How to: lay out your room for video conferencing

With video conferencing here to stay, it’s time to start planning your office to get the most out of this new technology.

The majority (75%) of executives are predicting that videoconferencing will supersede conference calls, according to PGI, with over 1.8 billion hours’ worth of Skype calls made last year alone.

Now is the time to make sure your conference room is set up to make the most out of video calls.

Getting the right table
Board rooms are famous for their large oval tables around which everyone sits. But now, a large video screen needs its spot at the table.

Opting for a half moon is a great idea as it means everyone gets an equally good view of the screen.  Avoid square tables as it can feel like you’re giving an interview.

conference call meeting

© vectorfusionart / Adobe Stock

Where to put the chairs?
A lot of this is down to the type of table you’ve got but if you’re keeping your oval table remember to avoid putting any chairs with their backs to the camera and screen. It might seem obvious, but if there’s just one person calling in, people can sometimes forget they are there.

Also make sure everyone’s seat is in shot – it can be disorientating for someone on a video call to hear a disembodied voice.

Positioning the monitor and camera
Most monitors used for video conferencing tend to be wall-mounted these days. Which is fine – but remember to look for sunlight and blind spots.

If your screen and camera are positioned in between two windows you might find everyone squinting into the screen. And watch out for doors – a camera near a door could be constantly being blocked by people entering and leaving the room.

Make sure everyone can hear you
The position of the mic is hugely important. People often assume that if they can be seen on camera then they can be heard – this isn’t always true.

In large rooms, it might be useful to have two mics, otherwise people will have to lean in or swap seats to be heard.

Who sits where?
Which brings us to seating. Ideally, you’d like the person presenting or speaking most to be front and centre with easy access to the microphone.

But with some set ups, centre can mean furthest from the camera. Try sitting them on the edge of the table, nearest the camera. This provides a greater connection with the person on the other end of the video link.

Going solo
If you’re on a one-to-one call the whole set up needs to be able to adapt to this.

Make sure the camera is zoomed in a bit. Chatting to someone in a huge empty room can feel less personal.

You’ll also want to adjust your seating. Don’t sit staring straight on – try moving to the side slightly and turning your body as it gives a more relaxed look.

To book a meeting room or discuss your video conferencing requirements, simply call us on 0800 073 0499.

Posted by Sara Cano


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