Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Overhaul your meeting space: How much will it cost?

Conference room technology evolves constantly. You recognize the need for upgrades in your office but don't know where to start or what it will cost. We know, it can be difficult. So we're laying out how to figure out what fits in your budget.

The essentials

There are 4 essential parts of conference room technology. You'll want to consider how to address each of these in your meeting space:

  1. Display – How you view content. This can range from a TV to a projection screen to an interactive wall or Smart Board.
  2. Sound – How you hear audio. This can range from display speakers to a soundbar, to multiple ceiling and wall speakers.
  3. Communication – How you talk to users outside of your space. This can range from a phone to a VOIP phone with soft conferencing, to a sophisticated system allowing multiple users to talk from anywhere in the room.
  4. Connection/Control - How you connect sources of your content such as PC's, phones, or tablets and how you control the various pieces of electronic equipment in your room – This can range from an HDMI cable to wireless, to touch panels and iPad Room schedulers.

The solutions

There are unlimited options to pick and choose so we've put our most popular options into two categories:

Our baseline category represents a basic plan to outfit your space with Audio Visual essentials. Here’s where to start your budget with Baseline options:
    • Huddle Room $1,500
    • Small Conference Room $1,900
    • Medium Conference Room $2,200
    • Large Conference Room $7,000
    • Training Room $25,000
    • Open Ideation Space $10,000 
Open Ideation Space using a Nureva Wall

Upgrade Options

Our Upgrade category gives you add-on options designed to give your team more capabilities.

Want to know what equipment is our most popular baseline and upgrade solutions? Our free guide is set up by space and solutions.

As you can tell, the easy answer to your pricing question is "it depends". But this will help you get your budget started. If you are ready for a free room assessment, call the Smarter Systems team today.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Overhaul your meeting space: 5 questions to answer before you act

It's not the answers that enlighten but the questions. You've heard some version of that quote before and it's no different here. Knowing the questions to ask before overhauling the technology in your meeting space will set you up for success.

 1. Where is my team?

For most businesses, the staff is located in three areas:
  • Office – staff working in a single location or in a series of offices
  • Remote – employees who work from home
  • Field – employees such as technicians or engineers working on projects at client sites

2. How does my team collaborate?

After answering where your team works you'll now want to know how they work. A small team may gather in a single room and project content from a laptop onto a single screen. Teams with remote and field employees often require audio and/or video conferencing capabilities. Here a few more questions that will help you understand how your team works.

What type of content do you present? Graphics, spreadsheets, simple documents, 3D modeling, brainstorming notes?

Do they cover the walls with sticky notes? Do you use paper flip boards? Whiteboards? How do they keep track of all this content?

Do meetings generally require more than one person to present content? Do you need multiple sources of content to be viewed simultaneously?

How often do you present to clients in person? Via audio and video conferencing? Are these meetings point to point, or do they bring in several parties and locations at once?

3. What kind of meeting space(s) do I have?

 Take a look around. Where are your employees meeting right now? Here are a few of the most common:
  • Open meeting space such as a lobby, lounge or cubicles
  • Huddle Room
  • Small Conference Room
  • Medium Conference Room
  • Large Conference Room
  • Large Training Space

Not sure what type of meeting space you have or need? Our free guide has the answers to all of your questions about the most popular spaces, equipment, and price.

4. What equipment will I need?

There are four basic needs you'll want to consider for your space.
  • Display
  • Sound
  • Communication
  • Connection/Control
Most meetings spaces require a monitor or screen for presentation although in some cases, a phone may be the only necessary equipment in a room. You'll want to think about how each category listed above will be used in your space and decided on the equipment and functionality needed.

  • Audio and Video Communication
    • Telecommunication
      • Does the space need a phone?
      • Is an office phone adequate?
      • Do I need a conference speaker phone?
    • Video conferencing 
      • What software should I use?
      • Do I need a dedicated conferencing solution?
      • What quality of cameras should I use?
      • What amount of internet bandwidth will this require?
  • Wireless vs. Wired Presentation
    • Do I want to present wirelessly?
    • How many people present in a single meeting?
    • Do they need to be able to present simultaneously?
  • Interactive Devices
    • Do I want to annotate on presentations?
    • Do I want remote participants to be able to see my annotations live?
    • How can I save my annotations?
    • What are my options?

5. Can I do this on my own?

This question is tricky because only you know your staff and their technical expertise.  Simple rooms with tethered connections may fall within your team's capabilities. We recommend employing a commercial integrator because of their expertise. You'll receive assistance with design, infrastructure, and installation. They can recommend commercial devices and integrate them in an aesthetically pleasing and timely manner.  Perhaps the biggest benefit is support.  If you install on your own, you'll have to troubleshoot it alone which takes away time from your primary business.  Commercial integrators guarantee their installations and will troubleshoot and resolve problems at no additional cost to you. So yes, you may be able to handle your AV install, but the best course of action is hiring professionals.

Are you ready to get started? Make sure you download our free Meeting Space Guide. Want some help? Contact us at or 704-765-5065.