Crackling food wrappers. The side-conversations. Constant tapping on keyboards. Sound familiar? With more and more companies investing in modern, digital audio solutions for their conference rooms, the new meeting experience has brought the near and far ends of calls closer than ever before.
Whether it’s a legal firm needing absolute clarity to ensure all parties in the room (and externally) can hear what’s being said, or a bank team in discussion with a customer on the other side of the world, the importance of flawless audio in meetings is increasingly being recognized in the business world. One reason for this is that, in many instances, time is money. So, the less time spent on asking misheard questions to be repeated, the faster a meeting can be concluded.
At Shure, we aim to make meetings as realistic as possible for people not physically in the meeting room. They may be in another room in the same building, in a different office altogether, or joining the meeting from home. Of late, we’re also seeing use of larger rooms but with fewer people in them so that socially distanced meetings can take place.
A question I’m now often asked by the IT and AV people I deal with concerns etiquette in these meetings. Whether they’re using our ceiling, wall-mounted array mics – ideal for minimal touch conferencing – or desk-mounted mics, the sound quality can be so good that we are able to capture every nuance and detail of speech, often at great distances from the microphone itself. However, while AV and IT managers are au fait with how the technology works, the end users – those people in the meetings – often aren’t so familiar.
The first thing I advise my customers is to tell people that if they can hear a sound in the room, then it is likely that everyone else can too. That’s the purpose of the technology – a microphone is there to do the job of a microphone.
To make things clearer (no pun intended), I’ve recently been asked to provide a set of guidelines for users that could be displayed in a meeting room. So, here are my four top tips on etiquette for videoconferencing in meeting rooms:
It’s simple stuff really. The key is to remember that this technology is designed to deliver premium audio quality. So, you can hear and be heard – from any corner of the meeting room or remote location.