Meetings are a universal part of business – a part that’s got a bad rap these days, due to poor organization and execution over the years. But they’re essential to communication, so it’s important to figure out how to make your company’s meetings more efficient and effective. It starts with the right processes and conference room technology.
Have you heard any of these comments lately?
- I can’t figure out how to book this conference room.
- What are you guys doing in here? I thought I had this room scheduled.
- The projector isn’t working – again.
If so, you’re not alone, especially if you’re in an IT role. One survey of IT managers found that 88% of users complain about the equipment in their meeting rooms.
Conference room technology problems affect everyone, from end users to office admins, from department managers to IT staff. So, what can be improved? Here are a few tips.
Integrate meeting room scheduling and display technology with company calendars.
Not knowing how to book a room or walking into a booked room and finding other employees in there holding their own meeting are two common problems that just shouldn’t happen. And they don’t have to.
To make it easy for employees to find and book an open conference room, choose a digital meeting scheduling tool that integrates with your company’s shared calendars, like Google Apps for Work or Microsoft Exchange.
But just making it easier to schedule meetings and rooms in advance isn’t enough. Without a way for people to tell at a glance that the room is already reserved starting 10 minutes from now, for example, you’ll keep running into problem #2 from the list above. (Around here, we call that problem “room squatters.”)
Digital meeting room displays that are integrated with your company calendar will close that gap between meeting scheduling and visibility, by showing real-time room availability. Not only do the displays automatically update any time someone adds or changes a meeting using Google Calendar, Outlook or Exchange, they’re also sleek and user-friendly, giving your office a tech-forward look and feel.
Make it easy to tell which conference rooms have which equipment.
Not many companies decide to invest in installing every type of technology a user may potentially need, in every conference room. Some rooms may have built-in videoconferencing tools, others may only have a phone system.
So employees need a way to know which rooms have which resources, so when they schedule a meeting that requires specific technology, like videoconferencing capabilities to bring in remote employees, they can book a room that has the equipment they need.
EventBoard customers, for example, can search by room resources (phone, whiteboard, etc) using our browser-based booking tool or our mobile app, Teem.
Cut down on wasted time by finding out about tech problems promptly.
Casio’s IT manager survey also found that 69% of presentation teams have experienced meeting room technology problems and failures when presenting. When a problem does occur, 31.5 minutes of the meeting time is taken up resolving the problem, on average, and often causes the meeting to overrun its scheduled time.
Sitting around waiting for the meeting organizer to get the presentation up and running isn’t exactly the most efficient use of meeting attendees’ time. It’s also a strain on IT departments; according to the survey, an IT manager is asked to fix approximately 450 meeting room technology incidents a year!
The worst part is that many of these incidents could have been eliminated if IT had been brought in earlier. It’s common for minor meeting room tech issues to go unreported until they turn into major problems.
EventBoard’s Work Requests feature makes it easy for meeting organizers or attendees to report problems with conference room equipment. Any end user can use the conference room display to report a problem – whether it’s that the Apple TV isn’t working, or an adaptor is missing – so the next person using the conference room doesn’t experience the same problem.
Only 42% of individuals check meeting room equipment before they hold their meeting. So do everyone in your office a huge favor by making it easy to report problems as they happen, so there’s less likelihood that something will be broken when the next meeting rolls around.
For conference room technology tips for IT teams, download our latest whitepaper, End the Room Wars.