Technology has played a major role in bringing this world closer. Gone are the days when you had to book flights and travel to another city or country for important business meetings. Now you can conduct meetings quite effectively from the comfort of your own office if you have essential technology on board.
The right equipment and tools in your conference and presentation room improve team and client collaboration. Since the quality of the video calls is clear and precise, you are able to conduct meetings effectively, impressing clients, partners and other attendees. So which products and tools are completely essential? Let’s first take a look at the four main kinds of tools that you should be using, and then we’ll recommend some products that have been designed for smoother and more collaborative video conferencing calls.
Let’s take a look at the main kind of tools which you should have for a more productive, engaging and streamlined video call.
The Basic Platform
The basic platform enables you to make video calls and share screens. Only consider the best products in the market so that none of the participants have to face dial-in or screen viewing issues. Ideally, your chosen tool should provide a toll free number through which participants can connect to the meeting while also offering dial-in menus on desktop and mobile devices.
Of all the software available in the market, Zoom is by far our favorite.
Meeting Agenda App
Meeting agendas, minutes and notes should be at one central place that can be accessed by anyone. And this is exactly why you need a meeting agenda app through which you can build the agenda, collaborate and follow up on to-do tasks and note down the progress of action items. All the information is available to every team member at all times.
While you would not necessarily be using a chat tool during the meeting itself, you still need to track attendants who may be late or face trouble in connecting to the meetings. Many chat apps feature bots through which you can optimize the planning process as well.
Project Management Tool
Project management tools may also not be used during the meetings themselves, but they are highly recommended for ensuring that meetings remain effective and fulfill their purpose. Through these tools, you can quickly check the status of ongoing tasks and projects, and ensure no item or incident is hampering progress.
Zoom is user friendly software that allows you to make video conferencing calls and conduct online meetings. The basic version is free, but puts a limit for some of the features. For instance, group meetings can only be of 40 minutes and the maximum number of participants should be 100. Other plans are also available that offer more advanced features.
2. Mezzanine Oblong System
The Oblong system is a collaborative conference platform that is leading the way in conference technology. The onboard Mezzanine software enables you to share your screen across a variety of inputs and sources. It is a favorite of Fortune 100 companies given its intuitive visual displays and ease of use. With the Oblong 300 or 600, your entire team can engage and interact at the same time. This will lead to highly productive meetings.
3. Google Jamboard
What device do you use for viewing content during a video call? A traditional display? Ditch that and switch to Google’s Jamboard instead. A mega 55 inches display that features extremely high resolution and comes with a stylus, digital eraser, HD camera and built in speakers. The device is compatible with Wi-Fi, has an impressive touch response time and can be integrated with G Suite. This means you can pull up documents and content that is available on Google Drive and work on the files and records together with all the meeting attends in real time.
4. Samsung Flip
Samsung Flip is quite similar to Google’s JamBoard, but is closer to a whiteboard. It also comes with a stylus and allows you to create charts and make notes. Plus, search functionality is offered so you can find whatever file or project you want.
Samsung Flip stands apart because it connects to other devices including laptops, tablets and smartphones through both a wired and wireless connection. So whatever is being displayed on Flip can be seen on other devices. Security controls have also been put in place which prevents unauthorized users from accessing your data.
5. Microsoft Surface Hub
Microsoft Surface Hub is a complete solution that only offers the basic video conferencing software but packs it with whiteboard capabilities as well. So basically if you have Microsoft Hub, you wouldn’t need separate cameras and overhead projectors. Moreover, Microsoft Hub comes with pre-installed apps like Skype and Office so you can easily access content that you want during the meeting and share it with participants.
6. LG OLED TV
This futuristic device is ultrathin and comes in two different sizes: a 65 inch model and a 75 inch model. LG OLED TV features multiple connectivity options and HDMI ports. It can be mounted directly onto the wall using magnetic brackets.
7. Meeting Owl
The Meeting Owl is a video camera that offers a 360 degrees view. Put it at the very center of the room and it will automatically tilt towards the person who is speaking. This introduces a personal element to the meeting, and hence, the device is recommended.
8. HuddleCam HD 3X
This device has made it to the list simply because of its competitive prices which makes it ideal for small and medium sizes businesses. Though the features may not be that fancy, what you get is well worth what you pay. The camera features 3X optical zoom and provides an 81 degrees view field. It includes a USB 2.0 port through it can be connected to other devices.
9. Alexa for Business
Alexa is a voice assistant that aims to make video meetings smother and takes on tedious tasks. Once you have the tool up and running, you can forget about tricky setup processes and focus more on the agenda and the content. Alexa takes care of the control equipment and time consuming tasks.
10. Smart Film
As the name implies, this is an ‘intelligent’ film that can adjust glass opacity, blocking out light and ensuring there are no glares on any screen. Smart Film can also increase privacy in the conference room. The product can be installed on any kind of glass panel, and can be turned off if there are no meetings.
What if you don’t have the required tools, resources or budget for video conferencing at your office? Book a conference center for your meeting and conduct meetings just as you would have in person.
Amanda runs the booking team for IQ SmartCenter – A sleek
and modern conference
center in San Diego. Amanda has longstanding expertise in the wedding and
event industry, and she enjoys blogging about the latest trends and industry