While almost every aspect of “the workplace” has shifted significantly in recent years, you can argue that the meeting room has changed the most.

Gone are days where people sat around boardroom tables in uncomfortable chairs, equipped with just a telephone, whiteboard, and maybe a projector.

Now, audio video conferencing is the standard way for people to collaborate in the workplace and with those who are at a different physical location.

So what exactly is an AV room? What does an AV conferencing room consist of? And more importantly, how can an audio video conferencing company help you design and configure the room for the best possible outcome.

So let’s dive into the different components that make up a state of the art meeting space.

“An audio visual integrated room is a meld of art and science. The art is in the design of the room itself; the lighting, furniture, and the selection of the right technologies that will eventually come together. The science comes in with the building of those technology connections and making each device work together as if it were one.”

-Tim Hennen, CTO at IVCi

With that being said, let’s take a look at the components of a successful AV room.

Video – Video in an AV room is about the display of content, how you see meeting participants, and how everyone sees presentations and documents. This includes cameras, displays, a matrix switcher, digital video processors, computer connections, and digital displays.

Audio – It’s important that audio is crisp and clear, and set up in a way that does not echo or interfere with any other part of the meeting. This includes speakers and microphones, as well as audio control systems.

Lighting – You can have the highest quality cameras in the world, but have your picture ruined by poor lighting. This will be unique to each individual room based on lighting fixtures, windows/doors, and the availability of shades. You definitely don’t want to overlook this important aspect.

Management Systems – Organizations often minimize the management AV rooms require to make sure that technology is working properly and that scheduling, launching, and troubleshooting are seamless.

Cloud Connection – While many organizations will have a physical AV room in their offices, it’s important that meetings can happen from anywhere. Cloud connection is now essentially mandatory in an AV setup because it allows remote employees to participate in meetings or access meetings from different devices. This allows organizations to scale their current AV room setup to limitless endpoints.

The Right AV Integrator – An overlooked component of an AV room is the technology partner that helps design, implement, and support it. The right integrator will act as a trusted advisor every step of the way, providing expert guidance for organizations looking to have the latest technology or the most seamless integration experience.

What’s even better is that if you have the right AV solution provider, the rest will fall into place because they will guide you to the right video, audio, lighting, management, cloud connection — and more.

Gamers looking to take their video game skills to the next level are in luck. Esports is booming, offering more opportunities for gamers to showcase their skills, win prizes, and gain sponsorships that can help launch a successful Esports career.

That’s right, career. Video games are no longer just a hobby — they’re a viable way for avid gamers to earn a living, thanks to major tournaments.

League of Legends players had the opportunity to become one step closer to their professional career by participating in the Unified Esports Association’s (UEA) first Tier 1 event of the Spring: the “Unified Grand Prix.” The UEA has partnered with the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) to host this week-long event from February 22nd-March 3rd of 2021.

The top ten teams from the Tier 2 Tournaments in the 2021 LCS Proving Grounds Circuits qualified for the tournament, as well as the 7th and 8th seeded teams from the Spring 2021 Academy season. They competed for a $20,000 prize pool, with the team No Org ultimately winning the tournament.

“The purpose of this event is to provide a platform for players to compete at the highest level, before taking the next step as a professional League of Legends player,” the UEA described. “UEA empowers esport organizations and players through our platform to help them take that next step into the professional scene.”

These tournaments also bring together a global community that shares a common interest. Fans and supporters could watch all the action on Twitch from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, esports allows people to participate in team sports and work together given the nature of video games.

Esports events like the Unified Grand Prix are made possible by audio video conferencing systems and advanced technology. IVCi is proud to assist organizations like UEA in getting the systems and setups they need to host worldwide tournaments.

So if you are ready to begin your esports journey — whether it’s starting a program at your college/university, or giving your team the competitive edge to perform on a professional level, IVCi Engage can help get you there. As your full service technology partner, we can assist with developing state of the art labs, setting up training facilities and venues, and securing the grants needed to start a program.

You can get started by contacting an IVCi esports expert, or walking through the ENGAGE Esports Configurator — either way, we’re here to help you discover the power of a technologically advanced esports environment.

