Tips To Create The Best Conference Room AV Solution For Your Space
Meetings are where the magic happens. Connections among colleagues, clients, educators, worshippers, and many others are often forged where collaborative ideas and creativity can be fostered: in a conference room, whether virtual or in person.
The audio visual (AV) equipment that powers your conference room can be the difference between a good meeting and a frustrating one. This guide to conference room AV solutions lays out the many factors to consider so you can design your conference room space for the best user experience.
What are conference room AV solutions?
Conference room AV solutions are used to fulfill your specific set of requirements for your conference room space. Solutions are typically packages that include equipment like microphones, speakers, cameras, displays, control systems and panels. More importantly, AV conference room solutions ensure all the equipment works together to serve your needs while interacting well with the surrounding environment.
In general, AV solutions help people solve a problem using AV equipment. The design and installation of that equipment are subsequent parts of the solution to a specific set of requirements, and the design and installation steps are typically executed by an AV integrator.
Improve your conference room setup with an AV integrator with decades of experience finding AV solutions for conference room spaces in a variety of different industries.
How can AV conference room solutions be used in spaces of different types and sizes?
The AV solution deployed in a specific conference room will depend on how the room is used, the size of the room, and the surrounding environment.
For example, it’s popular for office buildings to design conference rooms with lots of concrete and glass for aesthetic purposes. That type of conferencing space would require a much different design than that of a conference room built with drywall and carpet flooring.
Demographics of users and plans for use matter too. A conference room used for local government meetings might require sound systems that can support people with various aural disabilities, whereas a room in a house of worship used for live streaming or broadcasting would require a different type of sound equipment.
Let’s consider conference room AV solutions for four types of spaces: business, higher education, houses of worship and government.
Business Conference Room
Typically, business conference rooms are designed with elements like open ceilings, glass surfaces, and multiple windows for a professional look and feel. Those types of designs, while aesthetically pleasing, aren’t really conducive to great sound or audio quality. Hard surfaces can cause echoing and a lot of sound reverberation throughout a room.
Sound quality is arguably the most important AV feature for a conference room, especially for hybrid environments that involve many virtual meeting attendees. In addition, too much reflected sound can cause headaches or make meeting participants tired.
If you’re working in a space with lots of hard surfaces, consider dampening the reflective sound with some of these conference room AV solutions:
Add a temporary wall or room divider made of sound dampening material, like wood or plaster.
Add wall-mounted acoustic paneling to absorb some of the sound and reduce the sound reflectivity.
Add a cloud ceiling in conference rooms with many glass walls. Panels should be staggered at different heights and lengths to dampen sound at different frequencies and pitch.
For rooms with a lot of reflective surfaces, reduce the number of speakers in your system, and select microphones that sit closer to a presenter’s mouth (as opposed to a ceiling-mounted microphone).
Electric shades can also help reduce echoes in a room and increase speech intelligibility. Shades can be programmed to lower when a meeting begins and rise when it’s concluded. Curtains on the interior of a window also reduce the light from outside, making displays easier to see on sunny days.
Finally, consider the number of people who will be physically present in a room at a given time. The more populated the conference room, the less sound will reflect and echo throughout the space.
Higher Education Conference Room
Conference rooms in higher education settings are used for several different purposes and need to be flexible. A space could be rented out by a student group one week and be used to entertain deans, university presidents and donors the next.
These types of rooms must be equipped to impress high-profile guests, as well as serve teacher- or student-body-run events and activities. For this reason, higher education conference rooms are often designed to be more presentation focused, rather than collaborative.
If you need to create the flexibility that’s required for a higher education conference room, as well as an aesthetically pleasing and impressive presentation environment, consider the following AV solutions:
Outfit the room with high-quality basics, including wall-mounted displays, speakers and cameras.
Use beamforming microphones that are permanently installed on a desk or ceiling. These microphones auto-adjust to a wide range of speaker tones and volumes.
Invest in a big display or video wall that will allow students or academic professionals to easily digest a lot of information in a presentation and effortlessly read text, which is often displayed in settings like these.
Include additional speakers to ensure that you can reach people all across the hearing-ability spectrum.
These solutions will allow your room to serve various needs, with equipment that can be flexible for students, educators and other academic professionals.
House Of Worship Conference Room
The conference room in a house of worship, such as a church, synagogue or mosque, often needs to support the ability to livestream or the creation of video content outside of scheduled services. In addition, these rooms often house displays that play videos on loop or show agendas. Lastly, conference rooms in houses of worship also act as overflow rooms when there isn’t enough space in the sanctuary during a service.
These audiovisual technology solutions can help support a space that has such dynamic needs:
Include a colorful, bright display that’s built for video quality as opposed to the display of text.
Design your audio system for a full suite of sounds, including spoken word from sermons, music from a band or choir, livestreams and more.
Install wireless sharing capabilities so that content can be displayed from any device quickly and easily without disrupting worship.
If the conference room in your house of worship will be used during services, make sure your AV technology solution includes sound dampening within the room to keep from disturbing worshippers.
Government Conference Room
Conference rooms and meeting spaces used for government organizations need to easily serve a broad demographic of people, including those with diminished hearing or sight. Consider the following AV technology solutions to build a government conference room that meets the requirements of a wide variety of people:
Install gooseneck microphones that sit on a desk right in front of a presenter, which can be easily muted or unmuted to reduce surrounding noise.
Install microphones for audience members to use that have recording capabilities, to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
If possible, avoid using rooms with a lot of noise from air conditioning or heating units so that sound stays crisp throughout a meeting.
Consider an auto-tracking camera so presenters can move throughout a conference room and not worry about staying in the frame of a stationary camera.
Two important things to ensure in a government conference room setting are that everyone can easily hear what’s being said and that the conversation is easily and reliably recorded.
The best audiovisual technology solutions prioritize the user experience.
It’s easy to get caught up in focusing on AV equipment that makes life easier for presenters, but the audience and participants should be your first priority. Ensuring that people of all abilities can easily hear, see, and digest the content or information they came for will make or break any meeting or production.
The experts at Aspen Custom Electronics have designed conference room spaces for a variety of organizations, including corporate offices, educational facilities, houses of worship, and government spaces. Learn how we can help with your AV conference room solution by booking a free consultation.