Small and large businesses can benefit from the advantages of videoconferencing
. In the past, companies have been confined to having team members who are further away call in so that they may be put on speaker phone. Unfortunately, clarity is often lost with too many people on the line and technological complications may arise, leading to wasted time.
Benefit of Videoconferencing
Videoconferencing is just one of the many new tools that companies are using to connect and share ideas with colleagues, consultants and team members that are not available in person to attend a meeting. Being able to read someone's expression while they are delivering a presentation or explaining a concept helps team members connect with their ideas in a more effective manner. Money, time and efficiency are saved by utilizing videoconferencing, not to mention that it is more environmentally-friendly than asking all participants to travel into the office.
Getting Started: Hardware
There are primary pieces of hardware that must be purchased once a company decides to maximize collaboration via video conferencing. The products are based on the size of the company, the number of team members attending the meeting and the number of members who will be brought in through video conferencing. The following is an outline of some of the key products a company should look into when setting up video conferencing for meetings.
- Video monitor: A monitor is a necessary piece of hardware for viewing the team members via video. It is likely that a company would already have a monitor appropriate for this use, however depending on the size of the company and the size of the meeting, one might want to invest in a larger screen that can be mounted onto the wall. If you plan to videoconference one-to-one with a team member accessible only by video, then your laptop or desktop monitor would be sufficient.
- Speakers: The extent to which a company may invest in speakers ties back into the frequency of meetings and size of the company. A smaller company can do with speakers that are detachable from the monitor or computer to which the video will be coming from, however it is advised that higher-quality surround speakers are used in larger meetings.
- Video: A miniature video camera is necessary on both ends of the conference call to ensure both parties are being seen and heard. Some videos come equipped with built in microphones.
- Interactive whiteboard: This product is most effective if you have a company with international or national offices whereby you need an interactive interface to go through presentations or share information. The whiteboard functions as a touch screen for your computer and can be used to alter documents during a meeting or go through files to share during your video conference. This is a great tool to help visualize all the data and information you may wish to present to your colleagues and will keep them on track with the presentation.
Overall, the hardware a company and business may invest in depends on their specific needs for videoconferencing. This means gauging how frequently they plan on having such meetings and how many people will be in attendance for the meetings. Once you determine these items and your goals for using videoconferencing as a tool, you will be set to start chatting!