Matt Harvey of PSAV comments that collaborative tech can be costly and therefore is not an investment venues can make without proof of value. Third- party providers can be a cost-effective source and can also offer more detailed set up and monitoring. Matt Harvey further highlights that free services are often unsupported and risk leaving planners to fend for themselves in times of need. Video conferencing (including live event streaming and technology that enables remote participants) and screen sharing technology continue to be the most offered products. However, it is important to note that use of video conferencing hardware has declined significantly given that it is a large investment and that cheaper cloud-based alternatives (like Zoom, GoToMeeting and WebEx) are now much more widely used. However, they must be supplemented with the associated hardware like lighting, cameras and microphones.


“Smaller meeting room AV systems will need to be capable of hooking into corporate Microsoft Teams or Zoom accounts in a way that is effective for the size of the meeting room and number of people using hardware such as Crestron’s Mercury All in One Meeting Solution. Venues need to be prepared to talk about these solutions or offer access to a hybrid event production provider.”

• Video Conferencing – Typically involves a small group of people talking and collaborating virtually. • Webinar – Typically involves 1-3 speakers delivering a presentation to a larger audience. Mainly one-way with some Q&A managed by muting microphones, polls or other interactive tools. • Live Stream/webcast – One-way push of content for a very large online audience. Often no voice/video collaboration option for participants. In addition, touchscreen and interactive displays or boards (such as SMART boards) are also listed as products that do not warrant the investment. According to operators, they are rarely used by clients as they are not intuitive to use without technical support. This was also seen in our 2018 edition of the study. Given the investment in this area by major technology companies (such as Microsoft with their SurfaceHub) technology, this is a particularly troubling finding for hardware companies with related products. As venues build upon their arsenal of collaborative technology offerings in a multitude of spaces, venue bandwidth capacity meeting demand will become crucial to the success of meetings.

— Matt Harvey from PSAV


IACConline.org & IACCmeetings.com

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