As hybrid work redefines normalcy inside the workplace, the demand for great virtual meetings increases. Now that these sessions are a staple, it is within the company to invest heavily in audio-visual equipment, ensuring the best experience possible. Here are some tips that help you unlock the benefits of audio-visual installations:
- Excellent acoustics and audio is king.
- Ensure great screens for a more immersive feel.
- Invest in a high-quality camera.
- Opt to buy a high-fidelity microphone.
- Get a robust and reliable internet connection.
- Always consult with an audio-visual professional for installations.
#1 Great Acoustics And Audio Is King
Acoustics can make or break an audio-visual setup. They can produce the punchiest, sonically pleasing auditory experience or completely ruin the audio output. Crisp acoustics help with speech clarity during online meetings and ensure that the topic discussed is easier to follow, making meetings incredibly immersive. (1)
Hear pitches thoroughly, make conferences engaging, and increase team member productivity. When considering the acoustics of an audio-visual installation, here are a few things to check off your list:
- The room layout: The layout can heavily affect the acoustics, including the locations of doors, windows, and, especially, the sound source and listener.
- Soundproofing: Through the use of sound-absorbent materials, soundproofing can help reduce echoes and feedback and ensure that the sound remains crisp and intelligible. (2)
- Source-consumer distribution: Let’s look at our audio-visual room as a system; each system has a source (speakers) and a consumer (listener). An AV setup can produce unbalanced sound without the right blend, where output distortion occurs in some room regions. A professional well-equipped with audio-visual installation should be able to remedy this problem by adequately distributing sound sources according to each consumer.
#2 Ensure Great Screens For A More Immersive Feel
There is a thin line separating immersion and distraction. While a robust audio-visual setup is a perfect solution for creating an immersive viewing experience during multimedia presentations and video conferences, it can turn into a visual horror if you begin to notice how low your screen resolution is or how washed out the colors appear.
We’re here to ensure you don’t make these types of decisions. An immersive viewing experience ensures that presentations pop out of the screen, everyone stays engaged, and text remains perfectly readable. Here are some key points that will help you unlock your best virtual meeting experiences with audio-visual installations: (3)
- Identify your flavor of technology: are you using projectors, interactive touch displays, video walls, or televisions? We can shift our purchasing decisions toward your chosen display tech by identifying the one best suits your organization.
- Consider the screen size: make sure to match the screen size to the size of the room. During presentations, critical materials must remain readable for everyone, even those at the back.
- Know the best screen technology for your use case (LED vs. LCD): LCDs are more color accurate and cheaper to purchase, while LED displays are brighter, have more dynamic range, and support better viewing angles. By balancing which features hold higher value within the context of your organization, you can make a more informed decision about whether LCD or LED is a better fit for your audio-visual installation.
For screen solutions, we can recommend the best solution for a crisp, immersive experience for viewing while also having fast processing chips that allow for ease of control.
#3 Invest In A High-Quality Camera
Optimizing the benefits of online conferencing involves more than just using expensive equipment to enhance your end’s video and audio quality. It’s essential to also think about how you appear to others on the line, particularly regarding video reception. To ensure compelling video conferencing, your audio-visual setup should include high-quality cameras that provide clear visibility on the other end.
In addition to this, you must also pay attention to other factors like room lighting. The lighting in the AV space is crucial to ensure that the room is visible to other participants. Poor lighting can create shadows, distort images, and make it difficult for others to see facial expressions and body language.
#4 Opt To Buy A High-Fidelity Microphone
Nothing is more frustrating than muffled audio during a meeting, which can be a standard quality bottleneck in audio-visual room design. Mainly when an audio-visual setup utilizes a cheap, low-quality mic to pick up conversations inside a large room, the speech intelligibility for these meetings will soon drive the experience downhill in no time.
Even with great acoustic design, a poor mic can still manage to mess up when it comes to reducing echoes and discerning background noise from speech, often leading to “difficult to follow” conversations.
Not only that, but the type of microphone can also affect how audio is perceived inside an audio-visual room. For example, table microphones typically have a superior sound compared to other microphone setups but are often relegated to the term ‘visual clutter’ for more aesthetically-oriented rooms.
To know the right choice for your audio-visual setups, contact us and get a quote.
#5 Get A Strong And Reliable Internet Connection
When designing an audio-visual installation primarily oriented toward virtual meetings, one of the most crucial parts is having a reliable internet connection. The first step to consider is never to go wireless.
Many screens and systems are compatible with wireless technology (i.e., wifi), so adaptors must be employed to utilize said technologies. As such, using fiber or copper lines to connect your devices is the best action.
Another pain point with wireless internet is spotty reliability. With the number of connected devices inside an audio-visual room, digital congestion is a genuine concern. One of the best ways to prevent this is to ensure that RJ45-enabled devices, especially stationary devices, should avoid using the wifi bands as much as possible and go wired.
Nevertheless, the installation of how the routers, servers, and repeaters communicate plays a critical role in how the internet works around the office. To know more about networking and internet services, contact a professional installer.
