May 16, 2022

Can technology provide for meeting equity?


80% of people believe tech can make for better meetings/better meeting equity. That’s what our most recent research tells. But what does it take to get more equitable meetings?

IT departments, HR managers and business leaders have quite some work with the organization of the return to the office for a hybrid workforce. Next to providing the much-needed hybrid work policies and meeting hacks for more inclusivity, they need to equip meeting rooms for video conferencing in a more professional setting. Offering less distractions and easier access to better technology. No less than 77% of employees think all meeting rooms should have video conferencing tech available, according to Barco research.

  • 1 in 2 has technical issues with audio and/or video
  • 50% dreads to move meeting rooms where the setup is different
  • 58% have issues with sharing content

How can technology allow for more participation in hybrid meetings?

A well-run meeting can compensate for hybrid meeting stress. That’s why you need a decent meeting room ecosystem with high-quality audio and video that can enable an inclusive, equal meeting experience for all, no matter where they are. The key is to bring the remote participant into the meeting room, like an equal player in the discussion, conversation and decision-making. It’s not just a matter of turning your camera on at all times. That’s just the starting point. It’s also capturing the sound in the room, reducing background noises, focusing on the person that is speaking with mics. It means having decent camera’s that show all participants in the room, that zoom in on speaker so you can see facial expressions and interpret body language, even when you are not present in the room. When you show both content and remote participants on screen at the same time, you really have the remote participant visible in the room. Hear and see ever nuance to get the focus on the meeting topic.

With the right meeting technology driving the hybrid meeting, you can have everything you need to boost meeting equity and engagement.

4 Ways in which you can reduce barriers between people, places and spaces in a conference room
1. Put people first

Of course, there are the well-known meeting tricks meeting hosts can apply to keep everyone involved, no matter where they are. Welcome everyone personally, have a clear agenda, do a regular round table or take turns speaking, assign roles and follow up afterwards. Try to stimulate participation, especially from more introverted attendees to join by using polling, whiteboarding or annotation. And as a meeting participant, don’t be afraid to engage with the camera and speak up.

2. Equip every workspace with high-quality audio & video

Every meeting space should be redesigned with decent lighting and room acoustics, correct seating, a good camera, mics, speakers and a display. By now, every remote worker should be equipped with a decent headset with noise-cancelling and a webcam with microphone (at least when their laptop does not have one already).

The standards for meeting room design have changed since the pandemic. They need to accommodate hybrid meeting and start from the user experience instead of from the room layout or size. Remote participants need to feel like they are present in the room. In the room, participants need to be reminded of remote colleagues at all times as well. Only in this way, everyone will be engaged and a true part of the meeting.

The bigger the space (like a boardroom) the more extensive the AV peripherals in the meeting room ecosystem need to be in order for everyone to be heard and seen. In smaller spaces like huddles the setup can be more compact like for example an all-in-one device.

3. Invest in tools that allow true collaboration

In the meeting room you can increase interactivity with productivity tools like touch screens for ideation or digital whiteboards for quick drawings. Make sure everyone sees the same content both on screen and remote thanks to wireless screen sharing solutions like ClickShare.

4. Tackle meeting room challenges with Clickshare

With a revolutionary set of features for a better meeting flow, ClickShare answers the call for more meeting inclusion and brings more confidence to meeting hosts and users. This, intent-based, technology makes meetings smarter and more intuitive, reducing stress for participants, solving four of the most frequently encountered hybrid meeting challenges: -

  • powering up the meeting room,
  • connecting the laptop to room audio and video devices,
  • joining a meeting from a calendar, and
  • keeping track of contents and people while hosting a hybrid meeting from the meeting room.

As users walk into the meeting room with their laptop, ClickShare automatically connects to the meeting room using the PresentSense ultrasound proximity detection. With HostFlow users can start a conference from their laptop with ease, as the ClickShare App automatically guides them as meeting host or participant. And with just a single click (One-Click-Join), users can start the meeting from their personal calendar.

Finally, the new ConferenceView function solves the biggest pain of today’s hybrid meetings: keeping the overview as the meeting host. With ConferenceView you can host the meeting from the laptop, share your presentation and keep track of both contents and talking heads on the meeting room display, side by side, without the need for a dual- screen setup.

What’s more, as the meeting host you can choose to share full screen or just an application window, while keeping your laptop screen private for note taking. So, when you decide to Bring Your Own Device, your laptop is not solely used for hosting videocalls and as a host you enjoy the flexibility to work as you prefer.

It’s clear that technology solutions like ClickShare ensure that everyone has a similar experience and equal opportunities to contribute. They make joining hybrid meetings seamless, almost one-click experiences, from any device or meeting platform and focus on simplicity, ease-of-use and an impeccable user experience.