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There are two characteristics of meetings that have remained static for years and years: the goal, and the fact that they are universally despised. The ultimate goal of meetings is to exchange information and make decisions. Despite technology driving change in our meetings, they remain universally despised. But, let’s take a step back and evaluate the changes that have occurred over the last 20 years; then we might truly appreciate the meetings we have today.
Prep Time
We tend to forget how much time technology saves us. In the case of meetings, it enables us to accomplish far more prep work in far less time. Coordinating meetings around peoples’ schedules was difficult on its own. Now all of our calendars are synced, so we can easily identify a time and location to meet.
But where the greatest savior of time lies, is within the prep work for meetings (from presentations, to research to reports). Today, we have so many resources at the tips of our fingers to conduct solid research (rather than pulling old files in the back room, checking out books, or the absolute worst – waiting for the slow internet connection to produce a result).
We now have access to mountains of data, and the tools necessary to help us interpret that data. 20 years ago, gathering the data was difficult enough, but once you had it became the real challenge. Dozens of reporters would have to work for days, and even months to produce a report. Now, this is reduced to hours or even minutes.
Be grateful that today you can pull up your reports, with charts and graphs, and easily insert them into your slideshow or presentation.
Paper to Paperless
Due to technology, the materials present in meetings have also changed. We are now in the age of the “paperless desk,” and therefore “paperless meetings.” Reports, findings and slides are no longer printed (those companies that still do, need to assess their sustainability initiatives). There’s simply no need to print them; if someone wants the presentation in front of his or her face, then he or she can easily pull it up on a personal device, whether it be a laptop, tablet or mobile phone.
Postponed to Productive
It is a common belief that meetings have always dragged on and on, while nothing gets accomplished. But to be fair, we have come a long, long way. All of these wonderful presentations and reports with visuals are easier for people to understand and get more information across in very little time. This also means that less explaining is necessary, resulting in less repetition and fewer redundancies.
One of the biggest challenges for accomplishing the goals of meetings (to exchange information and make decisions) is insufficient information. Sometimes people don’t realize that they are missing something until they are in a room, hearing from people with different perspectives. Sometimes, it is simply impossible to obtain all of the necessary and relevant information. In these cases, meetings must be postponed. This is one of the 7 deadly sins of meetings.
Today, postponed meetings are far less likely to occur. Technology enables us to gather and understand data better than ever. Resources for presenting these insights are also better than ever, and allow us to seamlessly exchange knowledge, information and insight between many different individuals and silo. Once everyone is on the same page, decisions can be reached much more quickly, which is imperative to success in today’s faster, leaner and tougher world of business.
Attending a meeting for our parents meant walking in and picking a seat where they would be comfortable for a couple hours. They would typically have to wait while the presenter fumbled with cables, and tried pulling up the presentation, which was typically followed by the question, “Is anyone good with technology?” I supposed this is one of the reasons, the presentations were always printed out. Then they spent the rest of this time, listening to boring people talk about boring things and argue about boring decisions. Luckily, they had a printout of the presentation to doodle on.
Today, not only do we have the amazing ability to not have to fumble with cords and cables, but we have so many resources to engage all attendees. Presentations can include more than just text and photos: they can implement audio, video, moving charts and 3D images to more effectively relay information, and in a more entertaining way. We can even incorporate quizzes and questions into presentations that people can access with a URL to keep them engaged and interested.
The Future Challenges
As a result of all this technology use, we have become very stimulated beings. Our world around us is constantly stimulating: emails binging, phones buzzing, television turned on etc. Because of this, we start to “tune” some things out, and don’t pay attention to them. Therefore, it is becoming more and more difficult to hold our attention.
So, for the future success of meetings, we will have to figure out a way to keep people engaged and attentive. We are likely to see a meeting room filled with more than just tables and chairs – we will have to use interactive content to engage all of our senses. Here is a great article that predicts what future meetings will look like.

