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When organizing a presentation, one must always ask the question, “What could go wrong?” The visions of worst-case scenarios in our minds can be frightening, hilarious, or both. Nevertheless, we have a job to do and a message to get across to our audience.
A lot of details often go into planning a presentation—from the content to the technology that supports it. While the presentation may be a one-person show, colleagues and partners play significant roles making sure things run smoothly. No matter how tight your set-up is or how prepared you are, there is always the possibility that something could go wrong.
Anything can happen during a presentation. You can never be too ready. However, with wireless presentations, you’re working with multiple devices and audiences from various locations and time zones. Technology is critical to support everyone across barriers because it’s the technology that brings people together. Therefore, there should be contingency plans to ensure not all is lost when technology fails.
Here are 5 tips to help you salvage your wireless presentation:

  1. Dress Rehearsal. Coordinate with IT on a date/time the day before or the morning of the presentation to run through your presentation set-up. This is an opportunity to perform system checks for Wi-Fi, security and network access to the wireless presentation. You may want to ask one remote colleague to also participate in the dress rehearsal to make sure external connections work as well.
  2. Communication Chain. Depending on the number of people and locations participating in the presentation, create a phone/contact chain. Should technology fail, you need to get in touch with everyone as to the next steps. Whether you’ll need to reschedule or change platforms, make sure you have at least a phone number for each person or team lead. This is especially important for those colleagues or partners who work remotely.
  3. Rain Date. When coordinating the presentation, be sure to schedule a “rain date” using the necessary resources, including the conference room and equipment. When you schedule the presentation date, also have this date set on the calendar.
    Should anything go wrong and you’re unable to bring participants back together, all participants will know there’s another meeting set. If all goes well, you simply need to cancel the “rain date” to make resources available to those who need it.
  4. Documents in Advance. If possible, share your slides or any necessary documentation with participants before the presentation. This could be in the form of a hard copy handout or electronic files. If there is a technical issue that prevents you from moving forward with the presentation, at least your team members will have information readily available.
  5. Record Presentation/Webinar. If you’re unable to reschedule your presentation for everyone, a great option is to record the presentation for team members to review on their own time. Invite them to join you live.

However, by recording and saving the presentation, you create a new document that can be archived and act as a reference. The interaction of a live presentation may be lost, but there are ways to make recorded presentations just as interactive.
Technology fails can be stressful for the host and the participants. Certainly, your IT team should be on hand to lend support. However, by having contingency plans set, you can be better prepared to handle the issues.
What are some ways you’ve saved your wireless presentation? Share your tips with us in the comments!

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In this day and age, avoiding technology in the workplace is like trying to avoid dairy at an ice cream shop. The best we can hope for is to harness technology and control its use.   Controlling the use of technology in the conference room is no different.
As technology becomes more pervasive in our personal and work lives, here is a look at some of the biggest reasons why employees my actually hate the conference room technology that was intended to make life easier.

