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When it comes to meeting and discussing serious matters among the staffs, employees, and directors, the first thing to have in mind and put in place is to select a conducive, quiet, secured and comfortable meeting room that will aid interactions and communication.

The Meeting Room

A meeting room (also known as a conference room or conference hall) is a room specially prepared and designed for events such as meetings and business conferences, and commonly found at convention centers, hotels, and establishments such as institutions, and even hospital. The meeting rooms can sometimes be designed for large meetings such as arenas and concert halls. Some of these meeting rooms can be for personal or security reasons without windows. However, a meeting room should be equipped with the latest technology setup, which includes Audio Video Installation for interactive display and should be conducive for smooth communication.

Meeting Room Setup

Meeting rooms may be set up in diverse styles like Banquet, Hollowed, U-Shape, Conference Style, etc., aiding wireless presentation depending on the purpose of the meeting.

Shortage of Meeting Rooms

Scarcity and unavailability of meeting rooms are alarming due to the vast creation of new companies. They are consequently contributing to the shortage of Meeting rooms.

Shortage of meeting rooms could lead to unnecessary changing of the meeting venue, and this could get you or your boss pissed off than you could ever imagine.

Imagine a situation whereby you have received a mail with stating that you need to hold a meeting your boss, and you need to book a meeting room, and you find out that there is no meeting room available at the moment. Sadly, this could be frustrating and make you depressed.

The Solution to Meeting Rooms Shortage

In such a scenario, it is a clear sign that you need more or explore other needs like:

  • Legacy meeting
  • Phone calls
  • Concentration

Writing a communication guideline can change peoples’ mindset of what a meeting room actually means. The space we inhabit have to change as the world of work is changing.

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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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Your conference room name can make all the difference in the world. Case in point: Would you rather spend 2 hours in a conference room called “Conference Room #7,” “Meeting Room B,” or “Cash & Ice Cream Giveaway Centre”?
The answer should be obvious, and yet many companies persist in simply naming their conference rooms after numbers and letters. This is a huge missed opportunity for companies to show off their personality and culture. Companies that continue to go this route may as well just name their conference rooms “Taxes & Spinach Zone” or “Intermittent Wi-Fi Area.”
A creative conference room name will make meetings more fun for clients and employees and bring some positivity to the workplace. Here are some great ways to help you get started.

Go With A Theme

One of the best ways to show the personality of any company is to create conference room names based on a theme. If your biggest and most important client sells a product for the beach, you can use that as your inspiration. Choose conference room names based on famous beaches, such as Daytona Beach, Glass Beach, or Bora Bora. Likewise, if they sell cars, get names from the types of vehicles on their lot. These can be names that include Ferarri, Mercedes, Buick, and Chrysler. Or use car models like Malibu, Bolt, and PT Crusier.

Get Inspired By Social Media

Social media is a huge space where people from all over the world can come together and chat. Let this be the inspiration for naming a conference room. Make it fun and use hashtags and other social media driven trends. These conference room names can be #coffeebreak, #Resultsdriven, or #Workinghard. Everything looks better with a hashtag in front of it, even annoying words like #moist, #synergy, and #methinks.

Choose A Name By Location

Many large companies have offices in multiple countries. These businesses can capitalize on this by naming their conference rooms after their locations. The New York team, for instance, can use famous landmarks around town, such as Carnegie Hall, The Brooklyn Bridge, or The Empire State Building. Or they can use the names of other, cooler-sounding cities such as Madrid, Sao Paulo, Reykjavík, Hydrabad, and Tel Aviv. (If the real world is too ordinary for you, there are plenty of fictitious cities with cool-sounding names to pick from, such as The Citadel, New Vegas, Cloud City, Los Angeles 2019, and Neo Tokyo).

Make It a Team Effort

Make naming your conference room a group activity by giving everyone in the office a voice. Allow your employees to get inspired and nominate a conference room name. The whole company can then vote on their favorites. This gets everyone involved and makes conference room renovation fun for the whole organization.

