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You should never judge a book by its cover, but you should always judge a company by its conference room. If the first thing you see when you arrive at a business meeting is a standard definition TV that’s been strapped to a wobbly cart with velcro, you’ve learned something very valuable about the company’s approach to innovation. Likewise, if you walk into a meeting room and see a 4K TV that’s been mounted perfectly flush with the wall, your reaction will be, “If this company knows how to do that, they can do anything.”

Here are 5 conference room AV products you need to buy in order to create that sort of impression.

1. 4K Television

A must-have AV product: Samsung KS9500 series.

There are a lot of things you can justify not buying—paintings, bookshelves, certain pieces of furniture—on the grounds that you are “going for a minimalist aesthetic.” Unfortunately, a good TV is not one of them. In order for video conferencing and business presentations to work, a large shared screen is absolutely essential. And although they’re expensive and still have some issues that haven’t been adequately addressed yet (good luck finding media that you can play at full resolution), 4K TVs are noticeably better than their 1K counterparts. Even if you don’t actually use the TV to play full 4K video, it’s always better to have 4K resolution and not need it than to need 4K resolution and not have it.

If you have the money to buy a 4K TV, you probably also have the money to hire a carpenter to mount the TV to the inside of the wall. By doing so, you’ll restrict easy access to the HDMI ports at the back, but if you use a wireless presentation solution (like, say, Ubiq) having easy access to the HDMI ports will not be necessary.

Our recommendations:
Samsung QM65F
LG 65UX340C
NEC 65″ X651UHD-2ED

2. Telephone

Polycom SoundStation 2

For decades, experts have been predicting that video conferencing would render Alexander Graham Bell’s 1876 invention obsolete. And yet for some reason, the telephone refuses to go away. Perhaps it’s because people are too self-conscious about their appearance, perhaps it’s because no one likes the idea of sending large amounts of data through their 4G network. Whatever the reason, the telephone is here to stay, and you’ll definitely be needing one for your conference room. More specifically, you’ll need one that can provide clear audio, connect multiple lines at once, and hands-free capabilities (speakerphone and microphone included).

Our recommendations:
Polycom SoundStation 2
Avaya B179 Conference VoIP phone

3. Projector

Sony VPL-VW365ES

If your meetings are usually attended by more than 20 people, a 4K TV—as glorious as it is—might not be enough. You may want to consider buying a projector and converting an entire wall into a movie screen. In addition to offering a bigger image, today’s conference room projectors provide greater brightness (lumens), operate clearly in both dark and lit rooms, and are small enough to be portable. High-end 4K projectors can cost as much as $10,000 or even $20,000, so unless your name is Tim Cook, be sure to seriously weigh the pros and cons before buying. (Or just buy a low-end version; few people have actually seen high-end 4K projectors in action, so they’ll be unlikely to notice that you’ve cheaped out).

Our recommendations:
BenQ SU931
Optoma EH500
NEC NP-P501X
Sony VPL-VW1100ES Native 4K 3D SXRD

4. Sound

JBL Basic Double-Zone, 70V Wall Mount Sound System

Investing in a 4K TV or projector can be counterproductive if you don’t also invest in a decent sound system. That stunning 4K resolution will be a lot less impressive if all you can hear coming out of people’s mouths is a muffled garble.

It’s also important to make sure that the people you’re video conferencing with are able to hear you, so in addition to buying speakers, you may want to buy a few microphones and install them at various points along the conference room table.

Our recommendations:
JBL Basic Double-Zone, 70V Wall Mount Sound System
Atlas Sound 70V Ceiling Mounted Sound System for A/V and Conference Rooms (2 Speakers)

5. Wireless Presentation Solution

No list of conference room AV products is complete without a wireless presentation solution.

