The Essential Conference Room Technology Planning Guide
An estimated 11 million business meetings take place every day, and the average employee spends nearly half of their working hours going from one to the next. Moreover, in our post-pandemic world, an ever-increasing number of companies are leveraging technology to support remote capability alongside essential in-office operations. Now more than ever, it is crucial that conference room equipment be reliable and secure; lest your bottom line suffer the snowball effect of reduced productivity, efficiency, and missed opportunity that often follows as consequence.
While no conference room technology setup is completely infallible, there are ways that you can be proactive in order to minimize productivity-killing issues. In this article, we’ll discuss some essential checklist items that we at MIProTechs recommend in order to keep your meetings on track.
Why Unreliable Conference Room Technology is a Problem
Did you know that at least two meetings in an average small to mid-sized company’s week will likely be interrupted by technology issues? Displays won’t work, teleconference lines drop, a projector is broken, and poor audio and video quality make important information difficult to absorb. Around 30 minutes of meeting time on average is spent just trying to get faulty technology to work. These kinds of setbacks can add up quickly in hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue each year.
This is because unreliable technology can cause dedicated conference rooms to be underutilized or not at all, which then leads to employees conducting their meetings in other places in different ways that can distract those not in attendance. Beyond that, you could be looking at lost business relationships, as clients may not want to deal with you anymore, or prospective clients may be turned off by the idea altogether, because your unreliable technology might paint a negative picture of how your company operates overall.
Now, here’s what you can do about it…
Invest in technology that your team actually needs - not just what the data shows.
Cold statistics, especially those gleaned from search results, are not a representation of your unique business. The best course of action is to ask your team directly what technology-related issues they run into and what they would like to see done about it. This can not only give you an accurate picture of the most effective solution that supports your specific business goals, but also the added benefit of improving employee morale by making them feel more empowered, connected, and involved.
Here are some questions you might ask:
- What is your “must-have” meeting technology?
- What is your “nice-to-have” meeting technology?
- How easy is it for you to reserve a conference room, whether in advance or right away?
- How often do you run into double booked meetings?
- Do you experience poor audio and video quality during meetings?
- Do you experience spotty connectivity during meetings?
- Are there enough dedicated meeting spaces in the office?
- Does the current conference room technology align with the meeting goals you’re trying to accomplish? If not, how do you think it could?
Choose a standard for conference room technology and stick to it.
Technology can be temperamental. Sometimes the problem lies compatibility and usability issues caused by a mishmash setup. Pick a standard for software, displays, teleconferencing, wiring, and related amenities that will be used across every conference room in your office. Demonstrate and explain each to your team, let them test drive it themselves, and have a verified setup/troubleshooting procedure posted in each conference room. If you have an in-house IT team, familiarize them with your chosen standard as well so they can perform quick, effective maintenance if needed.
Plus, if for some reason you need to change anything in your technology setup, having a set standard that is optimized to your business needs can make the planning process much easier. No need to spend more time shopping around or risking getting the wrong thing. If you already know what works, then you know what features to look for in a new device, software, etc.
Make sure connecting personal devices is a snap.
One of the biggest mistakes that we try to help business owners avoid is not planning for multiple devices when it comes to their office technology network. Specifically, those personal devices that employees bring in themselves. The reality is that your team is not going to exclusively use your company technology. There are some devices in their personal tech arsenal that are essential for them to use to successfully do their jobs. Make sure your conference rooms have proper Wi-Fi coverage, as well as the correct cables and adapters to accommodate them.
Invest in conference room scheduling software with usage analytics.
If you don’t already have conference room scheduling software, you should look into it. It can be especially beneficial for businesses with larger teams and multiple meeting spaces in order to prevent hang-ups due to double booking and other such issues. On the technical side of things, getting scheduling software with usage analytics can provide valuable insights into how your conference rooms are being used, in addition to blindspots and areas of improvement that might have been missed during the initial assessment.
With these insights, you can start to answer questions like:
- Does my office have enough conference rooms?
- When are the busiest times for meetings?
- Do my conference rooms match up with the meetings taking place in terms of capability?
- Which conference rooms are the most popular? Which are avoided? Why?
This information can provide you with a better understanding of what conference room technology is working best and apply it to other areas. Since this assessment is ongoing, it can also help you identify opportunities to scale your business capability if needed.
Conference room technology should never be the center of attention in your meetings. In fact, it should operate so seamlessly that setup and usage become second nature to your team, and every minute of the meeting is spent as productively as possible. As Southeast Michigan’s premier provider of commercial technology, we at MIProTechs is here to help you in your quest to streamline your business! Whether you’re in the process of adding a new conference room or upgrading an existing one, we are your steadfast partner in ensuring your technology works for you.
Call us at (248) 987-6171 or schedule an appointment online!