Just about any space can become a location to meet and collaborate nowadays — and many often do. While IT managers have mastered the art of equipping everything from traditional conference spaces to huddle rooms, they're increasingly being asked to support team meetings in non-traditional settings.
But even as teams request support to have confabs in open office areas while sitting on couches and seating not normally seen in the workplace, there is meeting room space technology that can support these non-traditional business settings that accommodate people onsite, as well as those connecting from other locations.
The new take on the traditional meeting space combines collaboration and flexibility. This purpose-built focus leverages the recent leaps forward of audio and video technology. Here, wired and wireless connectivity and screens can easily connect to a laptop and videoconferencing equipment to bring together people both on- and offsite in a seamless way.
However, the shift to remote and hybrid work has evolved what constitutes a meeting space. An emerging trend has been the rise of Bring Your Own Meeting (BYOM). An extension of the now commonplace Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement, BYOM allows people to connect their own device with the hardware available in a meeting room, rather than having to rely on in-room technology that's been pre-configured for that room.
Because BYOM rooms already have the necessary peripherals — a screen, microphone, and camera — employees can quickly connect their own devices wirelessly to start a conference using their preferred platform, be it Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams.
As mobile technology and office environments evolve to accommodate remote work, hot desking, and deployment of unified communications (UC) platforms, meeting space technology must keep up. For IT managers looking to support a more casual meeting room space and BYOM, there are several challenges to keep in mind. Fortunately, technology has continued to develop and provides a number of solutions available to make it easy for everyone to meet anywhere.
BYOM provides employees with the flexibility to set up in different locations using their preferred tools. While this enables teams to move around the office freely and use the available space more efficiently, meeting technology must be available to ensure all attendees can clearly hear each other and view supporting visual content, whether it's in a large conference room, a small meeting room, or a mixed-use space.
Unlike a traditional conference room, huddle spaces and less formal meeting areas are best suited for an all-in-one USB conferencing solution that easily pairs with a single display and laptop, making quick, hybrid collaboration easy for employees.
Acoustics, particularly in non-traditional spaces, are always a factor. This includes external noise like traffic and general office activity that may potentially bleed through into the area. All-in-one USB conferencing devices such as the Bose Professional Videobar VB-S and Bose Professional Videobar VB1 ensure conversations are more natural by actively focusing on voices in the room using four or six beam-steering microphones. Videobar Configuration software allows employees and IT managers alike to set exclusion zones to mitigate unwanted background noise from passersby. This means the microphone beams aim directly where people are gathering and not at people or sounds outside of the space.
Feature-rich video capabilities also play an important role in ensuring successful collaboration, even when attendees participate from a variety of meeting spaces. Both of the Videobar devices employ a 4K ultra-HD camera to offer a wide field of view, helping meeting participants communicate and be seen more clearly, and Group Mode keeps all in-room participants in view and allows remote participants to better see and understand the conversation, including other in-room objects such as whiteboards and flipcharts. Ideal for a single presenter, Individual Mode — available with the VB-S — frames and dynamically followers them as they naturally move about while speaking.
Bose Professional solutions understand that today's meeting space technology must be easy for IT staff to deploy, monitor, and manage, no matter where and how employees want to gather.
The low-profile design of the VB-S and VB1 all-in-one USB conferencing devices houses the loudspeaker, microphones, and camera close together, and their compact size and sleek design make them easy to install in different locations to support a wide variety of meeting types. This is further supported with the VB-S through its easy connectivity to Wi-Fi and other devices via bluetooth, as well as integration with UC platforms and web conferencing tools. In fact, Videobar Administration allows for all Videobar devices to be managed and updated using a single interface, keeping your IT staff free to focus on other IT responsibilities.