In today’s BYOD environment, a conference room that relies on cables and wires to connect laptops to the TV or projector is simply not feasible. In order to accommodate every laptop that enters the room, you would need to have an expensive and elaborate collection of cables and converters with various outputs on standby (HDMI, VGA, HDMI to VGA, Thunderbolt, Lightning, etc). If you were to attempt to use all of these wires and converters simultaneously, your conference room would resemble a mad scientist’s lair. Better to go wireless.

Our recommendation:
Ubiq Hive

We may not be the most objective people to ask, but we think the Ubiq Hive is pretty sweet. It allows you to present wirelessly from laptops and Surface tablets regardless of their video outputs in less than 10 seconds. (For more information on the Ubiq Hive, click here or go to literally anywhere else on this site).

Additional Reading
Conference Room Technology: 5 Investments You Should Make
AV System Integrators: Are They Really Necessary?
Conference Room Design: 10 Examples Worth Studying

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Q: What’s the difference between a pizza delivery guy and a system admin?
A: Pizza delivery guys deliver pizza to houses, system admins deliver VGA adapters to conference rooms.
This classic IT joke, second only to the one about how CIO really stands for Career Is Over in the repertoire of IT humor, may at first glance seem like a bit of an exaggeration. Surely system admins spend more time on things that are part of their actual job description (like, say, system administration) than on delivering cables and adapters to end users who are having a hard time connecting to the conference room TV or projector?
A few years ago, this may have been the case. But now that everyone brings their own laptops to business meetings, connecting to the TV via cables and adapters isn’t so easy. Laptops come with a wide range of video outputs, smart TVs come with many different video inputs, but sometimes the inputs and outputs don’t match up. This presents a source of confusion for even the most tech-savvy end user. And whenever an end user gets confused by something tech-related, their first instinct is always to call IT.
It’s no wonder then that every system admin, at some point in their career, has toyed with the idea of setting up a tent in the conference room and just doing their work from there.
Here’s a quick overview of the cables and adapters that are responsible for wreaking the most havoc in the conference room, leaving IT departments with no choice but to use their system admin as cable connectivity troubleshooters.

1. HDMI to HDMI Cables

Kevin from Home Alone is horrified by the prospect of using HDMI cables in his conference room.
If your goal is to connect a computer to a TV screen or projector through a cable, HDMI cables can be pretty handy. All HDTV’s come with an HDMI input, as do virtually all projectors that were manufactured during the last five years. HDMI outputs are also fairly commonplace on higher-end laptops (although Apple seems to be phasing them out). So if you’re dealing with equipment younger than your average kindergarten student, an HDMI cable should do the trick.
A few things to consider though: Do you buy just one HDMI cable and have your end users share it from a connectivity box in the center of the table, or do you buy multiple HDMI cables and install a connectivity box at each seat? No matter which option you go with, things are bound to get messy, so you may want to look into getting a cable management box to handle the extra slack. And since HDMI cables have a well-known propensity to go missing, you may want to buy a few back-ups.
Is your cable collection starting to get a bit unwieldy? Better brace yourself: It’s about to get a whole lot unwieldier.

2. VGA to VGA Cables

VGA cables make Matthew McConaughey weep.
Although HDMI cables have been the standard for the last several years, not all projectors come equipped with an HDMI input. A surprising number of old war horses from the pre-HDMI era still work perfectly fine and are still in widespread use. Likewise, not all laptops come with HDMI outputs. There are still thousands of 2011/12 MacBooks kicking around that may not be able to handle El Capitan, but still run Leopard perfectly fine. Better get some VGA cables to send through that connectivity box (or boxes).

3. VGA to HDMI

From this day forth, Scarlett O'Hara swears she will never use VGA to HDMI cables again.
What if the projector you’re using only has an HDMI input but the laptop only has a VGA output (or vice versa)? Don’t worry: Buying a handful of VGA to HDMI cables should solve this problem.
You may want to buy a label maker too: VGA cables look almost identical to DVI cables (the next item on this list), which can cause endless confusion.