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Meetings are an important part of running businesses, and they come in all shapes and sizes. From unplanned chats in the office corridor to monthly sales reviews and annual conferences, meetings can take many forms.
A face-to-face discussion of organizational issues can be conducted in various ways. In this digital age, people can conveniently communicate through emails and video conference, however, this limits the ability of individuals to express their ideas only through the power of words. Alternatively, traditional, face-to-face meetings allow people to facilitate interaction and discussion in a more effective manner, and allows participants to express their views freely using both verbal and non-verbal communication.
Here are some ways in which meetings benefit individuals and businesses
A Potent Business Weapon
Considering the fact that we live in a world where competition is cut throat, business people need more personal interaction than ever before. While online communication and telephone offer a convenient and quick way to communicate, conducting a face-to-face meeting with clients creates an altogether different effect. Business meetings provide the best avenue to carry out negotiations.
Keep organizations on track
Regular meetings strengthen work relationships and bonds among employees, and keeps them on track regarding work matters. Let us take an example. Whenever a team is required to work on a new, large project, it is best to have a kick-off meetings to delegate responsibilities and tasks. Regular meetings can then be conducted to keep track of work progress. This way, whole team can stay abreast with the way project is progressing. Meetings also offer a great opportunity for the management to acknowledge and appreciate the achievements of the team through public recognition.
Relationship building through “human connection” 
Human connection via face-to-face meetings is probably the best way to become closer as a team and people, and it makes collaboration much easier. As you spend more time together, you are able to make a complete personal assessment that can help you learn more about your own personality and behavior and that of others. Discussing and sharing this assessment with the team members allows you to understand how you can better adapt your style to communicate and collaborate more effectively with others. Human connection and face-to-face interaction also minimizes team conflict.
Build Good Working Relationship
When people with diverse opinions, personalities and interests come together in a meeting, they somehow end up creating a cordial affiliation with their colleagues and the bond strengthens over time. This may be because people, despite their busy schedule at work find time to meet others and bond with them. This kind of relationship building is not possible with phone calls, emails or even virtual meetings. Facial expressions, handshakes and a positive body language can go a long way in building strong human bonds.
Boost Individual Morale
Meetings provide the perfect platform for good and open communication. A good meeting facilitator can help even the most timid team member to open up and share his thoughts, and contribute to the discussion. This boosts individual morale and helps bring some brilliant ideas to the table.
Most organizations survive on ideas and creativity. When it comes to brainstorming, meetings are the perfect platform. Many minds put together can bring out better ideas and solutions and that too much faster. Mere presence of other people can make things work. It could be the visual aids from markers and flipcharts, their body language or sharing their experience, but face-to-face communication does make a brainstorming session more engaging and fruitful.
Broader buy-in and consensus
Whenever an organization or team has to make a major decision, it becomes extremely important for people to buy-in to the decision, and meetings are the perfect way to achieve it. Consensus can be best achieved face-to-face, not on a phone call or email. Decision making and consensus achieved through effective meetings has immense business value.
It is important for individuals to understand that meetings are essential to the success of the organization. While some people may find it plain and boring, but in the long run, meetings go beyond achieving goals; they help foster and strengthen good working relationships.

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There are several factors to consider when investing in new office technology. Perhaps the most influential of those factors is return-on-investment or ROI. Determining the ROI of business technology is harder than it first seems. InformationWeek recently conducted a survey of C-level executives and found that it is challenging for all of them to agree on the value of proposed tech investments.
Each executive position may have their own vision of what office technology ROI should look like. However, there are some key characteristics that are common amongst successful tech initiatives. Company leaders can use this checklist below to help evaluate the ROI of their technology.

Does it boost productivity?

Over 50 percent of organizations measure productivity when calculating technology’s ROI. Tech solutions that have a steep learning curve or require hours upon hours of training in order to use it effectively can actually decrease productivity. Office technology should make an employee’s job easier and business processes more efficient.
For example, mobile technologies are providing some of the greatest productivity boosts for businesses. Mobile solutions like wireless presentation software, wearable devices, tablets, and collaboration tools mean that employees are no longer confined to working solely at their desks. They can communicate and collaborate from anywhere and at anytime, accelerating the work cycle.

Does it offer measurable value to customers?

Have you connected with customers and target audiences after learning more about them through data tools? Are customers finding your business or communicating with you through technology? Are they using your mobile app to make buying decisions?
When technology improves the customer experience or helps you connect with them, it is providing a big return-on-investment. Attracting a new customer costs as much as five to ten times more than retaining a current one. However, technology that personalizes and improves the customer experience can keep them coming back and spending 67 percent more.

Does it create new revenue streams?

