The conference room has become an integral part of the average workday. Nearly half of all businesses use video to communicate with customers, and companies like Zoom report a near 300% increase in usage over recent years. At minimum, figures like these indicate that conference room video conferencing equipment can boost communication and collaboration for essentially any business model.
What do your current conference spaces look like in terms of layout and design? Do the layouts help or hinder your business activity when people collaborate there? And does the technology fit the space or feel shoehorned?
These are the types of questions a business must ask itself when adapting a conference space. And as U.K.-based ticket seller/marketer Billetto notes, the two most common design styles are recognizable by name. The Boardroom style, in which tables are placed together in a rectangle with chairs surrounding them. And The Hollow Square style, in which tables are placed in a square shape with space in the middle for personnel (typically a trainer or manager) to move between stations as needed.
In these spaces, seat assignment, chair layout, and overall attendance may change, making it difficult to ensure the audio is dialed in on a space that works no matter the configuration.
In rooms of up to 6 x 6 meters (20 x 20 feet), the Bose Videobar VB1 makes it easy to capture the whole scene, including attendees who drop in and out as the meeting progresses, with enough flexibility to support any number of meeting types. Its 4K ultra-HD camera offers unique autoframing capabilities, meaning remote attendees can see the room activity such as in-room and other attendees, and the use of whiteboards and flipcharts.
Because it offers so many capabilities out of the box, the Bose VB1 requires little more than a monitor to get going. That makes it great in smaller, traditionally designed spaces where seating requirements and attendance may fluctuate.
Up next are the U-Shape and Banquet styles of boardroom design. Most common in medium to large spaces, the design styles are notable here because of the spacing challenges they can represent: When people are spread out across a large U-Shaped arrangement of connected tables or sitting in standalone "island" groups, finding meeting room video conferencing equipment that allows everyone to speak and engage on equal ground is a challenge.
There's also Classroom and Auditorium styles of seating and design. Typically utilized in larger spaces, these environments are collaborative but tend to be led on one side by an individual instructor or presenter. However, even attendees seated in one large group facing the main speaking area may be asked to contribute answers or discussion throughout sessions.
Consider the following example: A group in a banquet style setting must engage in an all-day multigroup training. Different teams must interact with different virtual educators in their contained clusters, exchanging ideas, and communicating with their core group without interfering with the work of those around them. Working in such a space can be challenging, as can fighting for "mic share" around the table when it comes time to talk.
Fortunately, Bose Professional offers a path to overcome these challenges with Bose Ceiling Audio Solutions, giving businesses the power to fully integrate any space, no matter its layout or day-to-day usage. In the medium-sized space with dispersed seating needs, for example, the Bose ES1 system grants every attendee a voice, regardless of seating location, all via a single mic. Bose DS4 system loudspeakers, meanwhile, push crystal-clear ceiling sound, perfect for teams with high degrees of physical and virtual separation.
Considering the differences between integrated and non-integrated AV solutions before selecting video conferencing equipment for any business space is key. Overall, it's important to remember that larger spaces will often come with a greater need for full integration, while medium and smaller spaces can work best with mobile and flexible solutions. While the design styles mentioned may not account for all of the conference spaces today, the basic idea remains the same no matter how employees work together: When the tools work in harmony with the workplace and workstyle, great things happen.