If you’re designing a video conferencing room these tips will help you get it right
Designing a video conferencing room requires a very specific brief. It’s not just like any other meeting room. Get it wrong, and you’ll find your meetings are less productive, as you struggle to connect with, see, hear and collaborate with your associates. But that doesn’t mean it’s difficult to get it right. Follow these steps for designing a video conferencing room and we’ll make sure your video conferences are picture (and sound) perfect!
1. Neutral Room Décor
Don’t get us wrong. We LOVE funky room décor: bold wallpapers, bright colours. But it just doesn’t work when you’re designing a video conferencing room.
Ideally you want a neutral or pastel coloured wall behind you that doesn’t detract from the subject (you!).
But you also need to avoid white walls (and tables!) that reflect the light and make you harder to see. Keep it simple and save any statement design pieces for walls that are out of shot!
2. Acoustically Challenged
Large rooms in particular can prove a real challenge for acoustics. The empty spaces can make your voice take on a somewhat echoey tone which is off putting for both you and your associates.
An acoustic ceiling is a good way to address this or you could use acoustic absorption panels on the walls.
For optimum acoustic absorption, we recommend having suitable materials on about half of the wall space – ideally on two adjacent walls rather than on opposite walls.
3. Sounds Good
There are so many great products available now that offer high quality audio – both in terms of picking up sound and in delivering it. For large spaces the Nureva HDL300 is a wall mounted sound bar that sends out thousands of virtual microphones in to the room picking up sound perfectly wherever people are sitting. Mounting it on the same wall as the video screen provides a more authentic, look-at-me experience as the sounds comes from the same place as the person speaking.
For smaller spaces and flexible sound, the Evoko Minto is easy to use, move and connect to via Bluetooth or cable. If you go for a separate microphone and speaker combination, make sure your microphones are well distributed and that the speakers are pointed away from them.
4. TV, Camera, Action
Getting the layout of your TV screen and camera right is really important.
Ideally the camera should be at eye level for a natural experience. But depending on the size of your room and the camera you have this may not always be possible.
A camera set above the screen will cover the room well but can throw faces into shadow and won’t be too flattering on bald spots! But below the screen can be too low and give less coverage. See how it looks given your specific room, technology and light.
And maybe consider getting a special wide-angled camera if designing smaller video conferencing rooms.
5. Have it All
You might find it makes more sense to invest in an all-in-one camera and audio system. We really like the new Logitech Rally which delivers studio quality video with impeccable voice clarity and clever science to make sure all voices are heard equally.
The modular audio systems can be used in medium to large meeting spaces, where additional microphones and speakers can be added with no added complexity. Its simple to use with a separate display hub and table hub to hide away all those messy wires.
It also integrates with any video conferencing application that is accessed via a computer or USB including Skype for Business, Google Hangouts and Zoom.
6. Content Sharing
The best video calls give you a true face-to-face experience – as if you were really in the same room as each other.
A big part of that is to be able to show your associate what you are looking at or working on.
Having an additional screen for presentations and screen sharing may be appropriate in some larger video conferencing rooms. But for smaller spaces make sure you have a screen sharing function as part of your video conferencing deployment.
A solution like StarLeaf Breeze allows you to switch seamlessly between seeing the person you are speaking to and screen sharing, for a more authentic meeting experience.
If you have technology that people are going to connect to then it needs to be easy to use. Consider if you will have wired or wireless connections. If wired, will you offer an array of connections depending on the device?
For connecting to a screen, a simple solution like Clickshare can save a lot of time and hassle. If people will be video conferencing using their personal laptop or mobile phone, choose speakers and cameras that are easy to connect to, to help enhance the experience.
At Tecinteractive, we know a lot about video conferencing. But we are also partnered with office design experts Blueprint Interiors.
So if you are looking at designing a video conferencing room, we have the know-how and the contacts to make it happen.
Why not give us a call and we’ll be happy to have a chat – or a video call to see how we can help.
Image credits: Blueprint Interiors