By utilizing big data and new technologies, The Weather Channel is one organization that has created revenue streams that weren’t possible before. With advanced tools like drones and sensors, the weather capturing company’s forecasting range has expanded to over 37,000 personal reporting stations and increased the accuracy of their predictions. Recognizing the value of weather to business operations, it created new revenue by offering accurate weather reporting, alerts and additional services to companies worldwide.
Valuable office technology can not only increase current revenue streams but also create new ones. With the right tech presence, even small businesses can now have a global presence. Tech can open up new opportunities for companies that use it effectively.
There are thousands of tech products that claim that they will bring benefits to businesses. Ultimately, company leaders want to know that their investment will improve performance or increase revenue. If you are investing in new technology, and it doesn’t fit into any of these categories, it is likely time to rethink your purchase.

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In 2015, Millennials surpassed Generation Xers to become the biggest generation working today. By 2030, they are predicted to make up 75 percent of the labor force. Right now, those between the ages of 18 and 34 comprise over half, and they are changing how organizations do business.
They are unlike the generations before them, especially when it comes to what they value in the workplace. In a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), personal development and flexibility were named as the top two values for young workers, while compensation came in at a surprising third. They also value technology and expect businesses to offer tech solutions that make their jobs easier and their work life flexible.
Millennials already depend on technology every day to shop, connect with friends and family, manage health and fitness, and much more. In order to attract the next generation of talented company leaders, more businesses are integrating mobile devices, wearables, collaboration tools, and meeting room technologies into their business processes. Instead of focusing on the 401(k) plans or insurance benefits, many HR recruiters are talking about the technology perks.
Those with tech-friendly workplaces and meeting rooms are more likely to impress millennial employees and business partners. Here’s how:

Highlight convenience and flexibility.

There are over 37 percent of mobile workers in the global labor force. That number doesn’t include the growing number of in-office workers that take days out of the office to work from home. Improved wireless technologies are largely responsible for vastly increasing worker flexibility and mobility.
With the help of mobile and cloud-based solutions, young employees are skewing the typical nine-to-five workday in many organizations. They are demanding remote access to work documents and projects so that they can work on them while inside and outside of the office space. Organizations that also have wireless meeting solutions or use meeting room software make it possible for younger employees to video conference or collaborate in office meetings from the comfort of their homes.

Engage their creativity.

Millennials have grown up in a time of reality TV and YouTube stars. With smartphones and social media platforms, they can create and share videos, images and other media instantly. Their generation values creativity and wants to work somewhere that shows that it cares about their opinions and personal development.
Companies that offer up-to-date meeting technologies give young employees the tools to tap into that creativity and use it in the office environment. Encourage them to add some of their own creativity into projects and presentations and they’ll be more likely to stay engaged and feel a sense of purpose.

Create a collaborative working environment.

Millennials are more prone to working in teams than any generation before them, and they like to use technology to help them do it. Over 41 percent of Millennials prefer to communicate electronically at work rather than face-to-face. Holding face-to-face meetings is still valuable to them, but only for certain occasions. They tend to lean towards electronic solutions for everyday communications, while holding in-person meetings periodically.
Organizations can use wireless presentation software like Ubiq to enable employees to collaborate with their coworkers from anywhere. Using online collaboration tools, they can easily create and edit their presentations in real-time.
Millennials are accustomed to fast Internet, wireless solutions, easy-to-use tools, and quick results. If the technology that their workplace provides isn’t efficient or useful, they will look for other solutions that do meet their needs. They could end up using unsafe software that puts company data at risk or look to other companies that offer more efficient tech solutions. But, the right meeting room technologies can impress and engage them.