#6 Always Consult An Audio-Visual Professional For Installations
Designing an audio-visual room is an arduous task. Not only does it need prolific knowledge in handline construction and material, but it also concerns a mastery of acoustics, visuals, and audio-visual technology. It needs you to assume many roles, each requiring another specialty to integrate masterfully.
It is infrequent to find a generalist, as audio-visual systems need personnel with a strong command in the fields of IT, networking, audio, video, and internal design.
That is why contacting an audio-visual professional is a crucial part of the design process for most people. Century AV can help you with that. We employ talented people with different specialties, each able to perform their roles confidently.
Moreover, hiring an audio-visual professional is an essential part of the process because you can streamline your method through them. Century AV can help you simplify the process, acting as a bridge between contractors, quality assurance testers, installers, and more.
Technology procurement can also be a hassle, as the nauseating choices can delay and constrain the construction timeframes. AV professionals help you achieve what you want with the fastest method available. AV professionals are also able to identify the right tech for your needs.
Why Virtual Meetings? The Benefits Of Virtual Meetings.
According to research by Karl, K. A., Peluchette, J. V., & Aghakhani, N., virtual meetings showed many problems due to sub-quality equipment, resulting in an overall increase in stress load and productivity loss. For example, lousy equipment can increase lost time due to technical troubleshooting, resulting in fatigue and a warped perception of increased workload. (4)
However, virtual meetings are great if done right, and it starts with your audio-visual installation. Here are some key benefits that you get with online conferences:
- Increased team member flexibility
- Reduced micromanagement opportunities
- Increased perception of team member independence
- Enhanced collaborative opportunities
- Increased attendance
#1 Increased Employee Flexibility
Virtual meetings allow employees to work at places of their convenience, allowing them to immerse in an environment fully they would consider conducive to their work. Moreover, online meetings also increase the scope of employment, allowing employers to employ people from other regions.
#2 Reduced Micromanagement Opportunities
When you work with superiors often, you are more likely to undergo micromanagement. Micromanagement is defined as “excessive management,” which can often manifest in ways such as watching the team member’s actions closely and frequently criticizing the team member’s work and processes. Because it is challenging to overlook a team member as thoroughly virtually, instances of micromanagement are reduced. (5)
#3 Increased Perception Of Employee Independence
Due to a lack of oversight, employees during virtual setups are empowered to work on their passion projects that increase overall productivity without the risk of micromanagement.
#4 Increased Collaborative Opportunities
Employees in virtual setups allow for more flexible timeframes; through virtual meetings, employees can collaborate with different people, from various departments, with variating technical skills. This culture of collaboration can increase novel ideas and innovative approaches toward workloads.
#5 Increased Attendance
As with the flexibility online meetings offer, employees and peers can now attend at their convenience, increasing in higher attendance. Employees in different time zones, far-away commutes, or permanently remote positions can participate in the meetings without much trouble.
#6 Time Saving
Many employees prefer virtual and hybrid jobs due to one significant factor: time-saving opportunities. The daily commute is an arduous and stressful process that almost every team member has to suffer through, resulting in lost sleep, increased stress levels, high costs, and reduced productivity.
By eliminating this process, employees can go to work without waking too early to avoid the morning rush hour and enjoy their after-work leisure without going through the 7 PM traffic jams.
The Round-Up: Conclusions
As hybrid work becomes the norm, investing in high-quality audio-visual equipment is essential for effective and conducive virtual meetings. In order to optimize the benefits of virtual meetings, audio-visual installation must prioritize excellent acoustics and audio, ensure immersive screens, invest in a high-quality camera and microphone, and have a strong and reliable internet connection.
Acoustics can make or break an audio-visual setup, so consider room layout, soundproofing, and source-consumer distribution as key factors. Screen size, technology, and resolution are significant in creating an immersive viewing experience. A high-quality camera and good lighting are crucial for effective video conferencing. A high-fidelity microphone is essential for speech intelligibility. Furthermore, it’s essential to consider the type of microphone that best fits your audio-visual setup. Finally, a reliable internet connection is critical for virtual meetings, so always use wired connections and fiber or copper lines. Consulting with audio-visual professionals can help ensure the best installations for your organization.
- “Studies and research regarding sound reduction materials with the purpose of reducing sound (PhD thesis).” Hawkins, Timothy Gerard (2014). California Polytechnic State University.
- “Acoustics of Buildings: including Acoustics of Auditoriums and Soundproofing of Rooms.” Nature. 114 (2855): 85. July 1924.
- “Difference between LED and LCD,” GeeksForGeeks, June 17, 2022, https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/difference-between-led-and-lcd/
- “Virtual Work Meetings During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Good, Bad, and Ugly.” Karl, K. A., Peluchette, J. V., & Aghakhani, N. (2022). Small Group Research, 53(3), 343–365. https://doi.org/10.1177/10464964211015286
- “What Is a Micromanager?” Kagan, Julia, Investopedia, December 30, 2022. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/micro-manager.asp