Electronic gaming isn’t just a hobby anymore. For some, it’s a way to engage in a challenging activity, collaborate with others, and even earn a living.

With that being said, it’s no surprise that esports is gaining popularity at the collegiate level. A lot of colleges and universities — large and small alike — have created esports programs and are seeing significant benefits.

While offering an esports program requires an investment in AV conferencing equipment, it’s becoming more and more apparent that the investment is worth it.

How can schools benefit from esports at the Collegiate Level?

There are many benefits that schools and universities see when they create an esports program. They include:

  • Having an activity available to students that can withstand a number of circumstances such as remote learning and can change and adapt quickly.
  • While esports requires teamwork, it does not require physical contact so it can be done while maintaining social distancing and presents less injury risk than other team sports.
  • Fostering student engagement and bringing together students with similar interests who may not have otherwise met.
  • Attracting new students through a program that is still relatively unique — students who tend to excel at problem-solving, teamwork, and critical thinking, since those are the skills necessary to succeed at team video games.
  • Growing STEM programs since there’s a parallel between people who enjoy video games and those who are interested in academic programs related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).
  • Offering students an opportunity to express themselves and their passions, which improves retention rate.

What’s needed to implement a collegiate esports program?

For an esports program to thrive, colleges and universities need to set them up for success. They need to create an environment where esports teams can practice, host tournaments, and practice their skills with the proper equipment.

To achieve this, colleges and universities should enlist the assistance of an audio video conferencing company. AV setup is a critical component of esports.

Here are some of the AV components needed for an esports environment:

  • Computers
  • Gaming keyboards
  • Large display screens
  • Interactive displays
  • Audio equipment
  • Live streaming platforms
  • Real-time streaming capabilities

It might seem overwhelming, but AV solution providers like IVCi are here to help. Our IVCi Engage program brings the ability to customize your esports program while providing expert guidance every step of the way.

Since esports is likely new to your institution, you may not be sure where to start, and that’s okay! Our team will guide you to help select all of your customizable essentials from furniture selection, to hardware, to mousepads — nothing is too big or small for your dedicated esports configurator.

ENGAGE is offered as a subscription-based service to ensure predictable costs and budget flexibility. In building out your unique subscription, we will carefully consider all your needs and help to create the environment your school needs for a successful esports team.

You can learn more about IVCi’s experience with esports here — once you’re ready to get started, drop us a message and an esports expert will get back to you!

The time has come for a new kind of user-inspired subscription service. IVCi’s EVOLVE AV as a Service subscription provides just that. As a room life-cycle solution, it includes design, procurement, deployment and support. AVaaS is the perfect formula of freedom and flexibility, affordability and convenience, and protection and peace of mind.

IVCi’s EVOLVE has bundled everything you need to manage your AV technology into one easy to digest package. It’s a no-worry, break-fix, all-in-one subscription service that was inspired by end users and created with them in mind.

Evolve is the Better Way to Buy and Bundle Technology

Evolve is the better way to buy and bundle technology because with EVOLVE AV as a Service, you’ll get…

The ability to consistently modernize. Our team will keep you up to date about what new technologies to invest in to keep your business modern and your productivity booming. You can upgrade at any time.

The chance to become an expert. EVOLVE offers a revolutionary in-room QR code that connects to our world-class MVE team for assistance and learning. You can access real-time support and references that help you get the most out of your technology without having to pause your workday or delay your video conferences.

Evaluate your needs on an ongoing basis. Easy end-of-term options allow you to evaluate your technology needs to determine whether renewing or returning your technology is the best move for your business at that current time.

Be protected against the unknown and unpredictable. You can reset term options at any time with EVOLVE AVaaS. Business is booming? Reset your terms to scale up. Facing a business challenge or aftermath of a circumstance outside your control? Reset your terms to scale down or re-allocate resources.

Lower TCO. The “as a service” model brings predictable costs with less needed upfront. Preserve your cashflow to use elsewhere, while saving on the cost of procurement and service.