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The Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, and mobile technologies have changed how both humans and machines communicate with each other. Smart homeowners can turn on their lights or tell their coffeepot to start brewing before they arrive home with the help of a connected device. In the corporate world, advancements in devices and applications have made it possible for even small business owners to accept mobile payments. Those are just a few examples of how connected devices are making an impact in our lives.
Connected devices, or devices that can communicate with each other remotely through the Internet, are also revolutionizing the workplace. According to Gartner, there will be over 6.4 billion connected devices by the end of 2016–a 30 percent increase from 2015. This includes devices like wearable technology, wireless presentation systems, meeting room software, online collaboration tools, smartphones, and tablets.
One recent study reports that businesses will be the top adopters of connected solutions. These devices are becoming more common and are impacting multiple aspects in companies all over the world. What role do connected devices play in meeting rooms?
Use the entire meeting space.
Attending a business meeting no longer consists of staring at a projector screen or television while someone flips through a PowerPoint slideshow. With the help of connected devices, meeting leaders can create more interactive and visually intriguing meetings.
If there are multiple screens in the room, connected devices can switch seamlessly between them. If attendees have tablets, they can receive meeting documents or agendas with the touch of a button. Since connected devices eliminate the need for wires, this saves space, cost, and setup time.
Promote collaboration during meetings.
When managed effectively, connected devices can improve the productivity of your meetings. For example, in a recent study by Kelton, 71 percent of company leaders agreed that the use of connected devices helps boost productivity in their organizations.
Instead of simply lecturing to a group for an hour or more, leaders are turning their meeting rooms into collaborative meeting rooms. They are involving their audience by giving and receiving feedback, collaborating on projects, and editing in real-time with connected devices.
Increasing flexibility beyond the meeting room.
One of the primary advantages of connected devices is that they increase flexibility. Individuals can access them from anywhere and there are no wires or equipment needed, which means that the days of relying on multiple pieces of equipment to conduct a presentation or meeting are over. Hardware like projectors, cables, laptops, screens, and other parts can be eliminated. With one connected device, organizations can conduct presentations, communicate with coworkers, and easily perform dozens of other work tasks.
Connected devices allow organizations to minimize the amount of hardware that they need to perform necessary functions. However, they do more than that. As technology becomes even more sophisticated, connected devices are reinventing how we conduct meetings and collaborate with each other. Businesses that embrace the connected device revolution increase their organization’s opportunities for innovation and long-term sustainability.

Jacqueline Chan, Business Development at Ubiq, was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series. The series, which is hosted by TechnologyAdvice, explores a variety of business and technology landscapes through conversations with industry leaders.
In this episode we discuss video conferencing trends, the importance of smart watches, and beta testing.
Below are a few highlights from our conversation:
TA: With all the advancements in technology what is Ubiq looking to in the next few years?
Chan: There’s definitely so many things that we’re really excited about. We definitely notice one of the biggest trends is that in 2016, people are really moving to a collaborative setting and really focusing on user experience and making sure that their users are liking the products that are actually in their office setting right now. When new users are coming in, they expect things to be very simple, and they expect that things will actually work. That’s the biggest trend right now is just to have ease of use on both end users and IT.
TA: In terms of challenges, what are you guys helping customers to overcome with Ubiq?
Chan: One of the biggest problems I’ve noticed with some of our customers is that there’s just so many devices coming in to any meeting room or any organization in general, every single day. In the past two years, you can come in with a tablet now, smart phone, new computers, even the new macbook doesn’t even have a USB slot. It’s just really hard to monitor which devices are coming in and that’s something that we’re really trying to solve. Helping anyone with any device able to present without any extra adapters or really willing to accommodate with anyone.
TA: How do you do all of that while also creating a secure solution that gives IT what they need?
We actually have a cloud management dashboard where you’re really able to manage all the meeting rooms, really control what is going on in that specific meeting room at any given time. Our dashboard really gives you an idea of who is using it. You can manage the meeting room. You can update the unit, you can reboot the unit. All those different commands is actually able to be done on the dashboard. This is something that can really help IT and the team.
TA: Do you see Ubiq (or something similar) as something that almost every company will have deployed in 2020?
Chan: Yeah, for sure. Wireless presentation is just one step to our product. Right now we’re actually incorporating the digital signage component. And what the digital signage does is we can add campaigns to displays. You can add images, web links, videos, all that good stuff onto the display, so we’re not really just taking over a meeting room, we’re taking over all the displays.
On top of that for meeting rooms, what we’re envisioning in the future, there’s going to be external software, and meeting room tools, collaboration tools. That’s going to be an add-on to our device. That’s essentially our goal. We want to be that unified tool out there that can do multiple things.
TA: What are some of the big generational differences with wireless presenting? Is this something that Millennials are much more likely to adopt?
Chan: For sure. For sure. The younger the generation is, the more they are going to expect wireless presentation and they are actually going to be more prone to using it, and the adoption period is going to be a lot easier. But the challenge that comes along with it is that your product has to be stellar, because they’re going to be using a lot of different products, a lot of really good products, so having an easy to use product that will work all the time is the key for the younger generation that’s coming into the workforce.
TA: Speaking of the younger generation, I feel like sort of apart of that too, and a part of the technological transformation that we’re seeing right now, a big piece of that is smart devices. How do you see that fitting into the future workplace?
Chan: I actually think it’s happening already. The transition from laptops to tablets and smartphones, it’s happening right now – right before this year ends – it’s happening right now. Companies just have to be really fast to adapt to all of this, and in order to really adapt to it, they need to think of a solution such as wireless presentation that can really accommodate everyone, and especially smart phones. And the next thing we know you might need to find a solution for smart watches and having those smartwatches to be able to present. There’s just so many technologies coming out every day and you just don’t know what’s going to come out tomorrow.
This podcast was created and published by TechnologyAdvice, an Inc. 5000 company looking to help buyers find the best IT software, wireless presentation systems, and more. Interview conducted by Josh Bland.

