After 18 months of disruption to the way we work, a sense of normalcy is returning in some locations. Gartner predicts that around 50 per cent of employees will continue to work remotely into the future, but with lockdowns ending and offices re-opening, in-person meetings and presentations are again on the agenda.
The benefits of in-person interaction are clear - while video conferencing is a useful tool, in-person experiences are better for building business relationships. Additionally, an in-person meeting generally gets started more quickly and is less prone to disruption (think about how many times you’ve had video conferences disrupted by someone trying to talk while muted). In-person interaction can also provide a deeper level of engagement as it’s easier to see and interpret a person’s full range of body language and there’s no awkward staring into a mis-placed video camera.
However, there is much more awareness that the way that meetings are run can be improved for the health and safety of attendees.
One key way to do this is by going wireless as much as possible. The fewer communal devices/cables to be touched the less exposure people will have to potential health risks. Wired connections are on the way out as professionals move from physically connecting their presentation devices and laptops up via wires and hubs, to using devices such as the BenQ WPS: InstaShow – which plugs into a mobile device and allows the user to wirelessly transmit presentations to a meeting room screen.
The risk of going wireless
In the past, certain risks have prevented organisations that handle sensitive data from taking advantage of wireless connectivity. “If it’s wireless, there’s potential for a malicious way in,” says Martin Moelle, BenQ Australia Managing Director. “Adding the most comprehensive security measures like firewalls and less vulnerable devices open to compromise is important to modern organisations because after all, hardwiring is hardly ever the best solution.”
The complexity in setting up secure wireless presentations and screensharing has meant that organisations in defence, finance and other such sectors have in the past largely avoided wireless where possible.
InstaShow aims to address these security challenges with enterprise-class AES 128-Bit encryption and a zero-software approach to broadcasting, minimising opportunities to target wireless transmission and leak the data.
This is of particular relevance to government and the financial sector, where the technology meets the regulated standards of security, Moelle says. “Government organisations have particularly strict protocols when it comes to physical and digital security,” he comments. “With that being said, anyone with a meeting room or conference room can benefit from this technology, especially with more and more remote and offsite workers due to the measures organisation implement to counteract the pandemic.”
Why simplicity matters
The hybrid working model most professionals will adopt moving forward will have a couple of implications for meeting rooms. Firstly, most meetings will involve people being there in person and others dialling-in via video conferencing systems. This will mean that the main presentation ‘screen’ will be more critical than ever. It will no longer be possible to pass physical documents around and ensure that everyone is on the same page as they would do in person.
Secondly, simplicity is essential. When remote people are dialling-in to a conference or presentation, technology issues can become confusing. There might be uncertainty about whether an Internet connection is causing problems and people might drop off the call. What’s more, people are unlikely to have the same patience to wait for an IT support technician to resolve an issue with a complex wired or wireless display system. And given that there is likely to be more meetings involving people that aren’t in the same room, the productivity costs of systems that don’t work seamlessly and instantly will become significant.
InstaShow, especially in collaboration with BenQ’s display technology, such as the DuoBoard interactive flat panel, is engineered for simplicity, ensuring that hybrid meetings are confusion and distraction-free.
“The key to simplicity in the meeting room is having your guests come and go without posing a security risk, and without complicated BYOD setup,” Moelle says. “Having a fast and easy solution that doesn’t create doubt in the IT managers’ mind is can sometimes feel like an unattainable feat.
“Secure and efficient wireless presentation opens up many avenues of change in the meeting room that haven’t been seen before. The ability to collaborate with and control access of physical guest devices completely changes the way we conduct meetings. Ease of use and adaptation is key to making changes within an organisation. Enabling modern outcomes for all meeting participants no matter what their IT skill level is, becomes a great outcome for all concerned.”
IT leaders may not have paid close attention to the meeting room experience in the past. When meeting rooms were large, physical spaces that everyone in the meeting shared, simply providing the space was sufficient. And if the broadcast screen was not working there was always the office printer as a backup.
Now, the way that meetings are held and run is changing, and the technology is as important to a successful meeting as the space itself. IT leaders need solutions that guarantee security, provide plug-and-play simplicity and enable their teams to be as wireless and ‘touch-free’ as possible as a health priority.
For more information about the BenQ InstaShow Wireless Presentation System, click here.