Examples of Technology Bundles Available with EVOLVE AVaaS

The goal of EVOLVE audio video as a service is to truly create a technology program that is tailored to your company’s individual needs. However, if you’re not sure what your exact needs are or where to start, we can offer bundles that have worked for similar organizations and industries.

Here are two examples of technology bundle solutions we offer:

Webex Desk Pro

  • Multitouch video conference display that combines codec, camera, and speaker into a single device
  • Automatic framing camera technology
  • Wired connections for BYOD
  • Any platform can leverage camera, microphone, and speaker
  • Wireless presentation via Cisco Teams App
  • Whiteboard and annotation capabilities
  • 27 inch screen size

Webex Room Kit Mini

  • Video conference room system that combines codec, camera, microphone, and speaker into a single device
  • Touch 10 controller
  • Automatic framing camera technology
  • Wired connections for BYOD
  • Any platform can leverage camera, microphone, and speaker
  • Wireless presentation via Cisco Teams App
  • Single 65 inch, 4k, wall-mounted display

If you’re ready to leap into the future of AV as a Service, you’ll need the right audio video conferencing equipment provider to guide you through the process. Contact us today to find out how we can bring you the power of collaborative environments that make meetings happen.

Update of: https://ivci.com/news/qr-code-evolve-service/

What is a QR code?

By now, we’re sure you’ve seen Quick Response (QR) codes in many places throughout your daily life. Simply put, they take a piece of digital media or communication and allow you to instantly access it on your phone via a unique code.

In the past QR codes were most popular on signs, t-shirts, flyers, and other items where a brand wants to take your experience from something physical to somewhere digital to learn more. Now in the post-COVID world, it’s used to provide touchless shopping and dining experiences.

For example, instead of having to touch physical menus that are handled by other customers and staff, diners can scan the QR code on the table to access the menu safely on their phones.

What are QR codes good for?

In addition to on-demand digital content and touchless retail experiences, QR codes make great additions to a company’s AV setup.

QR codes allow users to summon on-demand support. By having individual QR codes per room or piece of equipment, you can quickly scan into the specific support you need without having to be routed through a general help desk.

From there, you’ll be connected to a technology expert that can help solve the issue quickly and get you back to the task at hand in the same amount of time it would take to just reach a support staff member with traditional methods.

Benefits of using QR codes for your AV technology

Beyond keeping your conference space on par with the latest technology, a QR code support can offer the following benefits:

  • Increased uptime. If the meeting starter experiences any issues, they can quickly scan the code and get help to resolve the issue rather than having to take the time to get support over the phone or email. This leaves you with more time to conduct your meeting and less time troubleshooting, with available resources that can help you prevent the issue from arising in the future.
  • Higher levels of confidence. With educational resources only a scan away, you can build your AV technology knowledge base and get answers to all of your questions. Over time, you’ll become more confident in your ability to use and troubleshoot your system. And if issues do arise, you’ll know you have support at your fingertips.
  • Better productivity. Nothing derails productivity like technical issues. Everyone’s time is valuable and a lot of people are on tight schedules, so even a delay of five or ten minutes can seriously derail an agenda. Having custom support that’s on-demand from any smart device will keep things moving according to plan, even if technical difficulties arise.

Implementing QR code support for your audio video tech setup is not only beneficial, it’s simple to do.

Get QR support through Evolve AVaaS

The revolutionary in-room QR code support solution is available through the Evolve AV as a Service (AVaaS) subscription. One subscription allows you to access the best AV has to offer, including the latest equipment and on-demand support via QR code.

It’s time for an AV evolution — and the QR support feature of IVCi’s Evolve subscription will help you get there.

If you’re ready to take the next steps into the future of AV solutions, speak to one of the experts at IVCi today.

Update of: https://ivci.com/news/what-to-look-for-when-choosing-an-audio-visual-conferencing-company/

Audio video conferencing equipment has completely revolutionized the way organizations conduct business. And with the COVID-19 pandemic restructuring many companies to become distributed workforces, video conferencing has become an essential function for communication and productivity.

But there’s more that goes into AV solutions than just cameras and audio equipment. It’s a multi-faceted plan that requires expert guidance. Luckily the team at IVCi has significant experience in all the steps of a good AV solution.

