Secrets to planning a successful video conference

Sharp video conferencing

Video conferencing is a powerful communications tool that brings people across the world into your boardroom at the touch of a button. Decreased travel spend, increased time efficiency and the ability to link multiple locations make video conferencing the automatic choice for smart businesses. Seartec has put together a few tips for planning successful video conferences – and avoiding technical delays.

Conduct a needs assessment

Establish how sophisticated the system needs to be and what is required from a hardware and IT perspective. Businesses that require the best image and sound quality experience should consider an HD video conferencing system, or in exceptional cases, a telepresence system for life-like realism. It is also possible to hire equipment as opposed to purchasing it. And mobile video conferencing solutions mean that people on the move can tap into the conference via a device such as a tablet.

Video conference hardware sharpMake sure you have the right tools for the job.

A camera, microphone, monitor, speaker and codec are needed for exchange of video and sound between the various units participating in the conference. A simple digital display panel or television monitor can function as a viewing screen but for collaborative and dynamic meetings, an interactive whiteboard can take productivity to new levels. Sharp’s PN-70TB3 Big Pad, available from Seartec, for example, allows up to four people to write on the board simultaneously. Presentations or documents can be edited and annotated in real time during the conference and content sent wirelessly to connected mobile devices or a multifunction copier. A high-definition conferencing set-up is also preferable for big rooms that accommodate large meetings. Another consideration is whether the IT infrastructure is suitable to support video conferencing or whether it needs to be altered or upgraded.

Pick the right partner

Instead of choosing multiple vendors that install various components of a video conferencing solution, go with one which can offer comprehensive services, with one point of contact. A good provider should do an initial consultation in order to develop a tailored solution, as opposed to pushing a one-size-fits-all product. They should focus on simplicity and ease of use and provide support and troubleshooting for peace of mind. AVT Solutions, a division of Seartec, is an experienced and innovative technology solutions provider that can offer integrated boardroom and networking solutions, equipment rental or sale and installations.

On the day: Be prepared

It is best to be completely familiar with the equipment and controls in advance to avoid fiddling and time delays during the meeting. Arrive early and check the venue. An amply lit room is ideal, and if the windows are not behind the video conferencing system, they should be covered. Check seating arrangements so that the camera and microphone can pick all attendees up. If possible, external noise should be kept minimal. Check the connection and make sure that everything is working.