Written By: Randy Marcotte
Welcome to the third installment of our series, “How to Set Up a Video Conference Room Without Getting Fired.”
In today’s post-pandemic reality and digital- AI age, video conferencing has become an essential tool for businesses worldwide. Whether you’re aiming for a lavish setup or working within a strict budget, the principles of creating an effective video conference room remain consistent. This article delves deep into the nuances of setting up a video conference room that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. From understanding the room’s purpose to selecting the right technology, the DCS Global team and I wanted to guide you through every step of the process.
The goal of this article is to help you build your video conferencing room without going overboard. Each room is different and most of us want to build the perfect video conference room. Regardless, of whether you want an extravagant-looking room or if you are on a tight budget, the factors are the same. These factors include lighting conditions, room decor, and external factors like air vents and wall material. This is just the starting point, so let’s begin.
Color Palette, Furnishes, Wall Finishes, Lighting and the Room itself matters.
- In selecting the color palette for your video conferencing room, neutral shades such as beige, tan, pale gray, or pale slate blue work best. You should avoid stark white and darker palettes which do not provide optimum background for viewing. Flat colors reflect less light and provide less glare. Wall art with glass coverings can add to echo in rooms that already have too many hard surfaces, so consider your room design carefully.
- Painted, papered or fabric walls can be acceptable wall finishes for your video conferencing room. They offer a calm atmosphere for all the participants.
- Furniture and decorating accessories should be kept to a minimum. Bear in mind that wall hangings within range of the camera should not have reflective surfaces.
- Sunlight can disrupt the camera’s ability to capture a good image, and it can make viewing a conference difficult as glare may overcome the brightness on many display screens and monitors
Camera placement and the expectations of the on-screen behavior.
- When placing your camera, consider the most common use of the room when in a video call and how the typical far-end users have their rooms set up. If yours is a small room and you place the camera above the TV, you’ll have the users looking down towards the room, rather than the straight-on, “face to face” experience most users enjoy. Similar issues happen when you place a camera between two TVs or to the right or left of the camera. The best experience has the camera placed and centered below the TV and the TV centered at a height that provides great viewing for all.
- Consider AI-driven platforms and cameras that enhance the experience and automate the process of creating meeting equity for all participants.
Content Sharing – when not in a video call, this is a projector!
- You are spending a lot of money on these rooms, so let’s make sure you get a lot of use out of the room. Have you discussed content sharing needs with your user community and will the room behave as desired? The more simple the room and the easier it is to connect and share, the happier your end-users will be. If dongles tend to go missing, consider wireless content sharing. Finally, remember not all laptops or content is created equally, so choose a solution that helps with sound, resolution, and scale.
Scheduling and Integration.
- When your users start using these rooms, you will need to make sure scheduling is accurate and users get access. Many of our customers integrate whatever video conference bridge they are using directly into the calendar tool they use to reserve a room, thereby providing users with meeting IDs, dial-in codes, and guest invite information. The more you can integrate access to the room with use options within the room, the better. Beyond that, we help our customers integrate visual indications of room reservations with on-screen instructions on how to access help-desk services.
Every Room is special, not just one room. Consider video in all huddle rooms, small rooms, large rooms, and training facilities. Not just the executive board rooms can be elegant in design and easy to use.
A video conferencing strategy should account for scale and use in any conference room with a budget that shifts accordingly. When you work through the use cases, environmental factors, and desired outcomes with a broad picture in mind (rather than just a few special conference rooms) your approach will steer you toward solutions that are more flexible and that can grow with you. Even if your project is limited in scope today, be sure to set your sights on an approach that expects unified video and voice communications, content sharing, and collaboration.
Note: Tune in to part four of this blog series and learn a bit about the camera options and why choosing a good camera can make a big difference. We will also review some of the AI trends in camera technology and how this will transform your approach.
Before you embark on the journey of setting up your video conference room(s), it’s crucial to have a checklist in hand. This not only ensures that you don’t miss out on any essential components but also guarantees that you set up a space that’s efficient, user-friendly, and conducive to productive discussions. Some of these points have been covered in prior posts, but if you are just tuning into this post, here are some key items to review.
Five things to discover when designing a video conference collaboration space:
Understand the Room’s Purpose:
- Before you start, ask yourself: What is the primary purpose of this room? Is it for team meetings, client presentations, training sessions, or all of the above? The purpose will dictate the kind of equipment you need, the size of the room, and its layout.
Choose the Right Technology:
- The market is flooded with a plethora of video conferencing tools and equipment. From high-definition cameras to noise-cancelling microphones, the options are endless. Research and choose technology that aligns with your needs, budget, and the room’s purpose. Remember, the most expensive isn’t always the best.
Consider the Room’s Acoustics:
- Ever been in a video call where you can’t hear the other person because of the echo? Room acoustics play a vital role in the clarity of sound. Invest in soundproofing, consider the room’s shape, and place acoustic panels if necessary.
