How to Update Your Meeting Room for 2021 and Beyond
April 15, 2021
2020 was a transformative year for the professional office space. Thanks to the pandemic, businesses all over the world had to find ways to keep employees safe while still getting their jobs done. This often meant having to figure out ways to get employees to work from home, or somehow manage to stay six feet apart at the office.
Once vaccines are readily available, the business landscape will change once again. Some employees will be heading back to the office, while others will be staying home indefinitely. Businesses will be looking for ways to update their meeting room so that employees can still collaborate, both in person and through video conferencing.
While many meeting rooms pre-COVID might have just had a large table, some chairs, and an overhead projector, that’s not going to cut it in 2021. Video conferencing will become a critical component of meeting rooms. This means cameras, a display, and an audio setup that allows employees in the office to seamlessly collaborate with remote employees as if they were in the same room.
Luckily, the technology continues to improve every year. Keep reading for ways to update your meeting room for 2021, and beyond.
Shure is one of the biggest names in audio. While most well-known for iconic microphones that are used by musicians and performers every single night all over the world, Shure has an entire ecosystem of products designed to improve the audio quality in your meeting room and make sure it not only sounds great but is easy to use as well.
Because they have several different products that can serve a wide variety of audio needs, you might want to start by asking yourself some simple questions before you move forward with upgrading any audio in your meeting room. How big is the meeting room? Where will people sit? Who is attending? These are simple questions that will help you narrow in on what products you should be looking for.
If you have a small room with just a handful of people, maybe the MXA310 Table Array Microphone is right for you. Don’t be misled by the sleek design. This mic features Steerable Coverage™ and built-in automatic mixing so that every voice in the room is heard clearly.
Medium-sized rooms might require an MXA710 Linear Array Microphone. It might look like the soundbar in your living room, but it’s not a speaker. It’s a versatile microphone that delivers crystal clear audio so that everyone can be heard. The microphone is also designed for a variety of placement options. It can be mounted to a wall underneath a TV screen, overhead above the meeting participants, or even directly onto a table.
Larger meeting rooms, or even training rooms, would benefit from the MXA910 Ceiling Array Microphone. These are installed above the meeting participants and can be easily suspended from the ceiling, allowing for professional quality audio without having to worry about taking up table or wall space. Setup is easy, and it’s even easier to use. Speakers shouldn’t have to worry about making sure that they stay in one specific spot to be heard by the microphone. The MXA910 automatically fine-tunes the pickups for each voice. So as people shift in their chairs, lean back, or even stand up, the microphone makes adjustments automatically.
Besides being heard, the other major component of your audio setup is the ability to hear the other participants of the video conference. And nobody makes better speakers than QSC. For a meeting room of practically any size, look no further than the AcousticDesign Series of loudspeakers. The AcousticDesign series comes with three main types of speakers: ceiling mount, surface mount, and pendant mount. The ceiling mount speakers are perfect for rooms of any size, from small huddle rooms to large classrooms. The surface-mount speakers come in a variety of sizes and are incredibly easy to install using the award-winning X-Mount™ system which is included with each full-range AcousticDesign model. These can be placed on a wall, a column, a flat surface, or even hung from the ceiling if desired. And the pendant mount speakers come in a variety of sizes, perfect for rooms with open ceilings.
You have a ton of options to choose from when it comes to a display. Like your TV from home, a good rule of thumb is to get the biggest screen that will fit in your meeting room. For many meeting rooms, like huddle rooms and even small- to mid-sized conference rooms, you might buy a TV to be your display. But if you need a larger screen, how about a projector from Barco? The DLP business projectors are designed for use in all different types of situations, from break-out rooms to conference rooms and even boardrooms. They are incredibly silent, so as to not drown out any audio.
If you don’t want to go the projector route, but you still want a rather large display, the Barco Unisee is the way to go. This video wall was designed to scale up for large applications. And unlike other video walls, the inner-tile gap is barely noticeable.
You’re also going to need a video camera for any meeting rooms where you plan on having the ability to video conference. Shure has partnered with Huddly, bringing the Huddly IQ camera into the Shure Audio Ecosystem. The Huddly IQ camera is perfect for smaller conference rooms, huddle rooms, and can even be used with your laptop or desktop computer. The camera has Genius Framing, meaning it uses AI to make sure that everyone in the room is in the frame.
The PTZ-IP Conference Camera from QSC is an incredible option for larger spaces or when you need multiple cameras. With motorized Pan, Tilt, and Zoom controls, you can be sure that the entire room will be covered. Auto exposure, focus, and white balance modes help make sure you look as great as you sound. And these are simple to mount right on the wall, usually either directly below or above your display.
The entire point of a meeting room is for co-workers to collaborate on projects together. This often means that you’ll need to easily share information off of someone’s laptop, or possibly even their phone. Enter Barco ClickShare CSE-200. This simple device makes seamless, wireless presentations possible for small- to medium-sized meeting and conference rooms. All a user has to do to get information up onto the shared display is to plug the ClickShare Button into their PC or Mac and click the button. Then the content from their laptop will be shown on the larger meeting room screen for everyone to see. It’s that simple!
The CSE-200 gets even better though, as users can also download the ClickShare App and instantly share content that way as well. Up to 16 users can be collaborating on a single project, with 2 users on-screen at any given time. The plug-and-play useability of the CSE-200 means you’ll spend less time on setup and troubleshooting, and more time working together to get the job done.
Technology changes rapidly, and the ways we collaborate and work together have changed drastically over the past year. If you have any questions about how to set up a meeting room to satisfy your particular needs, contact us here at Mainline Marketing. And if you want to see these products in action and how they can all work with one another, ask about coming out to see it all first-hand at our Experience Center in Winter Park, Florida.
This post was written by Mainline Marketing