Meeting rooms require special considerations to ensure users are seen, heard and engaged. Whether your meeting room is a home office, shared conference room, or solo workspace, here’s how to prepare your technology and equipment to be ready for every type of meeting.
- In-person, virtual and hybrid meetings require different types of meeting room tech.
- Common technologies include screens, cameras, speakers, microphones, control panels and conferencing software.
- Choosing integrated meeting room solutions like Neat devices ensures you’re ready for every type of meeting.
Understanding the Differences in Technology Between In-Person, Virtual, and Hybrid Meeting Types
Your videoconference technology setup will vary depending on the type of meetings you host: in-person, virtual or hybrid.
In-person meetings are the most simple. The most frequently used technology is typically collaboration tools, such as whiteboards. A projector and screen are also par for the course, making it easy to share presentations and other content. Everyone’s in the same room, so each person can be seen and heard without extra meeting room tech.
For virtual and hybrid meetings, more meeting room technology is required to ensure everyone can see what is being presented or discussed, no matter where they are located geographically. Screen-sharing via a video meeting platform is essential.
Good audio quality matters in virtual and hybrid meetings too, to ensure each person can be heard, even when others speak over them. Cameras that capture each participant, not just the speaker, also give a more in-person-like feel to the meeting.
Many companies have set up their meeting spaces to accommodate any type of meeting. This way, they have all the meeting room tech on hand, ready to use when needed.
Choosing Technologies for: In-Person Meetings
Technology plays a role in all types of meetings (even for in-person meetings), so consider the following opportunities to improve every session.
Your meeting room is a treasure trove of data that can help you learn how to transform your meeting space into one that supports your users’ needs.
There’s also a level of health and safety to consider. Things like air quality or humidity can affect worker productivity and even their personal health. You might find a trend between crowded meetings and a subsequent increase in sick days. Making improvements based on data may help reduce sick days and allow participants to get more from every meeting.
Meeting rooms should include a collaborative board that makes it easier to get everyone on the same page. Large whiteboards give everyone a chance to contribute in real-time without needing to share documents, enable permissions and have a hundred tabs open at once.
A wireless board enhances in-person meeting creativity with a mobile multi-touch surface. You can wirelessly share content or use built-in annotations and whiteboards. You can also give it permanent residency in your meeting space with wall-mounting equipment or make it mobile with a frame and wheels so you can use it whenever and wherever you need it.
Choosing Meeting Room Technologies for: Virtual Meetings
There’s more to virtual meetings than choosing a video conferencing platform. You also need the basic building blocks of digital meetings, such as a screen, a microphone, speakers and a camera.
Virtual meetings require video conferencing software to bring participants together. Popular conferencing software like Zoom or Microsoft Teams handles everything from scheduling meetings to inviting participants to hosting and recording the meeting.
Choosing a webcam with a high resolution gives you crystal-clear image quality, making it easy to see each participant’s facial expressions and body language, and leading to more natural, free-flowing conversation. Some webcams also include auto tracking to keep the person in view at all times, even if they stand up during the meeting or move around the room.
Great speakers support clear audio. They play a role in canceling echoes and vibrations and projecting sound throughout the room. Depending on the size of your conference space, you may need more than one set of speakers.
Ideally, you’ll choose a microphone that automatically blocks out unwanted background noise without suppressing human speech. This helps to filter sound when two people are speaking over each other, ensuring you can hear both voices without the sound becoming muffled or jumbled.
If you have employees traveling or working from home, finding a compact solution will help them be prepared no matter where they work. All-in-one devices save space and improve communication and collaboration. You don’t need a large dedicated space for one-to-one virtual meetings, which reduces your technology demands and costs. You get everything you need in a neat and tidy package, ensuring all your components work together flawlessly.
Choosing Meeting Room Technologies for: Hybrid Meetings
Hybrid meetings offer the best of both worlds—some participants will meet in person, while others will meet remotely. Arguably, this arrangement is the most complex to figure out in terms of meeting room tech.
A recent McKinsey survey suggests that 90% of organizations will adopt some combination of remote and on-site work. It’s more critical than ever to ensure companies invest in the equipment they need for hybrid meetings.
Let’s look at some special considerations for hybrid meeting equipment:
Wireless capabilities help you create meeting rooms on demand. The absence of wires to connect reduces your need to troubleshoot and the risk of compatibility issues. You can get your meetings up and running faster and make better use of everyone’s time.
Central Control Panel
A central control panel lets you control your meetings from a single place. Features may include one-touch meeting launch, meeting room scheduling, screen sharing, meeting recordings or muting participants.
A Combination of In-Person and Virtual Technologies
Combining the technologies already mentioned—screens, microphones, cameras, a control panel and speakers—supports all meeting use cases. Meeting rooms can facilitate virtual, hybrid and in-person meetings without the need to reinvent the wheel every time.
Neat devices inherently support hybrid meetings with features that enhance sound and video quality. Cameras focus on all participants equally, whether they’re in the same room or in their own home offices. Built-in experiences like Neat Boundary help block out background distractions, such as people or pets entering the room. No matter where your team is meeting, Neat creates a more natural experience for easier conversation and collaboration.
Futureproofing Your Meeting Room Technology Choices
As you’re exploring options for updating your meeting room, think about the next-gen tech that will allow your meeting space to adapt to future needs. The way we meet and connect change over time, and the technologies we use to support those shifts must be able to adapt. Consider how the technologies you choose today will contribute to future meeting experiences.
Neat remains on the cutting edge of meeting room tech. Devices like Neat Center bridges the gap between remote and in-person participants by ensuring each person in the room is in full view throughout the meeting. Building on flagship technology like Neat Symmetry, remote participants gain a 360-degree view of the meeting to remain in the center of the conversation. They can feel like part of the meeting when others in the room are talking amongst themselves or facing away from the camera. Clearer sound and video help to recreate the in-person experience for remote attendees. And with flexible placement and multi-device support, you can create these immersive experiences with meeting spaces of any size. Explore Neat devices today.
Hybrid workplace model starts with meeting rooms. Tech Target.