You have 24 hours to transform an empty office into a fully functional conference room. Where do you start?
Perhaps a better question to ask is: Is it even possible? If it takes AV system integrators multiple days to set up a conference room, how are you, a mere amateur, going to manage it in a single day?
It may be a challenge, but when you look at some of the other things that people have been able to accomplish in just 24 hours (planting 6 million trees, moving 60 canons up a hill, building a city), setting up a meeting room certainly seems within the realm of possibility.
You will require the following items: A TV or projector, a large table, and 8 or more chairs.
Sounds pretty simple, right? How could it take more than a day when all you have to do is swing by two stores? (Or, if you can find a place that sells both furniture and electronics, one store?)
Short answer: Cables.
In order to hide cables, you’ll need a desk that’s crammed with connectivity boxes and hidden compartments. These are bulky and difficult to setup. They’re also huge eyesores. Here’s what a typical example looks like:
In case you can’t see how massive and unwieldy that table’s support structure is, here’s a close-up:
No, that isn’t a Hobbit-hole. That secret compartment is strictly for your cable stash. You’re going to need a lot of cables.
How many is a lot? 3? 5? 7? Well, do you know which video outputs your end users have on their laptops? HDMI? VGA? mini DisplayPort? If they bring their own laptops, you’ll have no way of predicting what their video output requirements will be, so you’ll want to prepare for every possible contingency. You’ll also want to give your end users access to a power supply cord, USB cord, and, in case they want to charge their iPhones, a lightning cord.
To run all these cables from the connectivity box to the TV in a way that’s pleasing to the eye, you’ll want to hide the cables under the carpet, behind the baseboards, and behind the wall. Doing all that in less than 24 hours is perhaps possible in theory, but you’ll be cutting it close.
Luckily, there’s an easier alternative.
As soon as cables leave the picture, you don’t have to worry about connectivity boxes or secret compartments, and can purchase a desk that looks like this:
Not only are these desks more elegant, they’re also super easy to install. If it takes you more than 20 minutes, you may want to contact your local authorities because whoever hired you is clearly violating child labor laws.
So how do your end users connect their laptops to the TV or projector without wires?
Short answer: Use a wireless presentation system.
A wireless presentation system takes your IT department 10 minutes to setup. If you combine it with the above table, you’re looking at a 30-minute-long setup. That should leave you with about 23 1/2 hours to install your TV/projector and to place the chairs around the table.
A wireless presentation system will also save your end users time as well. When you give them 8 different cables to pick from, it’s going to take them a minute or two to find the right cable. Non-tech-savvy users may find the task so imposing that they’ll call IT to help them out, which will add an additional 10 minutes to the amount of time it takes them to get their presentation going. But with a wireless presentation system, end users can connect their laptops to the screen in just 1 second.
For more information on wireless presentation systems, click here.