The Company Culture

Most companies have inside jokes or references. If your company falls into this category, then you’re one step closer to having the perfect conference room name. Does everyone in the office love movies and talk about them constantly? Use this as your starting point. Select a title from a certain genre, such as The Big Lebowski, The Money Pit, or Anchorman. If Chuck Norris is a favorite amongst the crowd, choose titles starring this actor, such as Delta Force, Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection, and Top Dog.

Choosing the right conference room names can be a great experience and can boost office moral. Make sure to put some time and effort into choosing cool new names for company meetings.

Additional Reading
Top 10 Conference Room Cable Management Fails of 2016
5 Must-Have AV Products For Your Conference Room
4 Ways to Simplify Your Conference Room Equipment

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Of all the places that corporate spies would love to gain access to, your company’s meeting room would have to rank pretty high on the list. By eavesdropping for just 10 minutes, a hacker could potentially learn more about your company than most mid-level employees. This is why, if your company is going to bother taking security precautions at all, the meeting room is the place to start.

But in today’s BYOD environment, controlling what goes in and out of the meeting room can be easier said than done. With just one slip up, your meeting room can instantly transform from an impenetrable Area 51-like fortress to the set of a television show that only your rivals watch. Here are some tips to make sure that doesn’t happen.

1. Assess the space

A hidden camera detector will help you assess the space

During a City Council meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina last year, several council members noticed a piece of audio equipment in the room that had a blinking light on it. Rather than investigate, the Council members continued on with their meeting. The next day, they woke up to discover that all of the sensitive information they had discussed was printed in the local paper.

One of the best ways to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen is to assess the room beforehand. Unfamiliar electronic device should be treated with a high degree of suspicion. If the meeting room in question is located in an area outside of your control (like at the office of a company that you’re partnering with), try to schedule a security walkthrough before the event.

2. Control preparation materials

Wifi

Try to limit physical data as much as possible. Now that everyone knows how to open a PDF, there is no need to head down to Kinko’s and put valuable company secrets in the hands of a stranger. If someone at the meeting insists on distributing paper handouts, make sure the room has a shredder on standby.

If you are using collaboration tools or software to put together figures, graphics, and presentations, make sure that it is with a secure provider and that only select individuals have access to it. If it’s online, never use an insecure network or public Wi-FI. Working remotely from a coffee shop is fun and trendy, but if you use the public Wi-Fi, that latte could end up costing $4 million (the price tag associated with the average security breach).

3. Use wireless presentation software

Ubiq Wireless presentation software

Controlling your own meeting room can be hard enough; controlling someone else’s is just about impossible. For people who present off-site, this poses something of a dilemma. Most off-site presenters resolve the issue by blindly putting their faith in the capability of the site’s IT department. But this needn’t be the case. The risk associated with presenting off-site can be mitigated somewhat by using wireless presentation software that will allow you to upload data straight from your laptop or tablet. This limits the access points and narrows the chance of a breach.

4. Verify attendees

Not Verifying Attendees is Superbad

Like weddings, attendance at large meeting can be difficult to keep track of. In order to prevent uninvited people from showing up, it’s always a good idea to have a list of approved participants, and if feasible, issue ID badges. This way, even if there is a leak, you’ll be in a much better position to find its source.

5. Brief participants

5-Blog

If a meeting contains restricted information, it’s important that everyone at the meeting knows that the information is restricted. Urge the participants to avoid discussing it at the water cooler, give them a tip sheet on how to protect data after the meeting ends, and/or have them sign a short, to-the-point contract regarding the release of information and responsibilities.

6. Restrict the devices used

No Cell Phones Allowed

According to a Ponemon Institute study, leakage of information is the top risk of insecure mobile devices. In 2016, restricting smartphones at a large event is an exercise in futility. You can, however, still ask participants to refrain from using these devices during all or some restricted parts of the meeting. You may be surprised to see how many are willing to oblige. To deal with the hold-outs who are incapable of not looking at their smartphones, you can instruct personnel to help monitor the room and enforce the rule when the meeting is in session.

