Design & Engineering Archives - Level 3 Audiovisual

Design & Engineering

5 Presenter Personalities and the Best Boardroom Tech for Each

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How to Choose Boardroom Technology that Lets Your Style Shine

You might know a car enthusiast who dropped a lot of cash on some fancy rims or a movie buff who invested a little extra dough equipping a killer home theater, but when was the last time you heard someone bragging about tricking out their corporate boardroom? When it comes to meeting spaces, companies often try to get by with the bare minimum in audiovisual solutions, but without the right boardroom technology, you could end up losing more time and money in the long run.

“Without easy-to-use technology that’s right for the space, you may be throwing away 10 minutes of productivity for each person in every meeting,” said Jeff Bethke, VP of Engineering for Level 3 Audiovisual. “What is their time worth? It can be thousands of dollars wasted, or millions of dollars, depending on the size of the company.”

Boardroom conference equipment that is difficult to use also costs you the goodwill of employees who get frustrated when it doesn’t work the way they expect it to.

“It’s how people expect to be able to work and be productive,” said Jeff. “If you can get an idea across in a chat or a screen share or have a productive meeting that only takes half an hour versus an hour because you have the right tools, that’s huge.”

Whatever your managers’ or executives’ preferred meeting and presentation style, there is a technology solution that can satisfy their needs and help them work smarter. Below are five presenter personalities and the boardroom tech that fits them best.

Which Modern Boardroom Technology Best Fits Your Meeting Style?

  1. The Collaborator. Your meetings are not about one talker and a lot of listeners. You like to share content and get people involved. Consider a collaboration engine such as the Mersive Solstice, which allows multiple people to share a variety of content simultaneously. A wireless solution like the AirMedia 2 from Crestron allows you to connect and collaborate from anywhere—including the hallway, cafeteria, or even your cubicle—so you aren’t limited to a boardroom at all.
  2. The Minimalist. You probably keep your office or cubicle clean, uncluttered, and organized, and you want your boardroom to be the same way. Instead of using multiple collaboration tools, consider a consolidated control hub that unifies all your tools and work. The ThinkHub from T1V is an interactive, multi-touch tool that lets you present, collaborate, annotate and video conference all from the same device.
  3. The Demonstrator. You prefer to show people rather than tell them, but you need more than just a pen and traditional whiteboard to get your ideas across, especially if you are communicating and collaborating with remote participants. “You can’t really point the webcam at the whiteboard because the image quality is no good,” said Jeff. “So you take pictures of the whiteboard with your cell phone, but those are terrible.” New boardroom technologies such as Kaptivo can digitize your whiteboard and stream it over the internet, put it into a video conference call, and store it so it can be downloaded and shared later. You never have to lose an inspired doodle again.
  4. The Audiophile. When Lady Gaga walks onstage, she expects her microphone to work so everyone can hear her—and when you walk into your boardroom, you expect the same thing. Instead of fussing with individual wireless microphones or—gasp!—wired mics cluttering up your table, consider more flexible solutions. The Shure MXA910 ceiling array microphone, for example, provides no-fuss, Steerable Coverage™, while the beamtracking Tesira microphone from Biamp provides 360-degree coverage of any room without worries about wires, batteries, or dead spots.
  5. The Long-Distance Relationship. The nature of work has changed, with more people than ever working and collaborating remotely. But just because you aren’t always meeting face to face doesn’t mean you’re not expected to produce the same quality of work as you would if you were in the same room. Solutions like Zoom Rooms, which can turn any space into a virtual collaboration workspace, or Microsoft Teams, which allows you to chat and collaborate on files in real time, can make it seem like even the most remote colleague is sitting right next to you.

Next Steps

Chances are you’ve taken enough personality tests to know most people probably don’t fall into just one presenter category. But never fear, you can have your boardroom technology and eat it, too. Let us help you combine all your favorite collaboration features and tools into an integrated and functional solution perfect for your users and your space.

Audiovisual Design: How Do AV Engineers Play a Role in my Design?

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Audiovisual Design: How Do AV Engineers Play a Role in my Design?

An AV engineer in the past, had a skill set more focused on (surprise, surprise…) the audio and visual aspects of presentation and communication systems. Properly specifying components like speakers, amplifiers, audio processors, microphones, projectors and displays, were all in the wheel house of the AV engineer. Then control systems entered the space, and those engineers started to add knowledge on how to control many aspects of the system from button panels, then custom designed touch screens. These control systems ran on proprietary communication lines for a while, then they started to add standard network and IP connections. Now the AV engineer needs to understand networking, routers, switches and access points, and especially how to work with IT managers in charge of the customer network. This also comes into play when working with video conferencing codecs, like Cisco and Polycom. Next the “soft codec” was brought to the conference and meeting room arena, which is a term used to describe video conferencing applications running on “BYOD” devices, like laptops. Video conferencing services include Zoom, Skype for Business and WebEx. Now the AV engineer needs to deeply understand incorporating USB devices into their designs.

Sound like a lot to understand? It is.

The AV engineer has morphed into an integrated systems and communications technologist. He or She needs to understand best practices, and most importantly, the interoperability of many components and systems in order to create an experience for the end user that is powerful and effortlessly simple to use. Oh yeah, the AV engineer also needs to understand the user experience (UX), because intimidating and difficult technology never gets used.

How do we keep this all straight? One approach is to use teams and checklists.

Audiovisual Design & Engineering Teams.

AV engineers by nature have very different backgrounds. Some used to be live or studio audio engineers. Some have college degrees in engineering, some have degrees in art. Some never went to college, but years spent in the industry school of hard knocks learning the pitfalls of “AV design and deployment” is schooling enough. Understanding that the knowledge spread across an engineering team is more vast and deep than any one person can hope to learn in a lifetime allows for the team to learn from each other, and provide subject matter expertise across the many, many disciplines required to engineer a complete solution. Information sharing does not happen by accident, or without a structured effort set forth to continually educate the team.

Checklists add Quality Management to our AV Solution.

Choosing a quality management system (QMS) to implement within an AV engineering department requires a lot of time and commitment from the team. Understanding where system designs can run into trouble, and putting those items to a review checklist, makes sure that known design errors don’t happen on the front end. This is critical in ensuring a “zero defect” system gets deployed for the customer and is exactly what they expected. The AV9000 QMS set forth by industry organization AQAV takes aim at poor quality.

How do AV engineers play a role in my design?

The individual engineer and the environment in which they work will ultimately drive the solution for the issues you are trying to solve for your users. But in general, without a deep understanding of the various technology fields mentioned previously, the absolute best solution for your user, your budget and the perceived success of your project can’t even be brought to the table.