more effectively and more often. You can host meetings with teams across the world and conduct pressing interviews all with a video conference system.
Communication, and the ability to do it well, is the life blood of any business. For those who struggle to communicate with their work teams, their partners, suppliers, and most importantly, their customers, they will fall behind their competitors who communicate more effectively than they do. Good communication starts at the office level and branches out to all of these other stakeholders.
Utilizing cutting-edge communication technology, like video conferencing, offers your business a competitive advantage over others. By communicating face-to-face with more people, your business is building better relationships with clients and partners alike. It builds trust in your brand, and ensures that producing valuable and meaningful products and services. Leading businesses are making use of video conferencing technology, and now you can too.
It’s not a stretch of the imagination to say that video conferencing technology was initially developed for business use. These systems are easily integrated into any company, and their benefits are apparent almost immediately.
The idea of “the office” has changed. As businesses are increasingly global minded, it means that they aren’t always working from just one office building. They’re working from coffee shops, from hotel rooms, from rented spaces in big cities, and from the corner office of a headquarters building. Video conferencing allows you to connect with all of these remote workstations and have effective meetings with all of your partners.
Video conferencing systems can also be used to record these meetings, share them with those unable to attend, and keep a visual and audio record of the meeting for future reference. This can be used to make training programs faster and more relevant to the current best practices of your business.
Travel costs are an enormous part of any budget. Employees need time to get from point A to point B, accounting for layovers, getting lost, and checking into hotels. Travel stipends eat up funds that could be used on other projects. Simply put, traveling for a meeting just isn’t worth it anymore. You can dramatically reduce your travel expenses by embracing video conferencing technology. There’s no more need to send your employees out of the office for days or weeks at a time to meet with remote partners if you can simply meet with them face-to-face.
We’ve all gotten the email that is vague, insensitive, or just plain unhelpful. In many cases, this is never the intent of the person who wrote the email, but you interpreted it differently because you didn’t get to hear their tone of voice, or see their body language. Communication is more than just words on paper. It’s the nuance in the delivery that makes communication what it is. To communicate effectively, you need to be able to see the speaker. Video conferencing limits the chances for misinterpretations and misunderstanding. Ultimately, this makes it easier to make decisions that allow teams to move forward on projects.
Video conferencing systems also allow for dozens of people to connect to the same video feed, letting a manager or team leader communicate one set of instructions or information to many groups all at the same time. This negates the need for dozens of emails and follow up phone calls.
Like every space, there is a certain artistic element to designing a great video conferencing room. You’ll want to include features that makes it comfortable to use and spend time in, and avoid things that could serve as unwanted distractions. Fortunately, many offices already have a space that could easily be transformed into a video conferencing room with just a little work.
The best video conference spaces are welcoming, accessible, and most importantly, comfortable. They should have everything a group needs to conduct a successful meeting, interview, or check-in. You can create a great video conference space by keeping these factors in mind:
Just like a professional film, lighting makes all the difference when using video equipment. Many offices simply use fluorescent tube lights, or light banks to illuminate their workspaces. While this is more than sufficient for cubicles or factory floors, this is less than ideal for a video conference space. You’ll want to have several different kinds and intensities of light sources in you conference space. Consider adding back lighting behind the sitting area along with wall lighting. These banks of lights will help to cast a more even field of light across anyone who is using the video equipment. They’ll appear more vivid and clear, and those on the other end of the camera will be able to clearly see their facial expressions and body language.
In a similar vein, think about any of the natural lighting that might be filtering into the room. On bright and sunny days, the windows might be allowing too much sunlight into the conference room. This can cast a glare on the screen, making it difficult to see anyone on the other end of the camera. It can also wash out those inside the room, making them appear as indistinct figures to those viewing the video feed. Simply adding curtains or blinds can readily address this problem. These additions have the added benefit of dampening sound from outside, as well as in the room.