Additional Reading

How to Protect Your Company Against Hackers
7 Essential Tips to Protect Your Business Against Hackers
10 Tips To Protect An Ecommerce Website Against Hacking And Fraud

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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).

Want to set up a wireless Conference Room?Try Now

When the climate change documentary An Inconvenient Truth was released in 2006, critics marveled at former vice president Al Gore’s ability to deliver a PowerPoint presentation that enormous crowds of people were willing to pay good money to see. If someone with a reputation for being stiff and uncharismatic could use a program notorious for being dull and generic and produce something riveting with it, anything was possible.

Of course, as it turned out, the critics didn’t do their research. Gore’s presentation was done with Apple Keynote, not PowerPoint. But the confusion was understandable. Like the brand names Windex, Xerox, and Kleenex, the word “PowerPoint” has become a regular noun in the English language. We use it interchangeably with “presentation” regardless of whether or not the presentation in question actually uses Microsoft’s program.

The reason for this is simple: Throughout its 26 years of existence, PowerPoint has held onto a 95% share of the presentation software market. According to one estimate, there are at least 350 PowerPoint presentations being made at any given moment. People use the brand name as a synonym for “presentations” because they don’t know of any other brand names that could potentially fit the bill. As far as the general public is concerned, PowerPoint is the only game in town.

But like the climate that Gore described in his famous Keynote speech, the climate of presentation software is rapidly changing. New presentation programs are beginning to emerge, challenging PowerPoint’s two decades of dominance. Here are 6 of them.

1. Prezi
Prezi Logo

PowerPoint’s most dynamic competitor uses zooms and pans to transition from slide to slide. The result is a presentation style that is far more lively and cinematic than what PowerPoint’s linear format is capable of delivering. (Perhaps a little too lively and cinematic: Some have complained that the zooming and panning causes motion sickness, a criticism that several Prezi presentations have addressed). 

But reports of motion sickness didn’t turn people off the Bourne franchise, and they don’t seem to be turning people off Prezi either. The program currently has 26 million registered users, at least a few dozen of whom have given popular TED talks.

2. Haiku Deck

haiku-deck

For those who find Prezi’s zooms and pans distracting, Haiku Deck is the perfect alternative. Its simple, elegant, minimalistic layout is the antithesis of Prezi’s visual overdrive.

The templates aren’t as malleable as in PowerPoint or Keynote, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing if you don’t feel like taking a couple of hours out of your day to learn a new program.

3. Keynote

Keynote Icon

If you had to explain to Martian who knew nothing about human computing technology why Apple is generally regarded as a cooler, hipper company than Microsoft, showing them the differences between Keynote and PowerPoint wouldn’t be the worst place to start. Like most Apple products, Keynote is more intuitive, user-friendly, and features better design than its Microsoft counterpart.

The only major drawback: Keynote only runs on Apple computers, and although you can convert a Keynote presentation to PowerPoint, the conversion is rarely ever perfect. So if you switch between computers frequently, Keynote may not be the best option.   

4. Google Slides

slides

Just as Google Documents has set the standard for collaborative word processing and spreadsheets, so too has it set the standard for collaborative presentations. If you’re giving your presentation as part of a team, Google Slides is probably the way to go.

5. SlideDog

SlideDog logo

If your presentation relies heavily on a wide array of media in unusual formats that aren’t supported by other presentation software, you may want to look into SlideDog. It prides itself on supporting just about every file format currently in existence. It even supports other presentation files, making it the ideal choice for people looking to recycle content from their old Prezi or PowerPoint presentations.

6. PowToon

PowToon Logo

For something different, you can’t go wrong with PowToon. It features a simple, easy to use interface comparable to Haiku Deck, but adds the feature of cartoon animation. So if you want enliven your presentation with some Archer-style comedy, PowToon is your answer.

