For many businesses, the world is definitely their oyster. No longer are businesses limited to their local community and instead have new offices, employees, clients and suppliers all around the world.
Previously, communication would have been impossible with such a wide spread net of contacts. However, although face-to-face meetings may not always be realistic, with high capacity broadband and powerful computer processors, video conferencing has made global communication possible. Unlike phone calls or emails, video conferencing easily allows both audio and video telecommunications between two or more people.
In this blog, we look into more depth at Setting Up For In Room Video Conferencing and answer some of the key questions people ask us:
- How is video conferencing beneficial?
- How do you set up a video conference?
- What else needs to be considered?
- What does the future of video conferencing hold for businesses?
How is Video Conferencing Beneficial?
There will always be a time where a face-to-face meeting is more appropriate, however, video conferencing breaks down geographic barriers and provides the opportunity for improved communication. Many companies, big and small are starting to use video conferencing, providing them with a number of benefits. Here are our top 5:
- Save MoneyAlthough there may be an initial up-front cost, travelling can be expensive and so you should see your return-on-investment within no time. It can also work out cheaper than a call too, especially for long-distance.
- Increase ProductivityTravelling to a meeting is an unproductive use of your time, whereas a video conference can take place anywhere. Also, because you are face-to-face with someone, it is more likely that everyone will be more focused.
- Save the EnvironmentVideo conferencing reduces your carbon footprint, making you a more environmentally friendly company.
- More FlexibilityVideo conferencing provides more flexibility to employees, with an increase in remote working, creating a better work/life balance. It also means that HR can find the best person for the job, without being restricted by location.
- Improved CommunicationDispersed teams may only meet once every quarter, however, with video conferencing, communication can easily increase, helping to share knowledge and ideas, as well as building strong business relationships.
How Do You Set Up a Video Conference?
If you’ve hired a venue, many places will set the video conferencing system up for you. At Saxons Training Facilities, we make sure everything is working so you’re ready to get started as soon as you arrive.
However, although many people can think it is tricky, if you follow these 4 simple steps, you will be up and running within no time:
Step 1: Choose your Software
There are a number of free software options which you can use for video conferencing, such as Skype, or even Google Hangouts. Alternatively, depending on what your business is looking for, there are a number of more advanced software applications, available for a fee.
Step 2: Get your Equipment
The key pieces of equipment you will need to enable a video conference are:
- Video Input – Video camera or webcam
- Video Output – Computer screen, television or projector
- Audio Input – Microphone
- Audio Output – Speakers
- Data Transfer – Broadband Internet connection
- Computer – To combine all the elements and allow for data processing
Step 3: Install
Now you have everything you need, you can connect up all of your hardware and install the software onto your computer.
Step 4: Test
Make sure you test the system. You do not want to find out there is a problem only a few minutes before an important call. You could run a test by trying to video conference between two computers within your office. Once this has worked, you’re ready to go!
What Else Needs To Be Considered?
When video conferencing, you should also consider your surroundings, including:
- Walls – Video conference from a room which has neutral coloured walls. This will reduce eye strain for your contact. Avoid glossy or brightly coloured walls, which can reflect light and become distracting.
- Furnishings – Keep furnishings in the room to a minimum as they can become distracting to the contact. Don’t forget that glass fronted photo frames or mirrors can create glare, so make sure they are removed.
- Lighting – Make sure there is no direct light focused on the camera lens. An internal room with no windows is ideal, as it means it can be evenly lit, however, this is not always possible. If sun is streaming in, blinds or shutters should be used to prevent any glare.
- Noise – Make sure you are in a quiet space where there will be no interruptions.
What Does the Future of Video Conferencing Hold for Businesses?
Due to a number of factors, such as fuel costs, travel limitations and more dispersed businesses, uptake of video conferencing looks to increase in the future.
However, with technology constantly developing, we should expect to see even better video conferencing capabilities, with full suites of web collaboration tools to add to the experience. Providers may also make services available to all devices too, so in the future, virtually anyone will be able to video conference, from anywhere in the world.
Photo: Maik Meid – https://www.flickr.com/photos/frnetz/ – CC BY-SA 2.0