Before you start setting up your new video conferencing equipment, it’s important to look at the floors, walls, and even ceiling of your conference room. If you have hardwood floors, you might want to consider putting down a rug or carpeting. Hardwood floors easily project sound, and the shift of feet, or the rolling of chairs will cut through on your audio in vivid clarity. Carpeting muffles these sounds, ensuring that only your voices are being heard.
Rooms with large, plain, reflective, or shiny walls and ceilings will also bounce sound around more easily than rooms that use dampening panels. You can add acoustic paneling to the walls and the ceiling as a way to dampen any noise. Even something as simple as artwork on the walls can absorb any ambient sound in the room. In general, remember that soft surfaces absorb sound, while hard surfaces amplify them. The quieter a room is, the better the audio quality will be on the video call.
For every great video conference room, there are an equal number of really poor ones. Conference rooms that are stuffy, cramped, and use technology that is hard to access are less likely to be used, letting your investment go to waste, and impacting the productivity of your business. Make sure that you’re offering your clients a welcoming conference space by remembering these concepts:
Modern architecture loves the look and feel of glass. Modern businesses love the way it reflects their commitment to transparent business practices. Rooms with lots of glass walls, windows, and tables make sophisticated workspaces, but very poor video conference rooms. Sound easily bounces off of glass, making the room sound like it is echoing on an audio device. The result is that those on the other end of the call are left feeling like your shouting at them from the end of a very long hallway. Glass also has the unfortunate habit of easily reflecting light. This can cause glares on the camera, which can wash out the colors and images in the video feed.
Rooms that are painted with bold colors and elaborate patterns may be fun to work in, but they can be hard to work with during a video conference call. The colors can strain the eyes of whoever is watching the video feed. It creates a needless distraction that can interrupt the efficiency and effectiveness of the meeting.
In some cases, this might be unavoidable depending on the space concerns of your business and it’s office. In general, the center of the building is going to be the noisiest part of the building. This is because there are workstations, offices, break rooms, bathrooms, and utility lines all around the room, blasting your video conference space with noise. While acoustic paneling and dampening curtains can help to minimize the noise in the room, you’ll likely get some ambient noise during your conference that can distract and irritate those on the other end of the call.
While video conferencing rooms are becoming more popular, some businesses who are small in the literal and figurative sense, feel that a conference room is a luxury that they simply cannot afford or accomodate. The reality is that any business can make use of video conference technology because it is so flexible. Larger spaces can make use of a larger camera and microphone setups, like those offered by Yealink, while smaller businesses might make use of a screen sharing system that allows them to collaborate with faraway partners, like the ClickShare Presentation System from Barco. You can customize your video conference system to the space you have available, even if your office is really just a corner of your living room.
While there are dozens of video conferencing setups to choose from, you’ll want to keep these features in mind while you’re searching:
The video conferencing system should be simple to use, simple to set up, and is easy to troubleshoot
Whatever system you choose should be compatible with the systems that your business partners or offsite workgroups use
Your system should allow for more cameras, monitors, microphones, and other accessories to be added to it if they are needed, or if your video conferencing needs change
The video system should utilize high-definition cameras and audio microphones
The security of the system should be very good and well supported by the manufacturer
The technology should be sourced from a reliable and trusted vendor
In addition, you’ll want to consider your budget, and how often the equipment will be used. You’ll want to get the best system you can afford, as it will last longer, and be easier to use in the long run.
No matter how big or small your business is, The VideoConference store has something that will fit your needs. For the last 18 years, we’ve been offering businesses new and refurbished video conferencing products that are sure to fit any budget. We’ve helped countless businesses set up teleconferencing systems that are expansive and elaborate as well as other video conference rooms that are straightforward and simple. We want to help your business embrace video conferencing technology to improve its efficiency and collaboration.
Video conferencing technology can help you business expand in new ways and open opportunities to collaborate with new partners and businesses. If you’re ready to incorporate a video conferencing system into your business, but you’re not sure which system is right for you, connect with our team of specialists. We know our products inside and out, and can help you find a video conferencing solution that meets the needs of your business, without breaking your budget. The VideoConference Store is committed to your success and an easy video conferencing experience. Shop our complete collection of products and reach out to us today!