Voice and video conferencing is an excellent way to build stronger relationships by enhancing communication, not only between you and your colleagues but between you and your clients. Many companies operate out of various locations within 1 country and/or a number of different countries. Using internal video conferencing systems can help with many things like efficiency, decision making and communication.
Have you ever found yourself enduring a video conferencing call with horrendous background noise and awful lighting? With every other sentence being peppered with expressions like "Sorry, what was that again?” and "Could you please repeat what you just said?" Not fun, and certainly not conducive to enhanced collaboration and communication.
But don't assume that because you've bought an excellent solution that you can just plug it in anywhere and enjoy high-quality calls. Your choice of venue is as important as your solution and requires careful consideration to ensure it works towards creating a seamless caller experience for both parties.
8 Tips to Ensure Your Video Conferencing Venue is Perfect
1. Make Sure the Camera Loves You
No, this doesn't mean you need to be blessed with a winsome smile. What it does mean is using clever camera placement to ensure your conferencing venue has the best camera angle possible. Its best practice to keep the room as clear and distraction free as possible, remembering not to have your camera facing an area with the potential for constant movements, like a doorway or curtains as constant motion can be very distracting on a video call.
2. Choose the Right Backing
Your camera angle will include whatever is located behind you, so go the extra mile to choose a background that's caller friendly with neutral colours, medium contrast and muted textures. You want the caller to be focused on you and not the background.
3. Eliminate Natural Lighting
Everyone knows we all need our daily dose of vitamin D, but don't try getting it while on your video call. Sunlight has a tendency to create sharp contrasts in a room and interferes with the automatic adjustment mechanisms often present on video conferencing cameras. Blocking out the sunlight with either blinds or curtains is recommended while implementing uniform artificial lighting throughout your venue will ensure your callers can see you clearly.
4. Avoid Creating Glare
When selecting a table for your venue, the best option is a light-coloured one in a natural wood. Tables made of this type of wood create less glare because they are less reflective. Using the best practice of keeping a room clear and distraction free – Whiteboards tend to be glossy and can cause severe glare, so keeping them away from the camera will help to avoid that issue of glare.
5. Banish Shadows
The spotlight definitely shouldn't be on you if you're doing a video conference call. The wrong type of lighting could leave you looking like Dracula, dark shadowy eyes and ominously foreboding. Direct light creates harsh contrasts and shadows, so elect for a combined effort that consists of discrete and indirect wall and ceiling lighting. Opting for “daylight” type lamps and avoiding tinted lighting will help remove those shadows.
6. Balance Out Your Atmosphere
If you're planning on having video calls with the entire team in the conference room, you may want to pay heed to your ventilation, heating and air conditioning. Depending on your teleconferencing system you may have equipment that generates significant heat, and once you add a whole group of people to the mix, things could get muggy fast. Your HVAC system needs to be considered when measuring noise levels and acoustic control, so remember to factor these in when planning your venue.
7. Keep Your Acoustics Crystal Clear
Just because you've got a video conferencing system doesn't mean your audio isn't equally as important. People are more willing to be patient when faced with video discrepancies if they can still hear the call properly, so paying attention to your acoustics is critical.
8. Sound Diffusion, Absorption and Insulation
Great techniques like using sound absorbing and diffusing materials to line the walls (like padding), upholstered furniture and soundproofing heavy weight curtains will reduce the cause of reverberation and subsequent distortion in a video call. Blocking out environmental noise – e.g. your HVAC system – and choosing the best venue/room for your video conferencing system can all boost the insulation of your conference room.
Taking the time to tailor your video conferencing venue for optimum audio and video quality will make all the difference to your user, the caller experience, as well as boosting the ROI and benefits you're hoping to achieve with your video conferencing system.
So, take the time to carefully prepare your conferencing venue, and make the most of your solution!