6 considerations when setting up your video conferencing room
Video conferencing is hot. It is currently high on the agenda for a lot of facility managers and IT decision makers. Not surprisingly, because video conferencing offers plenty of benefits. But… how do you make sure your organisation really benefits from video conferencing? What can you do to promote the use of video conferencing? Should you opt for individual video conference settings or do you opt for a fully equipped room? What is the right thing to do?
Cheaper, smaller, more mobile
You’ll probably notice … video conferencing is rapidly maturing. In the early years, video conferencing was something for multinationals, today, video conferencing is within reach of any organisation. Systems are becoming cheaper, smaller, more mobile and we see them more and more in the individual workplace. Everyone with a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone can participate in a video conference.
Fully equipped rooms
While one cannot but applaud the fact that video conferencing is also available on the individual workplace, this does not mean that special video conferencing rooms have lost their importance. On the contrary! Video conferencing rooms offer the possibility to participate in a group video conference. If you adjust all the elements in the room (furniture, lighting, colours, etc.) to video conferencing, you will ensure a pleasant experience, comfort and ease of use. You will see that video conferencing is more quickly embraced as a fully-fledged meeting alternative. .
Based on experience after the realisation of hundreds of video conferencing solutions, it is evident that video conferencing is more than just a camera, a codec and a (secure) connection. But what should you pay attention to then? What are the main considerations when setting up a dedicated space for video conferencing? We will name six of them…
- Use of colour: the ideal video conferencing room radiates tranquillity. The colour – especially on the wall at the back the room – should be pleasant and free of distractions. Bright, garish colours and/or busy patterns on the walls draw a lot of attention and are distracting. A fresh, clear and uniform colour scheme increases concentration and hence involvement. The rest of the room must also be set up in such a way that attention is not derived from the video conference. Pay attention to where furniture is placed and the use of accessories.
- Table shape: did you know that the shape of the meeting table is a determining factor for the success of video conferencing? Consider this…. If you sit next to each other at a square or a rectangular table, the visibility of the participants is obstructed by the people sitting next to them. They are not clearly visible before the camera; they are not properly captured and cannot be seen by the other participants either. In addition, they have a poorer view of the monitors. Too bad, and unnecessary! If you choose the right table shape (e.g. drop-shaped) everyone has a good view of everyone.
- Lighting: Good lighting also ensures that the participants can see each other well, but also the facial expressions and other non-verbal signals are clearly visible. It is also good to realise that too much direct bright light can cause you to look tired; it creates shadows over your face and enhances the impression of bags under your eyes. It is much better to use indirect light. This will ensure that both you and your interlocutors look much softer and more natural. In addition, it is important to check if there is any light reflected on the table top.
- Sound quality: although the main strength of video conference is that the participants can see each other, it is at least as important that they can hear each other well. Good sound audibility is an absolute requirement for successful video conferencing. Not only of speech, but also of videos played and other shared content. A powerful, professional and well-integrated sound system is therefore indispensable in a video conferencing room.
- Identical appearance: if you set up video rooms in different locations identically, you create the illusion that all participants are in the same room. This also increases concentration and involvement. It has also been shown that users find it very pleasant when the video conference solutions look the same and are operated in the same way. This increases reliability and encourages their use.
- Connection with mobile systems: more and more employees have a desktop video client or can video conference through their mobile device. Therefore, it is important that the video conferencing system in the equipped room can connect to such type of mobile systems; also when using collaboration platforms such as Skype for Business. It is precisely by combining mobile solutions with specially equipped rooms that you can create a video platform that is accessible and available to everyone.
When opting for the power of video conferencing it is convenient to (also) take a good look at the possibilities of creating one or more specially designed video rooms. And if you actually realise a video conferencing room, it is very important to take into account the use of colour, the table shape, lighting, sound and the possibility of connecting to mobile and desktop video clients.
You create a high-quality, available and user-friendly video conferencing platform, that encourages its use. And when your employees get used to using video conferencing, the use will increase further, it will become part of the work routine and will actually contribute to achieving the company objectives.