  1. Constant Dependence on Technology. The number one reason employees might dislike technology is the very fact that we are dependent on it to get the job done. How many times has everybody gone home early because the computers went down? How many meetings have been called off because of technical difficulty?
  2. Crippling Effects of Technology Malfunctions. Along the lines of point #1, employees hate attending a meeting where the wireless presentation equipment isn’t working, or where a computer has crashed. These meetings become extremely unproductive while all attendees wait for a solution to be reached.
  3. Work Time Infringing on Personal Time. It used to be that when you were at work, you were at work, and when you were at home, you were at home. This is not always the case now with modern technology. There is often an expectation for employees to “call in” to important meetings, even if you are on vacation. This can start to feel rather restrictive.
  4. Limited Interpersonal Communication. There are many reports and studies on how rare personal conversations are becoming. Have you ever sat in a conference room waiting for a meeting to start and nobody is talking to each other because they are all staring at their phones? Digital messaging can be harmful to an employees ability to verbally communicate.
  5. Emails, Texts and Other Interruptions Affect the Productivity of Meetings. It can be very frustrating, as a meeting attendee, to be forced to wait for the presenter to stop and answer a text, or a phone. It is equally as frustrating when a presenter has to deal with attendees who are more interested in their phones than what is being presented.
  6. Assimilation to New Technology. Employees are often required to upgrade to new devices that are compatible with new technology at work and in the conference room. There is always an assimilation learning curve with any new device. Employees, especially those that are not as technologically savvy, can get very frustrated when learning a new device.
  7. Cost of Required Technology. Similar to point #6, Employees can get frustrated with the cost of required upgrades. That is, unless the employer is willing to foot the bill.
  8. Technology Taking Over Jobs. In today’s workplace, many jobs are being automated and employees are being replaced by technology. This can create a general resentment toward technology in the workplace. Current conference room technology also allows for more remote working arrangements and can dramatically widen the talent pool.
  9. Excessive Monitoring Inhibits Creativity. Many employers are choosing to implement monitoring devices and software to keep closer tabs on employee productivity and other activities. Some of the most creative employees feel that this type of rigid monitoring of activity can stifle the free spirit of creativity and innovation.
  10. Microphone Feedback and Distortions. Last, but not least, one of the most hated technology problems in the conference room is the microphone. From ear-splitting feedback, to conference phones that can’t quite pick up every voice in the room, the microphone can be a very frustrating piece of technology.

While it is impossible to solve every problem that employees have, there are a few things companies can do to help their workforce feel more comfortable about new technology.
First would be to create a progressive environment which embraces change and subsequently embraces technology. Second, plan and budget for regular technology upgrades. This keeps your equipment compatible, and will reinforce your commitment to staying technologically current. Lastly, take the time to train employees on new technologies, and allow for open dialogue about what will help the most.

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Some businesses treat their conference room as a showroom of talent and success. Some treat the conference room as a blank canvas for ideas. However you organize your conference room, how does technology play into it?
Sure, cutting edge technology can take your conference room from being a Toyota to a Ferrari. However, it’s all about HOW and WHY you and your colleagues use it. The hells and whistles can only do so much if most people don’t know how to best work with them and why they are necessary.
You should look at how technology, both hardware and software, can enhance meeting experiences. We know that meetings are meant to bring people together. The tools available are meant to make meetings run more efficiently and effectively. Technology is a means to greater collaboration and knowledge management, while enhancing your skills, your business and the quality of work being produced.
Is your conference room “smart?” Here are some ways to optimize it!

  1. Benchmarking. IT managers get approached by sales people all of the time about new products and services. You don’t have to take what comes your way. Evaluate the landscape, be aware of trends for both hardware and software and look at how your peer businesses are working. This will help you identify and create the ideal conference room experience for your company and begin to word towards that.
  2. Auditing. Just like with benchmarking, you need to evaluate your current technology and IT infrastructure. Is there room for improvement with upgrades? Do you require any system overhauls? Take what you’ve learned from your benchmarking and take stock in your equipment and software. Conducting an audit of how your tools are operating and being used by employees will help you prioritize the needs versus the wants for enhanced conference room technology and experience.
  3. Road-mapping. Comparing the needs and wants is just a start. Now, it’s time to be realistic. Working with your fellow C-Suite members and executives, you’ll need to see how any conference room enhancements will benefit the company’s strategies and goals. Can the costs for upgrades be justified? You may have to spread out enhancements over time. Create a roadmap in line with your company’s strategy to show when and where technology can be useful and effective to reach targeted goals.
  4. Training. Tools are only are good as the people who use them. Want your conference room to be “tech-savvy?” You’ll need to train your colleagues on how to use any new or upgraded technology. By empowering and supporting them, you can create a user-friendly, proactive environment. It can change the work culture in how people do business and communicate. It’s not just the equipment that will make the conference room experience; it’s also the people.

