5 Boardroom Technology Trends That Could Make Or Break Client Meetings
To say that technology is changing the way businesses and offices work is something of an understatement; the number of smartphone users is expected to grow by 50% before 2015, 71% of people expect to be working solely with cloud computing by 2020 and 56% of CFOs said they would invest in video conferencing to reduce travel costs.
Whether it’s the evolution of portable technology or the widespread adoption of cloud computing, it’s safe to say that meetings are far more seamless and integrated as a result. It also means that the bar for expectations has risen exponentially; a simply whiteboard and pen presentation simply won’t cut it anymore. This post, courtesy of UK-based Project Audio Visual, runs through five key tech trends that are changing the face of conferences and client meetings.
1. Online Video Conferencing
It’s estimated that 1.8bn hours of Skype video calls are made each year, and an increasing number of these hours are coming from business conferences and video meetings. If you take into consideration the variety of ‘Video Over IP’ platforms that are available, you can see how massive video conference has become.
Allowing seamless face-to-face meetings (effectively), you and your clients can slash travel costs – something that’s particularly attractive for international clients, or those travelling hundreds of miles. With faster and faster business internet connections available and more affordable technology, video conferencing is certain to take hold as the standard for long distance business.
2. Cloud Computing
Thanks to rising smartphone and tablet usage, faster mobile internet and a drop in cost of servers, cloud computing adoption is on the rise. There’s less of a clear cut distinction between business and personal cloud usage, and the ability for both products to work together means that employees can work on a document on their home PC or laptop, and access it in the boardroom from a personal tablet or company device instantly.
Additionally, clients will be able to access the same files seamless with no need to fiddle about with email attachments or temperamental USB sticks. As cloud computing evolves, more will be stored online to the point where there are no ‘main’ central devices – an employee’s phone, tablet, laptop and desktop will access programs and files remotely, and it’ll be the cloud that becomes central.
3. Commercially-Focussed Tablets & Smartphones
As tablet and smartphone technology has exploded over the last five or six years, it’s understandable that businesses have been quick to adopt this technology – allowing seamless access of files (see previous point) and a much more intuitive touch/tap/swipe/pinch interface compared with a clunky mouse and keyboard. How many times have we all struggled to click on the right thing while straining our necks towards a projector that we’re too close to?
As tablet technology continues to improve over the next five years, there’s no reason why tablets can’t be used to be an interface between you and your on-screen presentation, and lead to a much smoother and more impressive meeting. Whether it’s controlling a slideshow, pulling up and manipulating data or simply used as a script/prompt/point for reference data, tablets are changing the boardroom and improving the way we conduct meetings.
4. Unique Data Visualisations
As mentioned right at the very start of this post, the simple pen-and-paper approach to meetings won’t cut it anymore – handouts of a Powerpoint presentation will leave your clients disengaged and their attention lacking. Whether you’re trying to entice new clients or prove your work to existing ones, you’re selling something – your business. Just as consumer-based companies target the general public with punchy, eye-catching adverts you have to do the same with clients.
What technology allows us to do now in the boardroom is present any key figures and bits of data in the most visually appealing way possible – whether that’s through large 4K displays, 3D modelling, augmented reality, or simple streaming to tablets or laptops in use. Your basic bar and line graphs are still useful, but you need to get those key figures across in a memorable way that has an impact.
5. ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD)
While technology in the workplace is growing exponentially, the line between home and business technology has been blurred, with more and more people utilising a culture of ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (or BYOD). This could be something fairly typical like a laptop, and connecting it to an office network to work anywhere in the building, or more personal devices like smartphones and tablets.
What will become increasingly expected of businesses is for visitors and clients involved in meetings to be able to bring in a device (whether it’s a tablet, laptop or smartphone) and connect seamlessly to your network. This can integrate perfectly with presentations and meeting agendas by making this available on a cloud network or internal Intranet.
This is a guest post written by Tom McShane – blogger, content marketer and writer for UK-based , Project Audio Visuals Video Conferencing who supply conferencing and meeting systems for businesses and boardrooms.
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