Rene Buhay, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at AV manufacturer AVer Europe, gives his tips on setting up the perfect video conference.
In the global business market, video conferencing is an essential part of staying connected with clients and associates around the world. However, if you aren’t prepared, remote meetings can impede rather than facilitate communication.
Technical issues can cause frustrating disruptions or completely derail an important meeting. The good news is that a little planning can virtually eliminate these issues. Here are some suggestions on how to get the most form your digital collaborations.
Make sure everyone is seen
Ensuring that everyone is involved in the meeting is essential. To accomplish this, you need to match your equipment to your surroundings.
Not every conferencing camera is the same. Some are made to capture all sizes of meeting areas, while others are designed specifically for huddle rooms and other small spaces. Check out the field of view (FOV) when you’re looking at cameras to make sure you obtain a device with a wide enough angle to pick up every participant. Auto tracking cameras with remote autofocus function will track a moving presenter precisely and display important details more distinctly, and can eliminate the need for an experienced camera operator.
Simply purchasing the right camera isn’t enough, though. Meeting attendance varies, and you must configure the settings to fit different amounts of people. The best cameras feature technology that enables you to get that done quickly and effortlessly. A camera which uses facial recognition to automatically establish the ideal zoom and focus for your conference will get the best results.
Make sure everyone is heard
Another aspect of remote business meetings that can be difficult to control is audio. If you’re using cheap or out-of-date microphones and speakers, you’ll likely have trouble with ambient noise and people talking over each other. It’s worth investing in a professional solution, and considering the following
1.) Surrounding environment
If your remote collaborations take place in an area with loud traffic or machinery sounds, look for a device that offers noise reduction. Another common problem that a quality audio system can reduce or eliminate is echo.
2.) Mic range
If everyone in your meeting can huddle around a mic, great. However, that’s not always practical. Product specifications will tell you how many meters the pickup reaches, and some allow daisy-chaining together multiple mics to extend the reach even farther.
3.) Mic direction
A unidirectional microphone will work for your space if you can fit everyone involved directly in front of it. However, if you have participants surrounding a conference table or scattered around the room, consider adding more mics or using a 360° setup.
Noise or lack thereof doesn’t have to be an issue. With the proper tools, it’s easy to make sure everyone gets their messages across.
Make sure your space is set up correctly
At times, even the best equipment won’t be able to compensate for a faulty room setup. Excess sunlight or uncovered cement flooring can affect your image and sound quality. If you’re working with a less-than-ideal space, a few simple changes can go a long way.
Tone down harsh lighting with curtains and by painting or papering over bright white walls. That will help you avoid white-balancing and focus complications.
Correcting excessive echo and distortion is equally simple. While you don’t need to turn your meeting space into a professional studio, softening hard, flat surfaces with rugs or wall hangings can assist in keeping your voice crystal clear to the person or group on the other end of your call.
Don’t stop there
There are many other ways to optimize your video conferences. For instance, you might consider employing an on-premise system with an encrypted connection to give you peace of mind when discussing sensitive information.