Updated: May 28, 2019
We've all been in the meeting room from hell, the one with the "crappy system," remotes are missing, the projector filter warning is on and the TV cables are a mess.
"It's good enough," management says.
Tell that to the client that you couldn't hear on the call or the guest speaker that had to present from their laptop screen when the displays wouldn't work. Given that the most common use of a Meeting Space or Boardroom is for communicating, you can imagine why we have a hard time understanding why anyone would not put more attention into the tools that would allow you to do just that. Don't you deserve better? If you're struggling and wondering "well, how do I know when we should upgrade?" This list is for you.
5 signs that your room may need professional audiovisual help.
If just connecting your device to the system to present takes a few minutes and some head scratching it may be time to see what's out there for options. Connecting your laptop or any device for that matter should be relatively "seamless," and easy to get up on the display. Between wired and wireless options, almost any device can present to a display in a matter of seconds. There are some robust complete wireless options available (and IT friendly), this way you aren't looking for that 50' HDMI cable or the dongle/adapter that someone walked away with. Going wireless can really make things easy.
Lost the remote? Too many remotes? If there are more than 3 steps to achieve what you'd like in the room, it's too many. Look into an automation or control system to try and simplify. Keep in mind in a busy office you don't have time to be training every employee that uses that room. An intuitive and user based control system can make all the difference in the experience of that room's AV system.
We often take display sizes for granted. Did you know there is an AV Industry Standard for display sizes in rooms? It takes into consideration the content on the screen, the furthest viewer, the closest viewer and both vertical and horizontal angles. If you find you're spending most of your time squinting, have an Integrator (preferably us) come and apply AVIXA V202.01:2016, the standard for Display Image Size for 2D Content in Audiovisual Systems. This is a great tool to benchmark your display size and see where you stand. Pardon the pun.
Do you find yourself "Ear Squinting." Yes, " Ear Squinting." Where we tilt our head, angle our prominent ear upwards and close one eye (for some reason, maybe focus) all because we can't quite make out what the presenter is saying. If this is you and it's every time, it's time to look at the audio system. I don't mean to keep plugging AVIXA standards but...yeah...there's one for this too. Again, riding on the coat tails of "good enough," we've become accustomed to mediocre Audiovisual experiences. Bring in an integrator, (again, preferably us) let them review the system and compare your current setup to AVIXA A102.01:2017 the standard for Audio Coverage Uniformity in Listener Areas. Because bad audio is the worst!
5. Physical Environment
Maybe the audiovisual gear isn't the issue but for some reason every meeting sounds like it's being held on the bottom floor of Mount Doom. We can usually thank the glass walls, laminate floor, and open ceiling for this. This is known as a physical environmental challenge, and can only be solved by a physical solution. A digital solution will not solve this 100%, we have to look at some acoustic treatment. Adding some sort of acoustic wall panels or dividers to absorb the sound waves bouncing all-over, and driving your team crazy. Side note: Acoustic Panels are actually quite cost effective, and can be ordered to match the room design.
NOTE* SOME OF THESE ISSUES CAN BE DIRECTLY RELATED TO A LACK OF TRAINING. MAKE SURE YOU KNOW HOW TO USE YOUR SYSTEM COMPLETELY.
Fake it till you break it.
If you find you're limping through a room that would barely pass the ability of having a conversation within it apply these tell tale signs and take action to improve your meeting comfort, productivity and functionality. Although, I suppose you could leave it until that one important meeting happens...or doesn't rather.
Should you decide to go with the latter, give us a call. Your experts in Meeting and Office Space Technology.