4. DVI to HDMI (plus 3.5mm male-to-male audio cable just to be safe)

Although DVI to HDMI cables were not around in Joan of Arc's day, experts speculate that she would've disliked them.
A world in which every single connectivity problem involving laptops, projectors, and TVs could be solved with just three cables would be an annoying one, but at least it would be tolerable. Unfortunately, that’s not the world in which we live. DVI cables also exist, and they can only handle resolutions of 1,920 x 1,200 with no audio, so if your presentation involves sound, a separate audio cable is required. Have fun with that.

5. Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt/HDMI or Mini DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort/HDMI

Thunderbolt cables are amazing for transferring huge files quickly, but do they belong in the conference room? Laura Dern fromEnlightened seems to think not.
Thunderbolt 3 cables have a bandwidth of 5 GB/s and can drive two external 4K displays at 60 Hz. For this reason, they’re pretty much indispensable for people who work with video shot at extremely high resolutions. Will they be useful in the context of a business meeting? Having a couple on standby couldn’t hurt.
And don’t forget to invest in a few Thunderbolt to HDMI/VGA adapters while you’re at it. You never know when those will come in handy.

6. Lightning to HDMI and Lightning to VGA

"What's in the box?" Hopefully not cables, thinks Brad Pitt from Seven.
What if someone forgot their laptop at home and wants to give their presentation through their iPhone? Better stock up on some lightning cables in order to prepare for that contingency. (You may want to buy a few bottles of Tylenol also).
By now, the collection of cables you have in front of you is so big that you may require multiple wheelbarrows to carry them around. Is it any surprise that end users don’t find this web of cables intuitive and need to bring in a system admin to bail them out?
(Editor’s note: To avoid the cable pile-up described in this article, we recommend investing in a wireless presentation system which allows end users to connect their laptops to the conference room screen in 1 second without any hassle. As chance would have it, we offer a free 14 day trial of a wireless presentation system on this very website. Click here for more info).
 
ADDITIONAL READING
Top 10 Conference Room Cable Management Fails of 2017
Wireless Conference Rooms vs. Cabled Conference Rooms: Which Has the Better ROI?
Conference Room Cable Management Checklist
 

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Just as the invention of the printing press eliminated the need to copy out entire books by hand, just as the invention of the airplane shortened the trip from New York to LA by 35 hours, and just as the invention of e-mail made it unnecessary to send pieces of paper across the Atlantic and then wait two months for a response, so too can conference room technology help your company reduce the preposterous amount of time you waste in unproductive meetings each year (about 372 hours, according to one study) .
Here are 5 conference room technology investments you should make in order to enhance the business meeting experience:

Wireless Presentation Solution

It used to be the case that if you wanted to accompany your business presentation with a visual aid, you’d have to print it off on a sheet of paper, get the paper made into a transparency, and then book an overhead projector to show it.
Now all you have to do is connect your laptop to a screen or projector.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always as easy as it sounds. In conference rooms that rely on wires, finding the right cable or adapter can be just as time-consuming as making a transparency. Laptops come with so many different video outputs (HDMI, VGA, DVI, mini DisplayPort, etc) that accommodating them all is an exercise in futility.
This is why a wireless presentation solution can come in handy. By taking wires out of the equation, end users just have to press a button to connect their laptops. Needless to say, the amount of time it takes to press a button isn’t quite the same as the amount of time it takes to call up the IT department and ask them to rush over to the conference room with a VGA-to-HDMI adapter.

Visual Display and AV Equipment

Presentation software and hardware can only work to their full potential with the right visual equipment in place. Projectors, 4K TVs, electronic whiteboards, interactive displays, etc. can bring thoughts and ideas to life. For team activities, the display is the stage for real-time, in-depth discussion. People can connect, see each other, and heighten the meeting experience without time and location barriers.