Strategy

Planning your AV solution is a critical step in setting your business up for success. The right strategy includes a need analysis to identify goals and objectives, then identifying requirements for system capabilities and functional goals.

It’s important to trust your strategy with a partner who has your best interest at heart. One that takes your budgetary, security, compliance, staffing, and personnel constraints seriously and recommends the best possible technology within your circumstances.

Deployment

Choosing and purchasing equipment is just the start of the journey with your AV solution. You’ll need a clean, simple, and fast installation with an emphasis on efficiency. IVCi’s project management for deployment includes the following:

  • Pre-install: Ensuring technology is secured from manufacturers so it’s ready when you need it.
  • Quality Assurance: Testing all hardware and software to make sure it’s working properly.
  • Programming: Programmers will ensure all back-end hardware and front-end software is programmed and ready.
  • Winning Team: Expert and certified technicians, engineers, and supervisors are at your side and ready to help.

Backed by the right team of project managers and personnel, your AV solutions provider can deploy your system with transparency and efficiency from procurement through execution.

Design

Not all AV conferencing equipment is well-suited for all spaces. Providing the best design possible for any type of space is a challenge, but one IVCi takes in stride. The experts can take the chosen products and platforms and place them within the given space in a way that maximizes collaboration and production.

It’s important for businesses to envision the AV design before the technology is implemented. IVCi provides visuals and renderings to give you an accurate idea of what your space will be capable of. By combining functionality and aesthetic, IVCi can help organizations achieve great results.

Support

No matter how great the AV technology is and how efficient the installation is, there are bound to be times when support is needed. Most people dread having to contact their help desk or feel like they have no options outside of traditional working hours.

IVCi’s support offers a support model that works with your organization, including a strategy health check, day-2 support, fast track troubleshooting, live video assist, and more. With 24/7 support and a 100% rating, the support team at IVCi can be there when you need them.

Going Above and Beyond Typical AV Solutions

The future of AV is here — are you ready for it? The experts at IVCi are, and are here to help you get there as well. If you’re interested in one partner for all your AV solutions, contact the experts at IVCi today.

You can see the vision in your head — the perfect collaboration space for your team. It seems so simple as an idea, but actually executing your AV integration is a different story.

While upgrading your AV technology is certainly a worthwhile investment, there are certain challenges that can appear along the way, making the process more difficult than anticipated.

The good news is these challenges are not insurmountable, especially with the right technology partner by your side. Let’s talk a little more about common challenges organizations face during AV integrations.

Budget Constraints

Sometimes organizations are asked to do more with less. Undertaking a large expense like an AV conferencing system installation can be overwhelming for many organizations, or simply just not possible.

The good news is there’s a new way to invest in video conferencing solutions. With Audio Video as a Service, an organization is only responsible for a predictable monthly fee rather than a large upfront cost. The as-a-service model also ensures organizations have access to support, technology upgrades, and expert knowledge every step of the way.

Lack of Communication

The most important challenge of any AV integration is creating a vehicle for information flow. Without a dependable delivery system for communication, mistakes happen. Critical information needs to be provided in real-time so every member of a team is instantly informed.

Without proper communication channels and means for a timely response, organizations won’t be able to understand the function, benefits, and best practices for using video conferencing equipment. Then a trickle down effect starts where team members hesitate to adopt the technology or won’t make an effort to resolve any technical issues, rendering the investment useless.

So how can you ensure proper communication the entire process? Be sure to partner with a technology provider that doesn’t just install your solutions, but supports your AV technology journey from start to end. For example, IVCi Evolve subscribers can access help with the simple scan of a QR code, so communication is literally just a click away.

Unfamiliarity with solution options

It seems like there are more and more options for technology introduced every minute. It can be overwhelming to grasp the pros and cons of each one, let alone understand what will be best for your organization in five minutes, five months, or five years.

It’s important to have a trusted partner by your side to have to help you navigate the landscape and know what would be best for your organization. At IVCi, we work closely with our clients, not only as technology integrators but as trusted advisors who can provide the guidance you need. We’ve worked hard to be an industry leader, but what good does that do if we’re not willing to share it with others?!

