Creating Modern Meeting Places
AAFCU Case Study
Meeting rooms in recent years have made a major transition in space needs. Gone are the days of a central computer at a podium or lectern in the corner or a large rack of automation equipment. The purpose is no longer for a single executive to speak to a room of employees. Meeting rooms today are dynamic environments with a number of people presenting in a live and cooperative environment.
This is where we began with AAFCU a local credit union in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Their IT staff came to us with the challenge of cleaning up an aging mess of wires and updating technology to turn an often-used board room space into an environment for creativity and corporate inspiration.
The first goals set were to clean up the existing hardware that had been ad hoc over the years for conferencing. Next they wanted to update viewability around the conference table for better engagement of all employees. The staff at Lambda Audio Visual set out to understand the problems of the conference room and it's designated uses and put together a solution to make the room usable for a new generation of meetings.
Meetings in the proposed room contain anywhere from 5 to 25 people and with the configuration of chairs around an circular table, clear visibility of the screen was not always possible. The projection at the front was underpowered and the screen small, so that those at the front of the room were unable to see the screen at all. We were able to solve this in two ways: first by improving quality of projection at the front of the room with a new 1080P resolution, 5000 lumen Sony laser projector. This easily doubled the brightness and clarity at the front of the room. Second, coupled with a new IDEEA screen from Da-Lite it also allowed the space to be used as a white board. This white board has a matte finish creating a surface that minimizes projection hot spots and creates a great writing surface all at the same time. At the back of the room we added a 75” Television from Samsung mirroring the projection feed and allowing for everyone around the table to get a great view of the presentation without putting a kink in their necks.
Conference calling, important in many conference rooms was not left out in this space. The staff at AAFCU had a high need for this capability to be easy to use and clean. With board members across the country and goals of working with other businesses across the community, conference calling is a capability they used often and hoped to make simple for quick use.
We chose to implement a ceiling-based system for cleanliness. Adding boundary microphones from Shure into the ceiling created even coverage of the room to pick up quiet voices and adding inset speakers from SoundTube to present clear call audio back to the room. To tie it all together we brought in a top of the line audio processor from Symetrix. Symetrix allowed us to do several fun things simplifying the calling experience for the staff. The audio processor includes auto mixing functionalities to balance the audio coming from the room microphones without needing to adjust anything manually. It also includes an auto echo canceling to filter audio coming from the speakers so that it will not echo back in the call. The Symetrix processor also included the ability to add a VOIP card compatible with AAFCU’s Cisco phone calling system and an easy sheet to help the IT staff in tying it into their systems.
With all of this great technology in the room we then needed a system to make it easy to use for the average staff member and to allow ease of use with a variety of different laptops, phones, and tablets. Enter the Atlona Velocity system! We have talked about Atlona before and we loved how it turned out here! Our team couldn’t be more impressed with how easy to configure and affordable this “Automation” system is. In previous years, meeting room automation technology was bulky, expensive, and required expensive programmers to make modifications. It was not easy to explain or use. The Velocity system is web based, extremely affordable and scalable! It was easy for our team to add each device and have workflows automatically created on a touchscreen for easily turning the room technology on and off and dialing a call.
If you have meeting space with issues, outdated technology, or one that you are looking to increase usability in, give us a call or drop us a line on social media and let us make your meeting space a space of engagement and collaboration with people and technology. We want to help you to feel inspired and productive every time you sit down to meet.
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