Productivity Tools

One of the biggest culprits of meeting room time-wastage is the non-delivery of deliverables. If a team member hasn’t adequately prepared for the meeting, everyone loses. A great way to keep everyone on track is to invest in productivity tools such as Trello, Azendoo, or Redbooth.

Unified Communications

The number of communication tools — both hardware and software — currently available is staggering. By investing in a unified communications system, you can create a centralized location for tools on your network to be accessible from anywhere. This makes communication easier, both inside and outside the conference room.

Meeting Room Scheduling Software

It can be hard to have a productive meeting when all of the meetings rooms in your building are booked. By implementing meeting room scheduling software such as Teem, you can make sure that double bookings are a thing of the past.
Meeting room software can also help you optimize your meeting rooms. If a large room with a projector is constantly getting booked by a small group that never uses the projector or a small room with no projector is always being used by a large group that needs a projector, your company would greatly benefit from Teem.

Conclusion

Any investment you make in your company’s conference room technology comes down to the people who will be using it. It is important to consider them in your decision-making process. We all want to have the best technology available to our teams. Make the right decisions to make sure technology is working with—and not against—you and your colleagues.
ADDITIONAL READING
AV System Integrators: Are They Really Necessary?
Conference Room Design: A Guide For the Perplexed
7 Must-Have Video Inputs For Your Conference Table Connectivity Box
 

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You should never judge a book by its cover, but you should always judge a company by its conference room. If the first thing you see when you arrive at a business meeting is a standard definition TV that’s been strapped to a wobbly cart with velcro in order to prevent it from toppling over and crushing the AV guy whenever he wheels it around, you’ve learned something very valuable about the company’s approach to innovation. Likewise, if you walk into a meeting room and see a 4K TV that’s been mounted so that the screen is perfectly flush with the wall, your reaction will be, “If this company knows how to do that, they can do anything.”

Here are 5 AV products you need to buy in order to create that sort of impression.

1. 4K Television

Samsung KS9500 series

There are a lot of things you can justify not buying—paintings, book shelves, certain pieces of furniture—on the grounds that you are “going for a minimalist aesthetic.” Unfortunately, a good TV is not one of them. In order for videoconferencing and business presentations to work, a large shared screen is absolutely essential. And although they’re expensive and still have some issues that haven’t been adequately addressed yet (good luck finding media that you can play at full resolution), 4K TVs are noticeably better than their 1K counterparts. Even if you don’t actually use the TV to play full 4K video, it’s always better to have 4K resolution and not need it than to need 4K resolution and not have it.

If you have the money to buy a 4K TV, you probably also have the money to hire a carpenter to mount the TV to the inside of the wall. By doing so, you’ll restrict easy access to the HDMI ports at the back, but if you use a wireless presentation solution (like, say, Ubiq) having easy access to the HDMI ports will not be necessary.

Our recommendations:

Samsung KS9500 series
LG OLEDE6 series
Sony XBR-75X940D

2. Telephone

Polycom SoundStation 2

For decades, experts have been predicting that videoconferencing would render Alexander Graham Bell’s 1876 invention obsolete. And yet for some reason the telephone refuses to go away. Perhaps it’s because people are too self-conscious about their appearance, perhaps it’s because no one likes the idea of sending large amounts of data through their 4G network. Whatever the reason, the telephone is here to stay, and you’ll definitely be needing one for your conference room. More specifically, you’ll need one that can provide clear audio, connect multiple lines at once, and hands-free capabilities (speakerphone and microphone included).

Our recommendations:

Polycom SoundStation 2
Avaya B179 Conference VoIP phone

3. Projector

Sony VPL-VW365ES

If your meetings are usually attended by more than 20 people, a 4K TV—as glorious as it is—might not be enough. You may want to consider buying a projector and converting an entire wall into a movie screen. In addition to offering a bigger image, today’s conference room projectors provide greater brightness (lumens), operate clearly in both dark and lit rooms, and are small enough to be portable. High-end 4K projectors can cost as much as $10,000 or even $20,000, so unless your name is Tim Cook, be sure to seriously weigh the pros and cons before buying. (Or just buy a low-end version; few people have actually seen high-end 4K projectors in action, so they’ll be unlikely to notice that you’ve cheaped out).