- Proper lighting can make a significant difference in video quality. Ensure the room has adequate natural light, but also invest in artificial lighting solutions that eliminate shadows and don’t cause a glare on the screen.
User Experience is Key:
- Your video conference room should be user-friendly. This means easy-to-use equipment, clear instructions for those who might be unfamiliar with the technology, and accessibility features for all users, including those with disabilities.
Understanding the Room’s Purpose: Before diving into the setup, it’s crucial to identify the primary function of the room, be it team meetings, client presentations, or training sessions. This understanding will guide equipment choices and room layout.
- Selecting the Right Technology: With a myriad of options available, it’s essential to choose technology that aligns with the room’s purpose and budget. High-definition cameras, noise-cancelling microphones, and user-friendly interfaces are some considerations.
- Room Acoustics: Sound clarity is paramount in video conferencing. Investing in soundproofing, considering the room’s shape, and possibly adding acoustic panels can enhance audio quality.
- Lighting Considerations: Adequate lighting, both natural and artificial, can significantly improve video quality. It’s vital to ensure that the lighting doesn’t cast shadows or cause screen glare.
- Prioritizing User Experience: The video conference room should be intuitive and accessible to all users. This encompasses easy-to-use equipment, clear instructions, and features that cater to users with disabilities.
In conclusion, setting up a video conference room is a meticulous process that requires careful planning and consideration. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can create a space that fosters productive discussions and collaborations. Stay tuned for the next part of this series, where we’ll delve into camera options and their impact on video conferencing.
About DCS Global & Perfect Video Conferencing
DCS Global is a collaboration, consulting, services, and audiovisual (AV) integration company that provides various services related to digital signage, wayfinding, and kiosk manufacturing and deployment. The company specializes in creating interactive and engaging experiences for customers, visitors, and employees.
Their services include:
- Digital Signage: DCS Global designs, installs, and manages digital signage systems that help organizations effectively communicate with their audience. These systems can display content such as images, videos, and live data, and can be customized to meet the specific needs of each client.
- Wayfinding: The company offers wayfinding solutions that help people navigate complex environments such as hospitals, airports, and campuses. These solutions use interactive maps, directories, and other tools to guide visitors to their desired destinations.
- Kiosk Manufacturing: DCS Global designs and manufactures custom kiosks for various industries, such as retail, hospitality, and healthcare. These kiosks can serve a variety of purposes, such as self-service check-in, product information, and customer feedback.
- AV Integration: DCS Global also provides audiovisual integration services for businesses of all sizes. These services include the design and installation of audio and video systems, conference room setups, and video walls.
DCS Global offers a comprehensive range of services to help organizations enhance their communication, customer experience, and operational efficiency through innovative digital solutions.
Perfect Video Conferencing (#perfectvc) is an Audio Visual and collaboration services company that specializes in designing and deploying cutting-edge video conferencing and collaboration spaces. Recently, PVC merged with DCS Global, and together, they offer a comprehensive range of products and services that are guaranteed to deliver an immediate ROI for their customers.
With a strong focus on design and deployment, Perfect Video Conferencing is committed to delivering solutions that offer some of the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) in the industry. Their team of experts works closely with customers to understand their unique requirements and design solutions that are tailored to their specific needs.
Perfect Video Conferencing’s solutions are designed to help organizations of all sizes and industries enhance collaboration, improve productivity, and drive business success. Whether it’s a small meeting room or a large conference center, they have the expertise to design and deploy video conferencing and collaboration spaces that meet their customers’ needs.
In addition to their design and deployment services, Perfect Video Conferencing also offers a wide range of products, including video conferencing equipment, audiovisual solutions, and collaboration tools. Their team of experts provides ongoing support and maintenance to ensure that their solutions continue to deliver value over the long term.
Overall, Perfect Video Conferencing (#perfectvc) is a leading provider of audiovisual and collaboration services, delivering innovative solutions that help organizations improve communication, collaboration, and productivity. With their recent merger with DCS Global, they are now even better positioned to help their customers achieve their business goals.
About Randy N. Marcotte
Randy N. Marcotte is an accomplished business leader and President of DCS Global, a leading communications and collaboration company. With a proven track record of success in the industry, Randy has a strong background in organizational change, sales enablement, and customer satisfaction.
Before his role at DCS Global, Randy was the co-founder and CEO of Perfect Video Conferencing, which merged with DCS Global to provide a broader range of solutions to their clients. As the former owner and manager of Change Experts, Randy brings a wealth of experience in driving growth and success for businesses of all sizes.
Randy is passionate about building lasting relationships with his clients and partners and providing innovative solutions that deliver exceptional value. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling the world, skiing deep powder, and participating in marathons. Randy has completed 22 marathons around the world and will be completing his 23rd marathon in Nice, France this fall.
With a dedication to partnership, value, innovation, and excellence, Randy is proud to join the team at DCS Global and looks forward to continuing to bring new solutions to their loyal customer and partner base.