The conference room environment can speak volumes for both internal and external parties. Having the latest and greatest equipment isn’t enough. Make your meeting rooms work smarter, not harder for your business. Bring people and technology together.

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There’s no doubt that the evolution of smartphones, tablets, and laptops has forced us to examine new ways to adapt old conference room technologies. But before we can draw a conclusion as to what exactly has changed with regards to conference room technology and AV equipment, let us first define the characteristics of Traditional AV versus Wireless Projection.
Traditional Audio Visual
Traditionally, when we gather for a meeting or presentation, attendees sit quietly in their seats and listen to a presentation from a speaker who is tethered by cords and wires to one location in the room.
Traditional AV limits the presenter’s options and forces a static presentation, with little opportunity to adapt and change the presentation on-the-fly. This setting limits perspective, audience contribution, and collaboration among attendees.
With traditional audio visual setups, wires and cords only add complexity to the presentation and can be messy. This mess is further complicated when multiple presenters enter the equation. Presenters sharing the same stage must share plugs and cords which creates delays and potential technical difficulties.
Connecting Your Laptop to the TV or Projector Wirelessly
In the past, laptops and other devices came with many different connection portals (VGA, DVI, HDMI, USB, etc…) Today’s smaller devices have minimal connection points, and some have NO connection points at all. This new design is encouraging the broader use of wireless presentation connections, which is much simpler than carrying around myriad adapters to fit all of the traditional AV connectors.
The evolution of mobile technology and wireless connectivity are fostering the growing expectation that employees Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to today’s conference rooms. Wireless presentation technology enables this new approach to meeting collaboration by allowing attendees to plug in to the meeting wirelessly and participate in ways that had previously only been imagined.
From screenshare applications to HDMI wireless projection to software that creates digital forums for idea sharing, this is the face of today’s wireless presentation technology. The only drawbacks seem to be concerns about security, scalability, and some platforms’ inability to support multiple presenters and devices.
We have come a long way with conference room technology in the last several years. We are at a crossroads right now where businesses that don’t adapt and invest in the latest technologies will be left behind. If your conference room is stuck with traditional AV equipment and outdated audio visual setups, you will be at a disadvantage when presenters show up with new devices that won’t plug in to your old cables. You will also be missing out on the efficiencies of collaboration made possible by today’s wireless presentation technology.

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Wireless presentations are meant to be collaborative and engaging. Sharing and streaming content from multiple devices without being tethered to wires creates greater access. By using systems, like Ubiq, you and your team are not limited to share with those in the same company. Your guests can be active participants as well.
Here are 5 ways to bring your guests into a wireless presentation:

  1. Be Proactive: The purpose behind wireless presentations is to empower and promote self-management with little involvement from IT. That doesn’t mean that your IT team shouldn’t be hands-off. Wireless presentations are new to many, and your colleagues need to be trained to use it. They also need to be able to prepare their guests. As they book their meeting space, IT can help teams plan ahead for their meetings by providing instructions, security policy and support for employees and their guests in advance. This will decrease strain on IT and help the meetings run smoother, as hoped.
  2. Support BYODYour guests are not tied to your corporate IT policy when it comes to device and software usage and requirements. However, your policy should make accommodations for them to use their devices on your networks, other than just hardwiring into it. Your BYOD policy should extend to guests by supporting multiple device types and access to your WiFi. If security is a concern, wireless presentations system, like Ubiq, offer data encryption and secured access to ensure the proper parties are connected.
  3. Collaborate: Turn your presentation into a work session with your guest. Rather than just standing in front of an audience, your guests can engage with your colleagues and stakeholders. That way, they can experience your company’s culture, understand expectations and provide immediate feedback. Wireless presentations make for great brainstorming sessions between you and your vendor, client or partner. Create the opportunity to define your working relationship with them.
  4. Open Up: When a guest comes into your company, you have to be careful of how much access they should have to your network and data. Closing them off completely can certainly hurt your communication and work exchange. By setting the right security parameters, you can allow guests to connect through a secure WiFi connection and engage in a wireless presentation. For example, Ubiq uses data encryption by session. Therefore, data shared during the presentation is cleared when it has ended. Your goal is to protect your company and its employees, first. However, your policy should extend to include and protect your guests as well.
  5. Be Remote: Remote presentations are not just for your virtual employees. They can be a great way to work globally with clients and vendors. Larger corporations can benefit as remote presentations can be cost effective and timely. By allowing your guests to lead or engage in a wireless presentation, you can save on travel, collaborate without boundaries and reduce time waste. It allows you to get work completed quicker, which is a plus when working on time-sensitive projects.