Regardless of which program you ultimately use, it’s always a good idea to present wirelessly, especially if you’re presenting from your laptop and are unsure of what cables or adapters you’ll need to connect to the TV or projector. Even if you decide to go with Microsoft’s old war horse, you are under no obligation to compliment the outdated software with outdated cables and adapters: A wireless PowerPoint presentation is perfectly feasible with Ubiq’s wireless presentation solution. Click here to request a free demo.

Additional Reading
Best PowerPoint Alternatives
7 Outstanding Example Presentations Using Prezi
PowerPoint vs. Prezi: What’s the Difference?

Want to set up a wireless Conference Room?Try Now

Ah, the conference room. What should be one of the most productive areas of your office often turns into an epicenter of boredom, frustration, and dread. “Ugh, another meeting? How long is this one gonna take?” Easy fix, all we have to do is throw a lot of high tech TVs and gadgets in there, right?
Wrong.
What a lot of companies tend to overlook is in fact the most important factor to consider when elevating your conference room to the next level: the people inside it. Although you may just see your conference room as a place where meetings occur, they can serve as the catalysts for office bonding or for the next big idea. If you’re looking to break the monotony of your business, check out these five tips on what it takes to make your conference room the productivity hub of the whole floor.
1. Your Colleagues
o-OFFICE-CUBICLES-facebook

via Huffington Post

Sometimes it’s easy to get the above image in your head when you picture your colleagues, but it’s important to realize that they’re not just workers jammed into cubicles. Each person has their own way of completing projects, writing reports, and communicating around the office, which is why it’s in your best interest to find out what makes them hum. If you find that they’re loving the free coffee, but hating the way memos are sent out, start making some changes. You’ll see it reflected in the conference room in no time.
power rangers

via Foe

2. Bring Your Own Device
Company-wide computer setups can certainly be useful, but their success doesn’t always transfer over to the conference room. Supporting a Bring Your Own Device program in the workplace establishes a sense of comfort and familiarity that many of the not-so-tech-savvy will embrace with open arms. Plus, the new association between their favourite device and work might just encourage productivity out of the office as well. Everybody wins!
rs_500x235-140102133540-tumblr_inline_mxdzh0ekMK1rg0g8s

via EOnline

3. Help Desk Support
Now that you’ve got your coworkers embracing technology a little bit more, here comes the inevitable onset of crashed computers. Fear not! Taking the time to optimize your IT department will go a long way towards increasing productivity, starting with an IT ticketing system. By prioritizing high risk situations and opening communication between employees, you can expect to see a higher level of transparency in the workplace through efficient problem solving.
giphy

via Giphy.com

4. Functional Space
635934313858707314239385828_the-office2

via Bustle

I’m not talking about the “feng shui” of your conference room here, but rather how the employees of your company need the space to behave. Are people getting frustrated with a constant loss of Wi-Fi when they’re in there? Look into updating your network. Do meetings routinely start ten minutes late because of tangled wires? Try embracing wireless presentation technologies. No matter what changes you make, allow your employees to have a say, and watch the productivity soar.
 
5. Training
Fitness-Computer-Workout

via Magnifazine

This isn’t exactly what I had in mind, but investing your team in training will serve multiple goals. Now that you’ve discovered what technologies need to be implemented into the conference room, it’s up to you to provide clear and effective documentation so you can be as productive as possible. Additionally, your IT team will be needing to know what they’ll be dealing with, and training them prior to introducing the new tech will only optimize your conference room environment.
The final verdict? While you may find that investing in new and different technologies may ultimately benefit the workplace, improvement needs to begin with the people who will be using them. Keep an ear to the ground to discover what works and what doesn’t for your office, and look for ways to make the conference room a stimulating environment for everyone on your team. Be careful though; after following these tips, they may never want to leave!

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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.