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Webinar: Meeting the needs of the dynamic meeting room

Alan Cho
Posted by Alan Cho on Jul 19, 2017 6:00:00 AM
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The numbers are impossible to ignore. On average, employees attend 62 meetings a month. In the last two decades, the time people spend working collaboratively has grown by 50%. And 43% of employed Americans spend at least some time working remotely.

As the number of remote workers rapidly expands, so does the need for remote collaboration. Business is no longer confined to a single location. The people we work and collaborate with don’t always share the same space as us. And meetings no longer mean sitting around a table and passively listening to somebody talking. Yet, despite the changes to the ways we work, audio conferencing technology has remained relatively the same.

However, as Phil Edholm of PKE Consulting and David Martin of Nureva discuss in this webinar, that is changing. The latest in audio conferencing technology lets you be heard from anywhere in the room for a more natural remote collaboration experience.

Here are just a few of the takeaways from that discussion.

Voice is foundational

Voice is foundational

Imagine a video conference call with no audio.

Despite all the innovations in communications technology, voice remains the primary way we all communicate. During the webinar, Phil pointed to an experiment conducted by Alphonse Chapanis, the grandfather of human/machine interaction.

This experiment asked two subjects, sitting in separate rooms, to solve problem-oriented tasks. They used a variety of communication channels including voice, typewriting and face-to-face communication via a window that connected the rooms. The time to complete a task dropped 70% with the introduction of voice, and adding another mode of communication on top of voice only marginally increased efficiency.

The evolution of the meeting room

Meeting room evolution

Meeting rooms used to be designed with one purpose -- bringing together people into a single physical space. Everybody sat around a boardroom table and verbally exchanged information. For a while, that was sufficient. But then communications technology expanded the way we could work. Now, people could work remotely. Meetings became more than just a means to exchange information; they became opportunities for collaboration. People could brainstorm and incorporate displays and whiteboards in the room to explore their ideas.

However, as Phil points out, much communications technology remains fixed even as collaboration has become more active and dynamic. Moving away from the table means you can’t be heard by remote participants. A process that should feel natural and organic stumbles due to constant interruptions to check if you’ve been heard or requests to bring the microphone closer to the speaker. This not only leads to a terrible experience in the room, but also negatively impacts the remote participant. This is how collaboration falls apart.

Next-generation audio conferencing

Next-generation conferencing

The modern dynamic meeting room must consider the importance of voice and the rise of remote collaboration. From an audio conferencing perspective, using thousands of virtual microphones rather than the standard physical microphone placed here or there can provide the total room coverage needed to bring remote participants fully into the conversation.

With a location-based audio approach using virtual microphones, no matter where you are in the room, you will be heard. And it will feel more like the remote participant is right there in the room with you.


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Topics: Webinar office design audio conferencing