Whether it’s a potential vendor or a third-party consultant, their contributions in meetings and conferences should be valuable for your business. Wireless presentations make it possible for them to connect their devices with one simple click and begin sharing. You’ve invited them to your meeting. Let them be fully a part of it.
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We live in a technologically evolving world. The professional conference room of yesterday looks far different than it did even 10 years ago. The prevalence of handheld computing, cloud-based sharing, and wireless solutions have increase the speed of business and have necessitated some changes in the workplace as well. Here are some ideas to help you improve the professionalism in your conference room:

  1. Elimate Clutter.This includes unsightly cords and wires, but can also refer to items stored in the conference room. Take the time to have your conference room equipment such as your projector, phone and speakers neatly installed to enhance to professional feel of the room. Perhaps making your conference room wireless to avoid clutter and making it safe for everyone.
  2. Install Equipment that is Easy to Operate. You shouldn’t have to call the IT guy in every time you need to hook up a projector, it makes you look unprepared and unprofessional. Similarly, inability to effectively use a conference phone will make you sound like an amateur to those on the other line. That being said, Ubiq provides a management dashboard for the IT Department to remotely manage your conference room – making both the IT Department and users’ lives easier.
  3. Provide Adequate Internet Bandwidth Our world revolves around access to the internet. Be sure to provide adequate bandwidth for any type of presentation you might have in your conference room. Presentations can get frustrating if a streaming video continues to pause for buffering.
  4. Don’t use Free Services at the Expense of Professionalism. If you hold a lot of video conferences because most of your users are remote, it would probably be worth using a premium paid service. Some of the free services available are more likely to lag and cut out.
  5. Use Wireless Presentation. In our ever-evolving wireless world, more and more conference rooms are utilizing devices that allow multiple users on different platforms (smartphones, tablet, laptop, etc.) to wirelessly connect to a presentation and share what’s on their device. This promotes a more fluid transfer of information and sharing of ideas.
  6. Control the Climate. Nobody likes it too hot or too cold when they sitting in a conference room for long periods of time. A professional conference room will be well ventilated and climate controlled so that the most memorable thing to come out of the room IS NOT how uncomfortable it was.
  7. Provide Meeting Room Names. Many conference rooms would have a specific name. From all the in person deployments’ we’ve been to, the coolest ones would be naming all the conference rooms after Marvel superheroes, or countries around the world. Naming the conference room adds more of a personal touch and customization. Also, this makes booking conference rooms so much easier rather than booking Meeting Room 1.
  8. Use Meeting Room Scheduling and Analytics. If you work in a busy office, your conference room is probably in constant use. Not only is it necessary to be able to schedule its use, so as to avoid conflicting meetings, but it might also be interesting to know how your room is being used. There are programs available that not only help you schedule, but will give you insight into what specific meetings your rooms are being used for.
  9. Use Whiteboards for Walls. What is a meeting without plenty of space to collaborate ideas? Your professional conference room should provide plenty of whiteboard space, and they look and function much better when mounted to the wall. Now it is easy to be creative.
  10. Less is More. It seems like there are a lot of different aspects to a professional conference room but less is more. Keeping your conference room simple, clutter free and easy for your users to make a wireless presentation is key. Fancy doesn’t mean practical!