Our recommendations:

Sony VPL-VW365ES
JVC – DLAX500R

4. Sound

JBL Basic Double-Zone, 70V Wall Mount Sound System

Investing in a 4K TV or projector can be counterproductive if you don’t also invest in a decent sound system. That stunning 4K resolution will be a lot less impressive if all you can hear coming out of people’s mouths is a muffled garble.

It’s also important to make sure that the people you’re videoconferencing with are able to hear you, so in addition to buying speakers, you may want to buy a few microphones and install them at various points along the conference room table.

Our recommendations:

JBL Basic Double-Zone, 70V Wall Mount Sound System
Atlas Sound 70V Ceiling Mounted Sound System for A/V and Conference Rooms (2 Speakers)

5. Wireless Presentation Solution 

Introducing the Ubiq Hive.

In today’s BYOD environment, a conference room that relies on cables and wires to connect laptops to the TV or projector is simply not feasible. In order to accommodate every laptop that enters the room, you would need to have an expensive and elaborate collection of cables and converters with various outputs on standby (HDMI, VGA, HDMI to VGA, Thunderbolt, Lightning, etc). If you were to attempt to use all of these wires and converters simultaneously, your conference room would resemble a mad scientist’s lair. Better to go wireless.

Our recommendation:

Ubiq Hive

We may not be the most objective people to ask, but we think the Ubiq Hive is pretty sweet. It allows you to present wirelessly from laptops and surface tablets regardless of their video outputs in less than 10 seconds. (For more information on the Ubiq Hive, click here or go to literally anywhere else on this site).

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Today’s work environment is entirely different from what it was several years ago. Communications technology has revolutionized the way companies work and interact. Several teams might work on a single project without even meeting each other in person. In fact, they might not even reside in the same state or country.
It’s not uncommon for employees from different branches of a company to work and interact with each other remotely. However, exchanging emails or communications constantly to make members of the team aware of any changes is not nearly as efficient as grouping together in a meeting room or huddle space and can get tedious fast. Thankfully, collaboration tools can make it easier.
What Are Collaboration Tools?
Collaboration tools allow your colleagues to view any changes and additions you’ve made to your project content. Most collaboration software is “live,” so if someone who has access to your document is online and viewing, they’ll be able to see the changes you make as you’re making them. Distance isn’t a factor as the changes are applied instantly. A person on your team might be on the other side of the planet and still be able to see those changes easily.
Collaboration Tools and Presentation Software
If several people are working on a presentation, sending details of every alteration anyone makes can lead to errors and misunderstandings across the board. Keeping everyone on the same page is important. When it comes to presentations, there are several options available to you:
• If you are accustomed to Microsoft’s PowerPoint, you can use PowerPoint in Dropbox. Collaboration is easy after you upload your presentation to the virtual drive.
• Google Slides are also an option with seamless integration with Google Drive, mobile apps, and compatibility with all kinds of operating systems and platforms.
• Apple’s Keynote is also a great alternative to PPT. If you’re accustomed to Keynote, you can easily use it to create presentations and store it in Apple’s cloud database.
How Does it Work for Different Departments?
Consider this scenario: You’re working on a project that involves your company’s graphic design team, web design team, marketing team, and editing team. You need to prepare a presentation that would showcase the scope of the project and include the timeline, and the strategies involved. While you are aware of your own work, you need input and content from other departments as well.
Each of them can contribute content related to their field and create a compelling presentation together. You can achieve this through cloud computing. Essentially, your presentation is stored on a virtual drive and you give access to the people working on it. You can make alterations, add content, communicate with others through the software, and add comments to the relevant sections.
Access Levels
Even if states or countries separate you and the other departments, you’ll be able to communicate and work on the presentation together in real time. You can also give individuals different levels of access. For example, if you give a group of people permission to edit, while others are just allowed to view.
The finalized presentation can be sealed and you won’t have to go through the trouble to emailing it to everyone. You just need to give them access.
Videoconferencing
Just because it’s impossible to physically meet with your team in a conference room or huddle space doesn’t mean that you can’t meet with them digitally. Thanks to videoconferencing, you can gather your entire team together on your conference room’s AV equipment. And depending on how elaborate your conference room technology is, you can use wireless projection to view them in HD, which is almost as good as meeting them in person.

