As with many other cities, a global pandemic in 2020 forced the city of Menin (Belgium) to look for smarter ways to collaborate and make day-to-day decisions, while observing social distancing. By integrating ClickShare Conference into its tool set, the city has set the stage for the new ‘digital city council’.
Menin is a Belgian city close to the French border and has about 33,000 inhabitants. The city has an IT department of 6 people, of which Jeroen Lannoo
is the department head. Responsible for equipping the city council members and the entire municipality workforce with the appropriate IT tools, the IT team was unexpectedly confronted in March 2020 with the need for remote communication, presentation and collaboration tools.
“To support a hybrid way of working, we wanted to enable our city council members to meet and make decisions while working from home, or in a mixed group of people working from home and at the office,” says Jeroen. “At the same time, we wanted tools that were extremely easy to use for our diverse group of employees and council members.”
Digital city council meetings
The team installed a ClickShare Conference set-up with a large screen and audiovisual peripherals from Logitech in the main council hall. The set-up allows council members to have their monthly city council meeting at the city hall and collaborate with colleagues working remotely. In practice, the mayor and a limited municipal council are present in the city hall and call with the remaining members working remotely.
The council uses ClickShare Conference to share presentations and voting results with the mixed team of remote and home council members. Users in the council hall can clearly see the content and remote participants, while remote workers can also see the content and the entire team in the council hall. This creates a more engaging meeting experience for all involved.
Ease of use is a must
“ClickShare Conference is super easy to use. It’s as simple as ‘plug and play’, anyone can use it,” says Jeroen. “Meeting participants don’t have to work with cables to start the meeting, nor do they have to struggle to capture every meeting participant with their laptop camera. In the meeting area, ClickShare Conference immediately connects with the Logitech peripherals and remote users can see everyone in the council hall.”
As an IT responsible, installing ClickShare Conference is a breeze too: “It’s really easy to set up and my team does not have to spend time explaining our workforce how to use the tool, because it’s so straightforward.”
Looking forward to safer, pandemic-free times, Jeroen can imagine using ClickShare Conference in the city’s smaller meeting rooms as well: “We could invite external people in our ClickShare Conference meeting rooms as well. With external people, you never know which devices or videoconferencing apps will be brought into the meeting, but with ClickShare Conference
, that doesn’t matter, because it’s compatible with any device or software.”