Use technology to transform the productivity of your meetings.

Posted by John Kennedy on Oct 9, 2018 5:47:23 PM
John Kennedy

How many times have you been in a meeting room and everyone is waiting to get started, only to be held up by a nervous looking presenter who is trying to coax a critical piece of technology into working as it should be? Multiply that time wasted by the number of people in the room and you can understand how important it is to have the right set up.

There’s nothing worse than a glitch or technical hiccup derailing your presentation, not only wasting time but killing the vibe as you are about to make a big pitch in front of your clients or co-workers. Having “technical issues” is just so last year.

To many companies, meetings are a necessary evil, and they come at a cost.

Even before the meeting starts, you need to commit time and effort to scheduling and preparation. And with eighty-three percent of people working remotely at least part of the time you need to make sure when you do have a meeting that you get the most from it. 

Add to that the staggering numbers about meetings:

  • 67% of meetings are considered unproductive.
  • 37% of meetings start late.
  • Employees spend about 31 hours in unproductive meetings.

And when the meeting starts, there is the ongoing battle to keep conversations on topic and hold everyone’s attention. Add into that mix old or defective meeting room technology and you’ll have all the ingredients for an unproductive meeting.

Reliable, easy-to-use meeting room technology may seem insignificant, but this can make a big difference, especially if you have a lot of meetings – one less thing to worry about allows you to focus your efforts on growing your business.

If you have a team, they will feel more confident about meetings knowing that they won’t have to struggle with configuring screens, toggling display settings or require an encyclopedic knowledge of things that typically go wrong.

Here are a number of ways that technology can help make your meetings more productive.

A wireless solution – getting down to business

The point of technology is to make things easier, not harder, and having to maintain a collection of different adapters because every company has vested in their own particular choice of technology is not a good use of time, money or stress levels.

Instead of searching for that critical adapter when you start a presentation, hoping that the last person did not accidentally put in their bag, this could be a good time to consider using a wireless presentation system to simplify the whole process for the presenter and audience.

Wireless conference systems free presenters from the need to be tethered to their computer and add additional flexibility to an incumbent technology set up.

There are challenges though, including limitations to how far a signal travels, interference between the broadcasting device and the receivers and the need to consider cyber security measures to keep material away from prying eyes. 

Many systems, including Google Chromecast and Apple TV, only work with corresponding devices/browsers and this should be taken into consideration when you are assessing what your organisation's needs are. 

If you are using videoconferencing as part of your collaboration strategy, wireless presentation technologies can be integrated into video conferencing rooms as well.

An interactive whiteboard

The idea behind a whiteboard is simple, it’s a big empty canvas that enables multiple team members to collaborate by drawing and mapping out their thoughts.

They are useful for articulating "big ideas" and developing them into actionable items. Interactive whiteboards can share content in a digital space, opening up input to the virtual world to share ideas, images and doodles. All of which can be saved and shared with attendees.

A high-end example of this is the Google Jamboard, a 55-inch, 4K Ultra High Definition digital, collaborative whiteboard. Its touchscreen allows for members to create sketches (and even doodles). It also has functions for file saving and content sharing with the collaborators. With built-in features like HD camera, speakers and Wi-Fi.

Video conferencing 

The fast pace of technological change means these days, you can count on pretty much everyone having the ability to be in front of a camera and have an internet connection.

Video chat doesn’t actually put someone in the room and it can feel a little one dimensional as your view is limited by what you can see happening at the other end. So as long as you have the bandwidth you can stream a call and have an effective medium to engage with other parties on the call.

When you’re thinking about video, don’t overlook the basics because they’re vital to providing a great experience, so take the time beforehand to test out your equipment. Can you be seen, is it lit well enough? Check how everything looks on camera and that you are capturing the audio effectively. Mic placement and room acoustics can have a big impact on how a meeting is received. 

WiFi availability

Most of the technology that will transform your meeting room depends on having a solid connection to a fast and reliable WiFi. Everyone in the room should be able to log in. Troubleshoot in advance so you’re not wasting everybody's time at the beginning as they are all asking for access to a WiFi that does not seem to be working or are asking for passwords when they should be focusing on the meeting content.

Digital meeting room signs

Digital meeting room displays can show real-time room availability, and be linked into your internal booking system to making booking the meeting room an exercise in efficiency. The Evoko Liso smart meeting system makes it easy to book a room using a digital calendar, or directly on the screen. 

Digital display boards

You can also get an impactful message across to your meeting audience with digital display boards. The BenQ ST650K - 65" smart signage display board can be connected via component video, HDMI or D-sub and provides multimedia functionality for PowerPoint presentations, video conference calls and more.

Project management software

A lot of what goes into having a successful meeting is the planning and preparation. So invest time in delegating tasks and following up on meeting actions with tools like Slack, Trello, or Asana project management software that keep everybody on track.

Worktools provides affordable plans for leasing the latest in technology offerings for small and medium-sized businesses with the personal touch when it comes to helping you understand what you need.

We aim to help you save money and professionally manage your technology needs with the latest Windows and Apple devices at affordable monthly rates, with the option for IT Support plans.

We are full of ideas on how you can set up your meeting and conference rooms, whether you need a big multifunction screen for a video conference,  or how to make that next pitch or presentation have a big impact.

Contact us to find out more about our range of hardware products and software. Or visit our leasing page for more information.

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Topics: small business, hardware, meeting rooms

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