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Technology is all around us. From tablets to smartphones to interactive displays to wireless projection, we seem to be constantly plugged in. But wearable devices are taking our relationship with technology even further. Wearable tech includes a broad range of electronics such as smartwatches, fitness trackers, smart clothing, glasses, accessories, and even implanted chips. Each of these “smart’ electronic devices is worn on the body of users for convenience, data accuracy, and aesthetics.
There are few who haven’t heard of or seen someone wearing one of these devices. In fact, over 33 million devices have been sold worldwide this year, according to a recent Business Insider report. In the U.S., 1 in 5 people own a wearable and 1 in 10 use it on a daily basis. The market for wearables is only expected to grow, with forecasts predicting that 148 million units will be sold in 2019.
The market for wearable tech has been slowly building up for years. Until recently, it wasn’t likely that the devices would enter the mainstream. Before, many of these devices were considered solely for personal and fitness use. However, their capabilities are much more sophisticated now than they were a few years ago. Now, they can do everything a smartphone can do and more. They can monitor sleep patterns, measure worker productivity, make phone calls, pay for purchases, track fitness, etc. With the release of Apple’s smartwatch, more consumers are interested in joining the tech-wearing culture.

Wearable Tech in the Workplace

Organizations are also realizing the potential role that they could play in the workplace, and many have or are considering wearable device programs. Studies suggest that a significant portion of the workforce is open to using them, if it helps them complete their job duties or improves work processes.
In one PricewaterhouseCoopers study, 70 percent of employees said, as part of a wellness program, they would use employer-provided wearable devices in exchange for insurance premium discounts. Another study by Cornerstone OnDemand reported that 80 percent of employees would use wearables for health and wellness programs. An even larger percentage would if they earned perks and discounts for using them.
So far, several businesses have reported promising results when using these technologies, especially for engagement and employee wellness programs. A growing number of companies are implementing wellness programs with the help of wearables. For instance, the oil company BP gave around 25,000 employees FitBits to monitor their health and fitness. Employees that reached a certain number of steps, received benefits on insurance premiums and other perks. Wearables can increase the effectiveness of these wellness programs, which could save organizations up to $264 per year, per employee.
When employees are happy, they are 12 percent more productive. According to a study from Goldsmith University, organizations that use wearables can increase employee productivity by 8.5 percent and job happiness by 3.5 percent. Grocery chain, Tesco, has started giving employees in their warehouses smart armbands that monitor worker productivity. The bands check shipments and send data like task completion time to managers. They can also detect worker fatigue to prevent work-related accidents.
There are dozens of possible benefits for using wearables in the workplace and it’s likely more companies will implement them. However, before rushing to order some wearables for the office, companies should address some key considerations.

Employee Privacy

One of the top reasons why individuals are hesitant to embrace a wearable world is data privacy. According to a PwC survey, 82 percent of people worry wearables would invade their privacy. Some countries are even considering regulations for how organizations use them in the workplace. For instance, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) agency proposed limitations that if passed would restrict what types of data that companies can collect from employees using wearables and how they can use that information.
Companies need to set a distinguished line between ethical and unethical data usage. They should communicate with employees regarding the types of data that will be collected, and explain how that information will be used to help improve their work processes and satisfaction. Especially for health metrics, companies should have a data usage policy that they send to workers to review and approve before moving forward.
Many companies that have implemented wearable technology in the workplace have done so on an opt-in basis, making using the device optional. Some, like Tesco, may choose only to use the device while at work. To ensure that they balance employee privacy with improving working conditions, companies and their employees should establish guidelines for how and when the devices are to be used.

