Five Common Complaints about Meetings that Smart Conference Rooms Can Put to Rest
MAR 30, 2018 01:14 AM
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Five Common Complaints about Meetings that Smart Conference Rooms Can Put to Rest 

By Donna Christopher and Sri Peruvemba, QuirkLogic
 
It’s no secret that many managers and employees dread meetings. Instead of focal points for information and collaboration, meetings often waste time and reduce productivity. Millennials think meetings are less productive and believe these get-togethers would be better served with technology. There is general agreement that many meetings lack clarity and that without better tools, participants and presenters often drift off in unrelated distractions. Some common complaints and subsequent remedies are indicated below.
 
“I Can’t See What You’re Writing”
 
In today’s distributed work environments, people may be in an office across town or across the country. Remote participants often complain as meetings are typically run using phone calls and the physical whiteboard (either traditional or digital mounted to the wall) in the room where most others are present. In these cases, meeting moderators often write notes and ideas while many are talking, and may (if at all) take a moment to tell the remote participants what they’re writing. Last year, one of the top trends in meeting rooms identified by Exhibitor Online was wireless connectivity. A tool that erases the boundaries of time zones and geography instantly brings key players into “must attend” meetings regardless of where they may be. Remote participants should be able to instantly see and interact with the same shared whiteboard content in real-time, enabled by an intelligent, connected ecosystem that fosters productivity. 
 
“I’ll Email You a Copy…”
 
It happens all the time. When meeting moderators use flipcharts or whiteboards, meetings often end with the promise of a backup email for those (and there are many) who couldn’t remember or couldn’t input key information fast enough on their desktop or notepad. This ends up with recipients getting all manner of backup documents they then have to sift through. Does this document pertain to this part of the meeting?  Is this the latest version? Attendees become frustrated and end up wasting more time with back-and-forth emails after the meeting for “clarification.” Clearly what’s needed are productivity tools that enable everyone in the meeting to be on the same page and to recall any and all pages that pertain to the meeting. Participants shouldn’t have to scramble to copy the contents of a whiteboard or flipchart or use their mobile phone cameras to record images before the moderator moves on to a new idea. 
Edge Computing
“Don’t Erase That…”
 
Whiteboards haven’t come very far since they were first introduced in meeting rooms during the 1950s. While messy pens and paper have given way to electronic counterparts, these remain largely unused. Many still suffer from the "Do Not Erase!" problem, where information is lost either locally or to participants not in attendance. Collective ideas shouldn’t disappear just because a presentation moves on to the next screen or page. What’s needed is an interactive digital whiteboard, a model that was viewed as a most important trend by 77 percent of industry leaders at the IACC conference on the Meeting Room of the Future – one that automatically saves content securely and displays it upon demand, so writing “Do Not Erase” becomes a practice of the past. 
 
“The Screen is Hard to See”
 
A common complaint expressed by users of an LCD-based whiteboard or any projector-based tool is they can’t see clearly what’s being displayed unless the lights are out or the blinds are shut. A usable whiteboard should be high in contrast to make content clearly visible in various light conditions, including sun-filled offices and outdoor spaces. Your board should be non-reflective and easy on the eyes, with a wide viewing angle so multiple users can collaborate. In addition, many whiteboards don’t allow presenters to create endless digital images, store them on the device or upload them to a cloud for easy and instant access anytime. To ensure maximum productivity, a truly effective whiteboard must offer digital capabilities from document storage to editing. For complex sessions, a whiteboard should be versatile enough to allow tiling (concatenating boards to expand the presentation). For maximum productivity, such a tool should be also secure enough to allow content sharing across the world, with full encryption and security. Any user, regardless of location, should feel confident enough to start a new page, pull up a previous session, update and make changes, and see immediate edits from any other team member.
 
“Can We Keep This Room Longer?”
 
Most LCD-based whiteboards are heavy and bulky. You should be able to set up the board with a snap-on wall mount, an easy clamp portable stand, or even a simple bracket—much like a paper flip-board. You shouldn’t have to beg to stay in the same room or mull over how and where you can continue working when the next team who reserved your room appears at the door at the top of the hour. All the more reason your whiteboard should be truly portable, movable, and light. This avoids having to take whiteboard photos and gives you the flexibility of moving your notes and sketches easily to another space to keep the team’s   momentum going.
 
Smart companies are realizing that interactive digital technology that allows for creative ideation regardless of location can vastly improve productivity. Whiteboards have come of age. The meeting room of the future is here.
 
Calgary, Canada-based QuirkLogic was founded in 2013. The company’s flagship product, Quilla, is the world’s first digital writing device for real-time ideation. For your next ideation solution, watch this CES 2018 video and visit https://www.quirklogic.com/.
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