Consider the challenges addressed above before choosing an AV partner. Make sure there is an established system for communication, so in the end, there are no nasty surprises.

Then, when you’re ready to start, give yourself peace-of-mind. Contact IVCi to get the room you want and the service you deserve. And, with our proven systems in place, we’ll make sure this happens before your due date.

Conference rooms have an entirely different purpose now than they did in the first office buildings. In the past they were designed solely for in-person meetings and working sessions.

But that way of doing business is far behind us, with today’s conference rooms lightyears ahead of the stuffy boardrooms of generations past. A table with ample seating is only the beginning of an environment where seamless collaboration can occur across numerous media platforms, with possibly a worldwide reach.

When conference rooms support audio video conferencing, organizations gain the confidence and peace of mind of knowing their productivity can continue no matter what physical circumstances they may face.

But conference room installations are not a one-size-fits-all thing. There are different approaches organizations can take depending on their industry, size, strategic goals, and budgetary targets. Here are some of the strategizing and planning steps IVCi can assist you with.

Strategy

When it comes to installing a conference room, putting a strategy together can sometimes be the most challenging part. Where to start? How to plan?

IVCi acts as a trusted partner starting at the strategy phase. We will conduct a needs analysis to define your goals and objectives, identify functional goals and technical requirements, gather user feedback, and note any compliance, security, or budgetary constraints. The result is a fully developed plan that will get you to your goal.

Design

The next step is to take that strategy and start bringing it to life. This means carefully selecting the type and quantity of equipment and features that meet both your needs and wants. We’ll solidify the products and platforms, overlays and flows, roles and responsibilities, and elevations and renderings. By the end of the design phase, your organization will only be one step away from having a functional and efficient collaboration space.

Deployment

Once the plan and design is finalized, it’s important for installation to be quick, efficient, and simple. The team at IVCi sets your organization up for the utmost success during the deployment phase through quality assurance, programming, and installation. With an expert team of AV technicians, engineers, and project managers, your system will be installed and your users will be trained as quickly and accurately as possible.

The Future of Conference Room Installation is Here, and We’re Leading the Way

IVCi is leading a revolution in how organizations install and maintain their audio video conferencing rooms. Our Evolve service is a unique AV as a Service (AVaaS) model which is essentially a user-inspired subscription service for collaboration.

With one subscription, organizations can get access to:

  • Guidance on what technologies to invest in to keep video conferences efficient and productive.
  • Expert assistance planning, designing, and implementing technology.
  • Adoption of support with in-room QR code for on-demand assistance.
  • Opportunity to upgrade technology or change terms at any time.
  • Access to break-fix services for the duration of the life cycle.

AVaaS is a great option for organizations who need a predictable cost, access to a support team, and guidance on how to meet and exceed business goals.

If your organization is ready to see the future of video conference rooms, we recommend getting started with IVCi’s Evolve service.

It’s amazing just how impactful the design of a room can be. A few key tweaks can be the difference between a purposeless room with some furniture and an innovative, user-driven collaboration space. With the assistance of an audio video conferencing company, this can be done easily and stress-free.

A successful communication strategy is made up of a carefully-selected combination of meeting room technologies — and the team at IVCi can help you figure out which AV conferencing system is right for you. Here are some common examples:

Huddle rooms

Replacing standard meeting rooms with huddle rooms improves collaboration and breaks the physical barriers that prevents people in different locations from having face to face meetings. You’ll need a few strategic pieces of equipment to form your huddle room, including audio video conferencing equipment, and strategically placed furniture and lighting. With those few small adjustments, you’ll be able to instantly connect with other team members or learners.

Video walls and displays

Reinforcing key information is important in learning environments and business presentations alike. Video walls and digital displays are a visually appealing, effective way to do so. Strategic placement and the ability to easily control and change the content will help digital signage and video walls be even more effective communication tools.

Extended classrooms

Remote learning is no longer just an option for a handful of colleges and universities. Now, it’s a standard practice by which all schools are expected to be prepared to operate. Extended classrooms allow educators to communicate with students, share material, and create interactive lesson features (like quiz questions and polls), for an immersive and effective learning experience.

