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Virtual Meeting Rooms: Say Goodbye to Stuffy Boardrooms

by SUMMIT on December 3rd, 2015

Virtual Meeting Rooms Say Goodbye to Stuffy Boardrooms FINAL

Traditional (what you might even call “old fashioned!”) video conferencing setups typically feature one camera and a large screen, arranged in a conference room or office. Often, this leaves participants with one visual perspective, and results in poor sight lines—if any—for many of the people crowded around a boardroom table. In some situations, such as a sales pitch, not having a full view of the audience can hinder effective communication, and kill the pitch. Virtual meeting rooms eliminate this ineffectiveness, and provide participants with a more natural, collaborative environment in which to work.

Consider virtual meeting rooms the next generation of video conferencing. Instead of relying on a single webcam and screen in a conference room, all participants in a virtual meeting room use individual webcams, and can “call in” from wherever they are located. They feature typical synchronous meeting experiences, but offer many more collaboration options, such as instant messaging, sharing of documents or screens, and playing video. Overall, virtual meeting rooms create a real-life, face to face environment for interaction between colleagues.

Why Move to Virtual Meeting Rooms?

Virtual meeting rooms will likely become the norm for remote communication in the business world. And, as they become more and more common and part of the mainstream, they may even become the norm for business communications in general. Aside from keeping 20 people out of a stuffy, badly lit boardroom, they enhance long-distance telecommuting, reduce overhead and required office space, and foster productivity equivalent to face-to-face meetings. Consider these additional reasons for transitioning to digital:

  • Remote flexibility. The globalization of business and the acceptance of remote work make long-distance communications a priority for many enterprises. They don’t want to spend money paying for travel and downtime when a better solution exists. Moreover, remote collaboration often works better for employees trying to balance work and life, and for companies who are trying to foster a culture of trust and accountability among their team members.
  • Recording capabilities. Some video conferencing tools allow participants to record the meeting, even if the only valuable asset from a video conference is the audio. Recording a virtual meeting may provide a much richer data set for absent viewers to review—including logs, shared documents, and, of course, the body language of each participant and what was said by everyone.
  • Integrated technologies. With virtual meeting rooms, companies can determine which tools to use and seamlessly move between them during the meeting. Other solutions offer one tool or another but usually not in a single, integrated environment. The implementation of virtual meeting rooms, and the efficient meeting processes they enable, provides a better user experience and increases user adoption.
  • Mobile performance. Videoconferencing often requires both parties to have access to the same on-premises solution or hardware for secure communication to work. Virtual meeting rooms allow companies to create meetings in secure web browsers for interactions with internal colleagues on-the-go as well as outside staff, clients, and prospects. A participant only needs a web plugin or login information to access the meeting.

Virtual meeting rooms work for product development, pitches, regular strategy meetings, board meetings, and more. A company can reduce or expand its use without the same costs, maintenance, and geographical proximity other arrangements may require.

Companies in the 21st century must adapt to new trends and workforce demands. Mixing flexibility with new technology is an effective way to reach the right balance between collaboration and productivity. If your company isn’t exploring the potential for virtual meeting solutions, 2016 is the perfect time to start doing some research. As the technology becomes more commonplace and Internet bandwidths increase, the potential for seamless interaction will cement virtual meeting technology as a fundamental, global business tool.

photo credit: Video call LAX-BUE via photopin (license)

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