Data from Frost & Sullivan shows 59% of enterprise decision-makers specifically plan to address their small rooms and huddle spaces with video solutions, while a report from Microsoft suggests two thirds of decision-makers are considering wholesale re-designs of their physical spaces to better accommodate hybrid collaboration.
What all this data goes to show is that the focus of the workplace technology world is squarely on the provision of previously unconnected rooms with a standard suite of videoconferencing tools. This exercise in floor-raising is a necessary step in supporting hybrid work, but it falls short of sufficient for a truly complete digital transformation.
For an organization to really thrive in a world of dispersed collaboration, they not only need to provide every employee a platform for participation, but they also need to bring their executives a broadcast-level boardroom space. Everyone needs to be able to share; executives need to be able to shine.
Videoconferencing and Broadcasting are Not Equal
The explosion of videoconferencing as a viable enterprise communication medium has changed the way executives communicate with their organizations, their customers and the press. For example, nearly every news broadcast with a business segment will feature an executive from one company or another joining the anchors to share their plan for a return to the office, discuss how supply chains are affecting customer management, or offer insights on the topic of the day.
These appearances, though usually fleeting, are oftentimes the only touchpoint viewers will have with those executives. That puts an outsized importance on the appearance of the appearance. For the executives in these situations, broadcast quality audio and video, as distinct from general-use videoconferencing quality, become a necessary business expense.
The delta between these two tiers of videoconferencing performance is widening.
Go Pro While Keeping the Conference Room
With the right tools, organizations can transform a conference room into a studio space of its own without affecting any of the room’s traditional meeting space utility.
Avoid crowding the room with rigs, wires and personnel by wall-mounting cameras with auto-tracking and auto-framing features that follow and frame speakers. Deploy several such devices to allow for alternation of multiple camera angles and include a tally light system to keep talent aware which camera is live.
Avoid the wrath of Room Rater by upgrading generic greenscreens to large-scale direct-view surfaces instead, LED or otherwise. These swish screens are more impressive than greenscreens and make for exceptional collaboration and presentation surfaces to boot.
On the software side, using remote production protocols like NDI5, NDI Bridge, or MediaLooks can connect on-site content capture to professional production capabilities offsite. In meeting applications these remote production tools can also help support bringing in live closed-captioning or simultaneous translation services to make meetings more accessible.
According to research from Frost & Sullivan, meeting spaces are spectacularly unequipped for the present and future of dispersed, digital teamwork: of the nearly 90 million meeting rooms across the globe, fewer than 10% are video-enabled.
While a standard huddle-room set up might include a webcam, a star mic and a few other piece of equipment—professional broadcast quality video work requires quite a bit more.
That said, broadcast quality is well within reach for enterprises willing to upgrade their hardware and software without full teardowns and subsequent rebuilds of their existing boardroom space.
We have a ways to go before all collaboration spaces are video-enabled, but for those that already are, leveling up to broadcast quality is next logical step for aspirational executives.