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Executive conference rooms often serve as a window into your business. As the central meeting spot, it is the most likely place that you will hold important meetings with prospective clients and employees, current staff, board members, press, and other constituents. It is where organizations deliberate, collaborate, and come to important decisions that could have a lasting impact on their future. Therefore, the executive meeting room setup is important to consider.
A meeting room that could be mistaken for a college dorm will have a hard time attracting visitors; a meeting room that looks like it was designed in 2046 will have a hard time turning visitors away. More importantly, a more professional meeting room is often a more productive and more collaborative meeting room. Here are some critical reasons why:

Make positive first impressions.

Even though people often remind themselves not to judge a book by its cover, they still do–at least when it comes to first impressions. Several studies have shown that within seconds of meeting people decide a person’s wealth, trustworthiness, success and other characteristics solely based on appearance. Another study claimed that it is an unpreventable part of human nature to judge based on first impressions. A meeting room setup that is unprofessional could make a poor first impression which could impede companies from closing deals or recruiting the most talented workers.

Host visitors and special guests.

One of the most important necessities for organizations is a shared meeting space that can accommodate visitors and guests. Whether it is through video conferences or in-person meetings, visitors often find themselves in the conference room. Professional areas are more welcoming to an array of visitors and guests.

Establish a conducive work environment.

A more professional meeting room setup helps to eliminate non-work related distractions and boost productivity. It can also encourage the executive team and other employees to be more professional while influencing others to take them seriously.

Hold secure events and presentations.

Having a space to host events and presentations can open doors for organizations. It helps companies network with influencers and prospective business interests. A conference room that is equipped with meaningful and necessary technology like a wireless presentation system, collaboration tools, and other devices shows that your organization is prepared. It also protects company data from being leaked during private presentations and other confidential meetings.
A large portion of time spent in the office takes place in the conference room, so it is important that it reflects the type of business that you are and displays a sense of professionalism. Making your conference room more professional looking doesn’t mean that you need to stifle the creativity and unique character of your organization. It should, however, be more presentable to outsiders and comfortable for insiders.

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Conference room technology and AV equipment have grown leaps and bounds in recent years. They have changed the way we communicate in the workplace, amongst ourselves, across departments, and across the globe. That shift has set expectations for more immediate collaboration and conversation during meetings. This is why the wireless presentation system has become one of the most in-demand conference room AV products of the BYOD era.
Wireless presentation systems turn meeting rooms into central access points for content. Through secured environments, team members can meet in one digital location from various physical locations and multiple devices. Wireless presentations turn the meeting room into a collaborative place where content can be shared through any pre-existing audio visual setup.
Wireless presentations turn meeting rooms into a central access point for content. Through secured environments, team members can meet in one location from various locations and multiple devices. Wireless presentations turn the meeting room into a collaborative place with shareable content and readily available means of communication.
So, why go with Ubiq over anyone else? Ubiq’s wireless presentation system is an all-in-one solution that provides a cable free, hassle free, seamless experience for meetings and conferences. Built around the concept of hives, Ubiq’s hardware resides in the center of your meeting room, connecting people to content across multiple devices and (soon) remote locations.
Here are just some of the benefits:

  1. Easy set-up. Ubiq has designed the system for self set-up and provides step-by-step instructions. Ubiq’s wireless presentation system integrates with your current IT infrastructure. It works with the A/V technology you currently use. The hardware, also known as a “hive,” only needs to be set up in center of your meeting room. The system is supported by PC and Mac operating systems, and will be compatible with multiple tablets and mobile devices (coming soon).
  2. Quick access. Wireless presentations can be activated and accessed in under 10 seconds. Using P2P and WiFi connectivity, it takes a few simple clicks to enter your meeting session in and out of the conference room. Remote presentations will allow for your virtual teams to share in the experience in real-time, creating greater communication and collaborative opportunities.
  3. Time. Ubiq not only is easy to use, but it promotes productivity. Integrating with calendar tools, like Google Calendar, teams can schedule meetings, reserve rooms and request “hive” access. It sets structure around meeting organization for all parties involved.
  4. Security. Ubiq works with your enterprise security structure and policies. It can bridge corporate and guest networks to allow all key parties to partake in the same session. Live session data is encrypted and protected to only be accessed through the designated meeting with the hive. Ubiq also supports corporate SSO (single sign-on) to create a simple authentication process through Ubiq’s software.
  5. Less strain on IT. Ubiq is user-friendly. It is meant to empower employees to set-up their own meetings using easy to manage technology with minimal IT involvement. IT can spend their time more efficiently to support your company in other areas. Ubiq also provides an administrative dashboard for monitoring of “hive” activity from a single, remote location. IT does not need to be in the room, and can be proactive in making sure all systems are a-go!

Discover how Ubiq can work for your organization. Request a demo today!

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Wearable devices are becoming increasingly common in the home and in the workplace. For years, devices like fitness trackers, smart glasses, and smartwatches have been popular amongst consumers. However, more companies and employees are willing to use wearable technology too–if it helps them do their job better. In a study by CornerStone OnDemand, 66 percent of employees responded that they would use wearable technology to help them improve their work performance.
One of the biggest trends in wearable technology for businesses today is the smartwatch. Early versions of “smartwatches” have been around for a few decades. However, it hasn’t been until recently that they have really kicked off.
Before the capabilities of a smartwatch were extremely limited and could barely be considered “smart”. Many left users asking, “Why would I need to use this when I can just use my smartphone or tablet?” Now, their capabilities have advanced so much that some brands boast that they can replace the need for a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Will smart watches become commonplace in the office and meeting space? If recent market research is any indication, it is possible. In 2014, 6.8 million smartwatches were sold globally, an increase of 82 percent year over year. With the release of the new Apple watch, sales are expected to soar this year. Here are a few more reasons the smartwatch could be the next big workplace tech trend.
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Younger Workforce
Right now, Millennials (ages 18-34) make up over half of the workforce. By 2030, that majority is expected to increase to 75 percent. Needless to say, they are a vital part of many organizations and their generation has a huge influence on how business is conducted. One of the biggest influences that Millennials have had on the corporate world is the increased usage of technology. The age group is known for being tech-savvy and desires the use of technology for work purposes.
This is reflected in their use of wearables, especially smartwatches. According to research firm Nielsen Group, Millennials make up 48 percent of wearable tech users. Furthermore, 36 percent of them plan to buy a smartwatch within the next 12 months, based on a recent study. With their large numbers and penchant for technology, Millennials could be some of the primary drivers for smartwatches at work.
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Sophisticated Capabilities
Technology has come a long way in recent years. Companies now have access to cloud-based collaboration tools, video conferencing, wireless presentation software, data analytics, mobile tablets, e-learning, and dozens of other devices and programs to help them reach their end goal, faster, The smartwatch is another device that could develop a more prominent role in the workplace.
This is because their capabilities are more sophisticated than ever before. One of the most common uses for smartwatches is to make audio and video calls. However, they are capable of much more. For example, individuals can manage tasks and get alerts to increase their productivity. For employees that frequently need to monitor systems and troubleshoot network problems quickly, the real-time updates feature is essential.
Many smartwatches have as many or more capabilities as a smartphone, only it is conveniently on your wrist whenever you need it. Smartwatches still have a long way to go before they are as mainstream as the smartphone. However, if their progression in the past few years is any indication, there could be at least one in every meeting room or office space.