Data Security

Security is another primary reason individuals and organizations may be hesitant to adopt a wearable-friendly workplace. According to the PwC survey, 86 percent believe wearable devices could make them more vulnerable to data breaches.
Wearables were not originally designed for the workplace. The early versions were intended mainly for personal fitness and health monitoring. Now that many organizations are envisioning how wearables in the workplace could assist with initiatives like increased worker productivity and engagement, IT leaders are faced with how to secure these devices.
Wearables, like mobile devices, are more likely to be stolen or lost than a company desktop. Unlike other mobile devices though, it may be unclear if critical company data can be remotely wiped from them. Before introducing them to the office, organizations should develop a wearable device management policy that enables them to protect data from falling into the wrong hands.

User Engagement

Many businesses struggle with employee engagement. In fact, an estimated 87 percent of employees are disengaged. Disengaged employees often cause organizations to lose revenue, increase turnover rates, and negatively affect the work environment.
Technology is often used to assist in employee engagement initiatives. Wearables are one of the latest tech tools that are being introduced into the workplace as part of those programs. Oftentimes, companies see huge success when combining engagement with technology. However, where companies make a fatal error is thinking that the technology is the simple solution.
A wearable is just another tool. If companies don’t give users a value for using it, then they most likely won’t. Without sufficient reasons, they will eventually lose interest and stop using it. A study from Endeavour Partners reported that one-third of those that bought a wearable stopped using it after six months.
The study concluded that users found the devices valuable when they used them. The trick was getting them to continue usage. How do organizations keep users interested even after the honeymoon period?
There are some common themes that can be found in companies that use wearables effectively. For one, they give employees incentives like rewards and insurance discounts for interacting with the technology. Secondly, they don’t just present data to users, they incite actions. Lastly, they have specific goals.
Goals are perhaps the most important item a company should address in order for a wearable technology program to be optimally effective. For example, Tesco initiated its program with a clear, defined set of goals in mind. One of those was to increase the productivity of warehouse workers. By making the device part of the process and tracking completion time, it improved overall efficiency.
When wearable devices are used ethically and with proper security measures, they have the potential to empower employees, improve procedures, and enhance the work environment. However, organizations need to first assess how these devices will improve their business processes before jumping headfirst into the wearable tech bandwagon. Are you implementing wearable technology in your workplace yet? If so, how are you implementing it?
Additional Reading
Conference Room Technology: 5 Investments You Should Make
Conference Room Cable Management Checklist
Conference Room Design: 10 Examples Worth Studying