Additional Reading
10 Conference Room Design Mistakes
Impress Board Members With These Five Modern Conference Room Designs
Why You Can’t Afford to Skimp On Office Interior Design

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The decision to adopt new technology such as wireless presentation, can impact an entire organization. It can shift the ways in which teams perform and communicate. That decision is not always the easiest one to make. People, data, business operations and procedures have to be taken into consideration.
How can a CIO/CTO lead a charge that could impact the way an organization “lives?” There must be proper support and “buy in” across the company from the C-Suite to your employees. Ideally, you’ll want everyone to be on board with the proposed changes and accept them into their work practices.

The C-Suite

While many decisions can be made independently by the CIO or CTO, there needs to be consideration of the other executives to get their understanding and support as new technology will be passed onto their direct reports. Often times, you will need to provide analysis and recommendations to quantify and qualify the need for new technology. Cost and operational benefits need to be presented to show how the needs can be satisfied and how the changes will impact the business overall.

Human Resources

Changes to the company culture will impact its people. New technology adoption may require updated policies, training and new organizational structures. Teams may be merged or expanded to support new business models that come with the new technology. Performance levels and requirements may be modified. Human resources will need to be involved.
For example, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies will impact security and privacy. They will also add accountability and liability of individual employees and the reporting structure. Human resources would need to provide some direction in understanding and may have to amend their employee guidelines to support the policy and change.


Company/corporate communications will be central in providing education and updates related to new technology and the changes it will be bring. From announcement memos to posting new guidelines to any press releases to the public, communications is the news center of your business. New technology might also impact the way communication is disseminated throughout the organization. Therefore, you will need to work with them to ensure the right messages are being shared internally and externally.


New technology adoption may not be as intuitive as we would like it to be. New or upgraded software and hardware always requires a learning period for teams to get up to speed and feel comfortable working with it. Employees want to feel confident in their work, which includes the tools they use. Therefore, training can really win over the team in see how the new technology will help them do their job more efficiently.
Training should come directly from the IT team, or can be partnered with your company’s human resources or learning departments. Facilitation of training across the company will help others understand the work that other teams perform and their impact on the whole organization. The goal should be to optimize your business in an efficient, effective and seamless way.
Something “new” can disrupt business. Your company culture will continue to shift with each change and upgrade. It is on you and your IT department to provide not only the implementation but also the education and support necessary across the company. Getting the “buy-in” from colleagues and employees will make the transition go smoother and technology adoption quicker.

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You’ve rallied the troops. Now it’s time to hunker down in the conference room. You and your team have a mission to accomplish, and you’re going to get it done no matter how long it takes.
But excessive mental strain can take its toll. Those who may have been energized at the beginning of a meeting may feel exhausted and defeated by the 20-minute mark and may need to be carried out on a stretcher by the end. To accomplish goals and ensure productivity, you want a team that is motivated, refreshed, and charged. And just as you wouldn’t drive from New York to L.A. without stopping for gas, it’s generally ill-advised to have a long meeting without organizing a break or two.
Tips to Organize Breaks in Your Work Sessions

