With the onward advancement of technology and the increase in expectations, a flipchart and pen simply doesn’t cut the mustard for business meetings any longer.
Technology now allows us access files, work collaboratively on screen and stream data wirelessly. Upgrading your meeting room technology can seem like a costly investment but making meetings more effective can have big payoffs in terms of increased productivity and more efficient group collaborations.
Is your business taking advantage of the tools that it could be using that could save you money in the long run?
What is becoming increasingly expected of businesses is for visitors and clients involved in meetings to be able to bring in a device (whether it’s a tablet, laptop or smartphone) and connect seamlessly to your display equipment. It is important that the projector in your boardroom or meeting rooms can accommodate this.
New interactive functionality in projectors allows several people to work simultaneously on the screen without using a pen. It is easy to annotate on the projected image, open Microsoft office files or web browsers and interact with the content without even touching a computer.
This ability to work collaboratively on documents and presentations in meetings is a real asset to companies. The work can be saved to a computer and distributed to participants and non-attendees after the meeting.
Conferencing equipment is essential for companies that regularly meet with people in different geographic locations. Face-to-face meetings remain important but installing conferencing equipment gives you and your clients the possibility to slash travel costs and staff travelling time.
Around 1.8bn hours of Skype video calls are made each year with an increasing number of these coming from business conferences and video meetings. Data conferencing lets you share text, images and data in real time. Videoconferencing uses telephone or data lines to transmit audio and video. A projector allows you to share content in your meeting on a super-size screen. A large flat screen display would cost significantly more than a projector to achieve the same image size.
Using tablets and mobile devices as the interface between the presenter and the on-screen presentation is becoming ever more popular. Whether it’s controlling a slideshow, pulling up and manipulating data or simply used as a script/prompt for reference data, tablets are changing the boardroom and improving the way we conduct meetings.
Most projectors now have wireless functionality to stream data from mobile devices using wireless HDMI devices such as the Optoma WHD200 or Google Chromecast or Optoma’s mini WiFi dongle.
Future proof your investment
It is important to future proof any investment in equipment. Review the inputs and outputs you might need. Look at what sources you are using now but also what you might want to use in the future. Most new computers and laptops have HDMI outputs enabling Full HD 1080p resolution. Multiple HDMI inputs in your projector allow you to switch between sources easily.
There is a growth now in HDbasedT functionality. HDBaseT not only allows data to be sent over a much greater distance than HDMI but can also carry HD video, audio, ethernet, power and control on a single cable. This significantly cuts down the number of cables needed for a typical business installation.
Optoma has a range of business projectors that have wireless, interactive and HDbasedT functionality. Most have internal speakers avoiding the cost of installing external speakers. They also include audio output if an external sound system is required.
Most of these can be controlled remotely with full support is provided for Crestron, Extron, AMX, PJ-Link and Telnet LAN protocols. Once installed, the projector can be monitored and controlled over LAN.
Kitting out your boardroom is not just about impressing customers – it also makes financial sense. It can save time and money by reducing off-site meetings and installing future proofed equipment in your boardrooms gives your team the tools to work more effectively.
Research has shown that background music while working improves business productivity – so it makes sound business sense to get a decent pair of earphones.
MusicWorks commissioned research that analysed productivity in the office when listening to one of four musical genres.
It found that listening to music has a positive effect on workers’ productivity - radically improving speed and accuracy of tasks such as data entry, proof reading and problem solving skills.
When listening to a selection of different genres, classical music was found to be the most effective for improving the accuracy of tasks and resolving everyday mathematical problems, with participants achieving a 73% pass rate.
When listening to pop music, 58% of participants completed data entry tasks much faster.
When proof-reading, dance music had the most positive impact, with participants increasing their speed by 20% compared to proof-reading tests undertaken with no music at all. Dance music also had a positive effect on spell-checking, with a 75% pass rate, compared to 68% when no music was played at all.
Whether listening to music while at work or on the daily commute; watching films on a flight; or just making calls from the mobile, business people can get better sound quality with Optoma Nuforce’s new NE750M and NE800M earphones. These ultra-lightweight earphones offer a substantial upgrade from the standard earphones that come with smartphones or music players.
Both earphones come with a range of earbud sizes to ensure a snug, slip-free fit that minimises ambient noise and provides the best possible sound quality. This also makes them ideal for taking to the gym after work.
That all makes sound business sense.
* The experiment required 26 participants to undertake a series of on-line tasks 5 days in a row. The tasks were slightly different each day, but always included spell checking, equation solving, maths word problems, data entry and abstract reasoning tasks. Each day participants were either asked to listen to a playlist as background music (genres: dance, ambient, classical and pop) or not listen to music.