Today, we are using technology nearly every hour of our daily lives. Every time we use our smartphone, tablet—even car dashboard—we are getting an instant interactive touch screen experience. Organizations and employees are looking for that same experience from their personal technology with their office tech. These features of technology are already present in the workplace to enhance a variety of collaboration and meeting needs, bringing internal and external employees, vendors, partners and service providers together to communicate, collaborate and create.
Here are four ways that event professionals can get started with collaboration technology, as well as considerations for choosing the right technology to meet your organization’s needs and allow for seamless, hybrid meetings.
1. First determine your organization’s work style and communication needs
In offices, people grab one another in the hallway to look at something. You need to scale that to dozens of people across various countries sharing documents or collaborating in a way that lets everyone easily see, understand and save the information or idea being shared. Before choosing your collaboration solution, it’s important to evaluate your organization’s work style and meeting communication needs. What technology is your organization already using to stay in touch or share ideas that they like and are familiar with? What are your needs for communicating with external companies, such as hotel or venue AV staff, suppliers, vendors or agencies? These considerations are important and can impact placement and selection of collaboration technology.
2. Next, choose video displays that add collaboration capabilities to meeting spaces
There are a lot of important components that make up a successful meeting space. At the core of traditional meeting spaces are features like phone conferencing systems or whiteboards and displays, but static whiteboards and old-school speakerphones have their limits: Whiteboards can be erased, with information lost forever, and speakerphones limit communication to only verbal transmission, when it’s proven that more than half of what is communicated is non-verbal. Video displays now come with a variety of white-boarding capabilities that allow teams to save and share the annotations and information they capture and make video or audio calls through conferencing software such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams to serve a wide array of meeting needs in a single solution.
3. Third, choose products that work seamlessly with any UC hardware and software
Of all the options available to effectively bring meeting attendees together, interactive displays that support apps and software are among the most versatile. Unlike projectors of meeting rooms past, these interactive displays often provide features such as touchscreen capabilities and integration with video conferencing software, such as Zoom. A sophisticated evolution that is functionally similar to paper or erasable whiteboards, interactive whiteboards intelligently allow annotation over charts, graphs and images, as well as the ability to erase all or part of an annotation and to save and share it with anyone. Agnostic end-to-end systems that work with the technology and platforms that you and meeting attendees already know and love allows everyone to connect seamlessly and share content without hassle, even as the tech evolves and new platforms, apps and features are added. This seamless integration ensures that meetings can be held with ease and without additional time spent on getting AV to work together, which can take away from meeting time and impact customer experience.
4. Finally, select technology that enables plug-and-play and easy startup features to reduce setup time and frustration
One of the simplest ways to enable collaboration is to use group technology that works with the wide variety of devices that meeting attendees already have and gives them the ability to connect and display their content easily. Enhanced productivity and reduced time to market are the main reasons companies are looking to add videoconferencing and collaboration/data sharing tools via new corporate AV equipment. Being able to meet spontaneously face-to-face not only allows people at different locations to get more done faster, it also improves camaraderie, communication and employee morale, which provides a competitive advantage. You should look for solutions that offer ready-to-collaborate, end-to-end bundles for a seamless end user experience that don’t require a lot of training or downtime.
Considerations for meeting planners coordinating with AV tech managers and IT pros in corporate, hospitality, large venue and other settings include choosing modern collaboration technology for meeting spaces that offer software support for the services they already use. This can help transform static meetings of the past into collaborative sessions that allow everyone on a team to participate while ensuring that no information is lost. Using edge-to-cloud solutions that provide data and control from remote locations to determine ROI and room optimization will help you choose modern collaboration technology that offers software support for the services your company already uses and efficient, scalable workspace tech.
Dana Corey is general manager and vice president of sales for Avocor, building high-performance sales teams and leading sophisticated organizations with P&L responsibility in the B2B electronics market for renowned technology companies such as Prysym, Barco and Folsom Research.