  1. Set an agenda. Having an outline of what to cover and when sets expectations. Allow time for short breaks (10-15 minutes). If work is going all day or into the night, you may need to account for meal times. Include those into your agenda as well. The team will need to refuel to stay productive!
  2. Gauge the atmosphere. If you’re not able to set an agenda, try to get a feel of the room and the people in it. If there are lengthy periods of silence, it may be time for a break. Give the team a chance to take a short walk, grab some water or coffee, check email, etc.
  3. Get some exercise. A quick stretch can keep the mind limber. If things get sluggish around the table, get everything to stand up, run in place, get the energy flowing and then get back to work. Movement can be as refreshing as a nap. It also can jumpstart productivity in the room.
  4. Grab a bite. You may not be yourself when you’re hungry. The same may go for your team. Set aside a lunch or snack break. If you can have snacks available in the room, great. Allow people to grab something as the meeting continues on. Otherwise, have a meal together and talk about things other than your work project. It’s a great to learn about each other and create bonds.
  5. Introduce the Pomodoro Technique. Need to structure your work/break balance? The Pomodoro Technique may just be the lifesaver your team needs! Named after an Italian cooking timer shaped like a tomato, the technique is simple: Work for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute-long break, then work for another 25 minutes. You can adjust to meet your team’s needs. Having a Pomodoro app, stopwatch, or alarm clock can help manage your time to allow everyone to focus on the task at hand and take much-needed rests.
  6. Utilize Conference Room Technology. Meetings can be boring, especially when they last longer than the Lord of the Rings trilogy. During breaks, it might be best for users to learn about new technologies that the organization will be rolling out or new products that will be introduced to the whole organization. For example, letting users’ try out a new wireless presentation tool will allow them to give feedback, and get a feel for the product prior to deployment. This will help the IT Department with the evaluation process as well. This can both be fun and educating for users.

Locking your team in a room until a solution is found may sound like a great thing. It may force everyone to work hard together in situations where they may not have done without a push. However, you could be creating a pressure cooker effect, if you don’t allow everyone time to catch their breath.
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Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is starting to become the norm for meetings and work session. As companies begin to provide access to multiple devices, like smartphones, tablets and laptops, these tools should promote productivity and the changing styles of communication. Conference room technology needs to support those changes across device type, location and platforms.
How to prepare for a BYOD strategy?

  • Create a company-wide BYOD policy. Determine if your company’s BYOD will involve employees bringing their personal devices or using devices issued by your organization. Outline what security measures will be put into place. This may include requiring passcode protection on personal devices. detailing which programs and apps will be permitted or granting access to third-parties (clients, vendors, etc.)
  • Get wireless/upgrade your wireless. If you’re not wireless, get there! If you are wireless, make sure you are up to standard. Ensure that your Wi-Fi network provides the optimal speed and connections to support multiple devices and platforms, especially for audio and video communication, for internal and external team members.
    • With Ubiq, we make a P2P connection over Wi-Fi between the user’s device and the Ubiq’s hive to ensure that no one else can view the information. This makes it both secure, and easy for your users.
      Change the culture. Empower your employees to move away from the desktop. Show them how they can perform the same tasks on other devices, especially tablets and smartphones. Encourage employees to work away from their desk and to be more collaborative with their co-workers. Have opportunities for work sessions in a conference, create independent workspace (i.e. “genius bar” or “café”) and or promote working outside of the office.
  • Organize Your IT. Your IT team needs to be able to provide proper support to support any new software and hardware being implemented to support your company’s BYOD strategy. You may need to add resources based on skillset and experience with tools, training and network connections. You’ll also need a help desk that can process and filter support tickets.

How to update your conference room technology to support BYOD?

  • Hardware. Review your current conference room set-up and how it is being used. If you are working with mostly internal employees, look at how the equipment works with different devices, especially smartphones and tablets. You will need to determine how the different hardware will work in connecting with multiple users for any teleconferencing or video conferencing with clients and vendors.
  • Software. Software on BYOD devices should be similar across platforms ensure all team members can connect and share content. If your BYOD policy does not permit certain software usage, review what current software will meet conference room needs. If there is anything missing, it may be time to invest in new software tools.
  • Communication. For meetings, all invited parties need to be able to access the conference from various locations. If any members are working remotely, their devices need to have the capability to connect with the home office’s conference room or line through audio and/or video. In line with wireless presentations and networks, the connections need to be stable to allow for clear communication exchange.

The goal of BYOD should be provide both flexibility and empowerment to employees while promoting productivity to reach assigned targets and goals as a team. To do that, there needs to be a clear policy with the proper tools to support all.