AV as a Service

For organizations looking for a communication strategy without significant capital expenditure or maintenance, Audio Video as a Service (AVaaS) is a great communication and collaboration technology. The subscription-based model keeps costs predictable while granting access to white-glove service and QR-code accessible support. Subscribing to AVaaS ensures your organization always has access to the latest technology at all times with the ability to scale, upgrade, or change at any time.

Strategy for Success

IVCi’s highly efficient audio visual conferencing solutions will provide optimal classroom participation and learning opportunities. Maximize the value and spontaneity that huddle rooms offer for peak meeting outcomes. Your team will include input from all staff with IVCi’s conference room tools, even if they are located across the country.

Remain competitive and stay in touch with today’s increasingly remote workforce. Via tablets and mobile devices, IVCi’s conferencing packages turn any setting into an opportunity for seamless, wireless collaboration.

More and more advertisers and businesses are utilizing video walls and digital signage displays to attract shoppers, convey information, or just to interact.

However your team collaborates or interacts with prospects, clients, and customers, IVCi provides the audiovisual products and services to allow your business to continue its success story.

There’s more that goes into setting up an AV room than just getting the technology integrated. While that’s a huge factor, failing to have the proper setting will make that technology less effective — in some cases, it could be altogether useless.

Even slight imperfections in AV and conference rooms can cause major disruptions in productivity and collaboration. And in today’s working climate where the majority of meetings and projects are being executed with video conferencing equipment, there is absolutely no room for error.

Here are some design considerations to keep in mind when planning your huddle room, collaboration space, or any other AV setup.

Acoustics

Everyone in the room must be able to hear the speaker. Many different factors contribute to the clarity of audio including ambient noise from a heating or cooling system or hard surfaces that reflect sound and cause reverberations.

Tips for optimizing acoustics:

  • Choose a room that is away from noisy appliances, machinery, or spaces where people commonly walk or talk.
  • If possible, soundproof the room.
  • Record conversations in different parts of the room and listen for echoes.

Lighting

Lighting is extremely important for both in-room and remote participants. Improper lighting can cause eye strain for local participants while also washing out or creating shadows for remote participants.

Tips for optimizing lighting:

  • Choose a room with natural light or choose light fixtures that mimic natural light.
  • Invest in video conferencing lighting, such as a Ring Light.
  • Test the lighting in the room at different times of day to make sure the sun does not negatively impact room lighting.
  • Install shades or blinds on windows in the room so the light can easily be adjusted as needed.

Furniture

Furniture in your AV room should be both aesthetically pleasing and functional. There should be a balance of form and function that allows you to provide a relaxing atmosphere without distracting anyone.

Tips for optimizing furnishings:

  • Get a cable management system to keep cables and wires tidy and out of sight.
  • Mount displays on furniture rather than walls for a more customizable, less expensive implementation.
  • Stick to neutral color schemes with decorations that are not too bold or distracting.

Other surroundings

It’s also important to consider the other aspects of the room when designing the AV components. If you have digital signage, gaming systems, lecture setups, presentation screens, etc., you’ll want to make sure that they don’t interfere with each other.

Tips for optimizing surroundings:

  • Install features that work well together in the same space, like video conferencing equipment and presentation screens.
  • Avoid technology combinations that will result in echoes, feedback, or odd lighting.
  • Consider the daily schedule so the room isn’t needed for different activities at the same time.

Social Distancing Requirements

While we all hope that social distancing is not a long-term requirement for workplaces, it’s something that needs to be considered. Make sure the space can easily accommodate distance between people without sacrificing effectiveness.

Since video conferencing solutions are a key component of a business continuity plan during any circumstance, it’s important to make sure you can utilize it regardless of the situation.

Tips for a flexible layout:

  • Make sure the space is big enough so that people can utilize the space without being too close to each other.
  • Install multiple cameras if possible.
  • Install technology and furniture in a way that can be easily changed or moved if circumstances necessitate.

It may seem like there’s a lot to consider, but it’s less overwhelming with a trusted video conferencing company by your side. Contact the team at IVCi today to get started.