I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the video conferencing industry has exploded over the past couple of years. And it’s not just because of COVID-19…

According to Globe Newswire, video meetings were up 48% before the pandemic started. Now, due to social distancing and remote work, they’ve become commonplace. And there isn’t any reason to believe they’ll stop being commonplace any time soon.

So the question is, how do you thrive in this brave new world of virtual meetings? It’s simple, really: you build a video conference room for yourself and/or your team.

Your video conference room can be as simple and complex as you like. Many people use the laptop they already own and an affordable piece of software and get by just fine. Others invest in expensive hardware options to help elevate the virtual meeting experience.

In this article, I discuss everything software, hardware, and environment related so that you can create the perfect video conference room for your needs.

Your Video Conference Room: Software

Besides a competent computer, which you probably already own, video conferencing software is the only thing your video conference room actually needs. Everything else is gravy.

When it comes to video conferencing software, you can’t go wrong with ClickMeeting. Our platform is affordable, powerful, and loved by thousands of users worldwide. It’s also incredibly easy to use, which is an important factor for many people.

With ClickMeeting, you’ll get access to a wide range of top-level features, including:

  • Custom Branding: Make your digital meeting space your own by adding logos and adjusting color schemes. This is an especially important feature if you plan to host public-facing events, not just internal meetings, in your video conference room.
  • Presentation Mode: With this feature, you can upload digital content like charts and graphs to support your presentations, easily share your screen with your colleagues, and collaborate with other meeting attendees via a digital whiteboard.
  • Polls and Surveys: The key to a successful video conference is engagement. ClickMeeting enables conference hosts to send digital polls and surveys, which help boost attendee participation and give valuable insight into their thought processes.
  • Multiple Chat Options: If you plan to host public-facing events, ClickMeeting’s chat features will come in handy. Moderated chat enables public conversations that won’t disrupt your meetings flow, while private chat allows for 1:1 communication.
  • Social Media Streaming: What if you plan to host huge online events from your video conference room and want to reach as many people as possible? Use ClickMeeting to stream your event to Facebook or YouTube and increase your audience.
  • Webinar Analytics: If you use ClickMeeting to host webinars, you’ll definitely appreciate the analytics dashboard, which will tell you who attended and from where, what their contact information is, and whether or not they enjoyed your event.
  • Meeting Recordings: It doesn’t matter if you’re hosting a digital conference for 1,000 people or an internal meeting for two. It’s always a good idea to hit the record button so your conversations can be referred back to. ClickMeeting makes recording easy.

There are plenty of video conference softwares available. But ClickMeeting is preferred because it combines top-level features with an intuitive interface and an affordable price tag.

Start your free 30-day trial of ClickMeeting today to experience our solution for yourself. We won’t even ask for your credit card number! If you like using the tool, sign up for as little as $25 a month and turn your laptop into a high-functioning video conference room.

Your Video Conference Room: Hardware

As mentioned earlier, a reliable piece of software is the only thing your video conference room needs. But if you want to elevate the meeting experience and/or host multiple people in a single room at the same time, check out these conference room audio video solutions:

Headphones

Headphones will make your virtual meetings better because they’ll help minimize echo.

When you run audio through your computer’s speakers, there’s a chance that your microphone will pick up the sound and run it back through the system. This will cause an audible echo that can be incredibly annoying to deal with during virtual conferences.

Fortunately, you probably already have what you need in this area. A pair of earbuds like Apple’s AirPods work really well, as do cheaper options like Jabra’s Elite 65t model. Basically, any kind of headphone, in-ear or over-ear, is better than using your computer speakers.

An External Camera

The webcams built into most laptop computers are subpar. If you want to improve the quality of your video feed, invest in an external camera. You have a couple of options here:

  • A Quality Webcam: The Logitech C920e Webcam is a great option that you can pick up for about $70. Too rich for your blood? Try the Logitech C310 Webcam instead. Just about every external webcam will be better than the one built into your computer.
  • A Standalone Camera: If quality video is really important to you, invest in a standalone camera. Just make sure that you can easily connect it to your computer and it’s compatible with your video conferencing software of choice. Note: I don’t recommend this option unless you really need HD video… Most people don’t.

Remember, an external camera is NOT NECESSARY. A vast majority of professionals use their computer’s built-in webcam to attend video conferences without issue.

The only time I suggest investing in an external solution is if HD video quality is super valuable to you. Or you plan to build a dedicated video conference room and host multiple people in it at one time. If this is the case, go ahead and buy an external camera of some sort.