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Your meeting room leaves a large carbon footprint, and not just because large groups of people drive and occasionally fly to get to them. The way you use your conference room technology — in particular your audio visual setup — can also have an impact on your energy consumption.
Here are four ways to make your meeting room greener using technology:
1. Upgrade Your Tech
Start by making sure that your meeting room has energy efficient devices, AV equipment, and fixtures. Use LED lights and properly insulated windows. Make sure that it’s easily accessible to most of your employees. For example, if your meeting room is on one floor and the majority of your employees are on another, they’ll use elevators to move between floors, leading to more energy consumed. Plan the physical location of your rooms carefully. Perhaps you can have large windows that let in natural light, instead of relying on artificial ones for your meetings.
2. Go Wireless 
Without cables and wires, you’re already consuming less energy. By using a wireless projection system and other wireless energy-star rated devices, you don’t waste time connecting devices to the audio visual setup and not too much energy is consumed during the meeting either.
This also ensures that you don’t need to have a dedicated set of hardware for your meeting rooms. By using wireless technology, you can easily utilize your devices in different rooms. For example, you don’t need two different sets of telecommunications equipment, devices, and presentation equipment for two different meeting rooms if you can make do with one.
kave-638250_1280
3. Go Paperless (i.e. Digital)
Paper brochures, meeting reading material, nametags, etc, only add to the carbon footprint. If you’re going wireless, you can easily go paperless. All you need to do is have the right presentation software and a way to connect to all of the individual devices of people attending the meeting.
You can also send all reading materials to your audience well in advance so that they can read it on their wireless devices. Paperless meetings are becoming increasingly common. You don’t need to print several copies of the literature, wasting paper, and ink. This cuts cost across the board.
4. Connect Remotely
One way to reduce the environmental impact of your meeting room is to connect with people remotely. Instead of forcing people from other states or countries to fly in for the meeting, connect with your team members with remote presentation. With the right communication and productivity tools, you can share your presentation with anyone, anywhere. All you need to do is give them the right access.
If you set up your meeting with video-conferencing tools, you can give remote audiences live, interactive access to your presentation. This significantly reduces the environmental impact of your meetings.
A trend that starts with your meeting room’s audio visual setup can spread throughout your company. Eventually, you’ll start becoming environmentally responsible in your day-to-day life. It’s vital to start somewhere, no matter how small you think your contribution would be.

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The company cafeteria is not just for food service. It can often be the central meeting or huddle space for employees to meet, share ideas, and learn from one another. Based on its design, it’s a place that could be border-free and all-inclusive through conference room technology.
Think about your technology infrastructure and how it connects your team members and external partners. What if that technology was taken outside of the conference room or huddle space? Many mid-size and larger corporations have added audio/visual equipment into their cafeterias. Whether it’s to show a company’s latest commercial or to provide direction on company policy, such tools can increase access and reach of information.
By using the cafeteria for its social aspect and space, you can bring employees together! Presentations, “Town Hall” meetings, brainstorm sessions, etc. bring forth conversations. By layering communication tools like wireless presentations, you can now make the cafeteria your company’s largest conference room or huddle space.
“Town Hall” meetings, corporate training sessions and company presentations can be taken to a whole new level. Location, time, and wires no longer have to be a barrier to be a part of a conversation. The cafeteria becomes a place to inspire and to take action.
Here are 5 ways to make the cafeteria into a communication hive.

  1. Set up wireless presentation access. Wireless presentations are a means to share information with team members no matter where they are. Employees can contribute not only thoughts and ideas, but they can content from their devices, no matter where they are.
  2. Be equipped. Many cafeterias have AV equipment setup to display company messaging or just to air local news. However, take a look at your current conference room design and layout. Examine how the conference room being used and how certain tools and functions, like video conferencing, could work in a larger space. It may not be feasible to use the cafeteria for wireless projection, but connecting your laptop to the cafeteria TV shouldn’t be an issue.
  3. Schedule the “room.” Yes, your cafeteria may need to be scheduled for meetings. People still use the cafeteria to dine and socialize. If your company is using a conference room booking system, make the cafeteria a location or resource. Find out when your cafeteria is at its busiest. Then, make it available for meetings during slow periods. What’s important is to communicate cafeteria’s usage during those times.
  4. Test your connections and security. If your meeting will involve remote access, you should ensure that all parties will be able to connect, and that data shared will be secure. Wireless presentations, like Ubiq, allow for activity monitoring, secured access and data encryption for each session. It’s important to test those capabilities with a small group of employees, both in and out of the office, especially when implementing such communication tools in the cafeteria.

At your company, your goals should be tied to how your employees work. This includes where they work. If you can optimize your space to create more opportunities for collaborative and productive work, your employees will benefit greatly. Stop thinking of the cafeteria as only a place to eat. Look at it as an opportunity to learn, share, motivate and work…together.

Want to set up a wireless Conference Room?Try Now

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!