When we receive lunch and learn requests, we take into account how much time is involved. Travel to another office, planning lunch, and cleanup are all part of the “1 hour” equation. Can the four or five hours of work and travel fit into the schedule? Will your portable audio-visual equipment be acceptable? Could the experience be better?

The opposite of the on-site lunch and learn has quickly become the webinar. The standard is a PowerPoint while someone is “talking at you” over the phone. While this is good for the presenter who can simultaneously reach multiple groups who are geographically diverse, this has not proven to be so good for the recipient. The recipient is bored to death with an hour of PowerPoint. Even a great presenter is hard to follow when you only hear their voice.

A great distance experience for both presenter and viewer is “immersive video conferencing.” However, your recipients are limited to the type of room they have for viewing the event. Do they have a compatible codec? For a lunch and learn, you must assume the lowest common denominator of technology in order to reach the largest possible audience. Many recipients may watch from their laptop or desktop computer. Some larger groups may use a conference room with a small projector and sound system.

So the question becomes how do we use web conferencing to turn webinars into an interesting and informative presentation for the recipient?

First let’s discuss content. You will have some PowerPoint to share. That is the obvious easy way to show pictures and accompanying points. But how about samples? Perhaps you wish to illustrate a point with a large sample. Now you need video.

Bottom line: you need to be seen by your audience. During a video webinar, participants can see your face and expressions when you are making an important point. Having the ability to see the presenter’s eyes and facial expressions takes your “boring webinar” to a whole new level. Suddenly you’re connecting with your audience. This is an important concept here. We communicate so much with our eyes.

The good news is that new technologies are available for small business webinar room video systems that won’t break the bank and will provide your audience with a fantastic experience. At Acoustics By Design, we work with clients to design systems that fit their needs, everything from webinar rooms, to videoconferencing rooms, to you name it. Since we do not sell equipment, we always design to meet the needs of our clients.

ABD Engineering and Design

ABD Engineering and Design is one of North America’s leading independent acoustical consulting and AV design firms, serving clients across the United States and Canada, as well as other international markets from offices in Grand Rapids, MI and Portland, OR. Our specialized acoustical engineering and AV design practices help architects, building owners, engineers, facility directors, and municipalities design spaces, environments, and systems for optimal acoustical and audiovisual performance. Our consulting practice areas specialize in all aspects of architectural acoustics, environmental and industrial noise and vibration control, and audiovisual systems design.

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