An External Microphone

Your audio quality during video conferences is important. The best way to improve it is to purchase an external microphone. As with external cameras, you have options:

    • USB Mics: The easiest and most popular external microphone option for video conference rooms is a simple USB mic. All you have to do is plug them in and your audio will improve. Consider the Blue Yeti and the Shure MV5.
    • Lav Mics: A lav mic (the little microphone that clips to your shirt) is another option and can be purchased for as low as $20. I suggest the Rode Lavalier GO if you don’t mind a wired option and the Rode Wireless GO system if you do.
    • Shotgun Mics: A broadcast-quality shotgun mic will give you the best quality audio, though you may need to invest in a control panel to use it. Again, I like the options from Rode. Choose an option from the VideoMic line that fits your needs and budget.

The kind of external microphone you choose will depend on your goals. If you’re building a personal video conference room, a USB mic is probably your best bet.

But if you’re building a large video conference room that will be used by multiple team members at the same time, a shotgun mic (or something similar) will be a better option.

Video Displays, Speakers, and Control Panels

We’ve grouped video displays, speakers, and control panels together because each is only needed if you’re building a dedicated video conference room. If you’re not, feel free to skip to the next section where we talk about the environment you build your meeting room in.

Still here? Okay, let’s talk about how to turn your empty office space into the ultimate video conference room for group meetings and virtual conferences…

Video Displays

A large video display will allow everyone in your conference room to view on-screen material and participate. Here are a couple of things to consider when purchasing a display:

  • Screen Size: How big should your screen be? Conventional wisdom says that the diagonal length of your screen should be half the length of your room. So, if your room is 10 feet long, you’ll need a 60 inch screen. At the end of the day, choose a screen size that will allow all meeting attendees to easily view material.
  • Mounting Height: Next, think about the layout of your video conference room. Your layout will dictate your video display’s mounting height. For example, if your room includes a conference table and chairs, mount your screen so that meeting attendees can easily and comfortably see the screen while sitting.

Speakers

Next, consider your conference room’s speaker situation. There are plenty of different options available to you, depending on how you set up your room..

If your room is small, for instance, a sound bar, mounted under your video display, should work just fine. For larger rooms, consider table top speakers. Or, if you really want to go all out, mount speakers into the ceiling of your video conference room.

Always remember, volume isn’t the end all be all. Choose speakers that get loud and pump out high-quality audio without echos, feedback, and other annoyances.

Control Panels

Finally, look into control panels for your dedicated video conference room, which will make it much easier to run effective virtual meetings. But which control panel should you choose?

First, check to see if your video conferencing software of choice has a preferred option. If it does, this is probably your best choice. If it doesn’t, consider the ATEM Mini. It only costs $295 and will allow you to display graphics and videos, collaborate with remote employees, and run multiple cameras—all from the convenience of a small, desktop device.

Your Video Conference Room: Environment

Next, consider the space you build your video conference room in. If it’s loud, has poor lighting, or distracts other attendees in any way, your virtual meetups won’t be as effective as they can be. Let’s discuss each of these things in greater detail:

A Quiet Space

Just because your video conference “room” is a laptop and a pair of headphones doesn’t mean you can host meetings from anywhere you want.

Choose a quiet space so that people on the other end of your video calls can hear you loud and clear. In other words, don’t meet at the local coffee shop down the street or the middle of your favorite co-working space. There are too many distractions in these places.

Keep this tip in mind if you’re building out a full video conference room, too. Try to build your conference room away from the general din of your office. If necessary, consider soundproofing the walls in some way to keep unwanted noise at bay.

Good Lighting

Good lighting will improve the quality of your broadcasts more than high-end external cameras and microphones will. Luckily, lighting is easy to fix!

Sometimes all you have to do is turn the lights on in your room and open a window. If this doesn’t work, get a lamp and put it behind the camera aimed at your face. Still not happy with the results? Buy a lighting kit on Amazon and use it as directed.

A Clean Background

Last, but certainly not least, take a look behind you before you join a video conference. Is there a pile of laundry on the floor? Do you have distracting posters on the wall? Do everyone a favor and present them with a clean background during your virtual meetings.

This can be done by simply cleaning your space. Or, if that’s too much of a hassle (and your video conferencing software allows it) choose a simple digital background to display.

Host Better Virtual Meetings and Events

If you host virtual meetings on a regular basis, you should definitely build a video conference room for yourself. Fortunately, doing so isn’t difficult. All you have to do is fire up your computer, invest in ClickMeeting, and make sure your meeting environment is professional.

Of course, you can always upgrade your hardware to improve the quality of your meetings. Whether you do so or not depends on your goals. Whatever you decide to do, we hope this video conference room guide has been helpful. Good luck!

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Posted by Jacob Thomas

Content writer @ ClickMeeting

Time to move your events online. Do it with ClickMeeting

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