Organizing a conference is no easy feat. There are countless aspects of the entire event that need to be looked through and meticulously planned so that when the day comes, everything will be running smoothly and without any unexpected hiccups.
Nowadays, with the coronavirus pandemic still wreaking havoc on the global economy, a lot of business meetings and conferences are being transferred to the digital sphere, which comes with its own set of difficulties and challenges. In order to maintain fluidity and stay on track with the agenda, additional equipment and software need to be installed.
Thankfully, companies that provide such solutions are staying on point with delivering cutting edge products to their clients. Regardless of whether it is Lighthouse Translations and telephone interpreter services or Zoom and their unbelievably efficient video conferencing, technology is making everybody’s lives easier in these trying times.
If you or your company have a conference soon, then regardless of whether it is an in-person or an online meeting, you might want to take a look at the tips and gadgets listed below.
Video-conferencing: Connectivity Above All
More likely than not, your conference will take the form of a virtual meeting, where the members dial-in via their laptop cameras over the internet. Setting up such an event can be a real headache, especially if you overlook certain basic aspects that ensure the most fluent exchange of information possible.
First of all, you need to make sure that everybody’s connection to the conference is sufficient. While you don’t have control over your constituent’s bandwidth, you can set up a less-demanding video chat room if you use a VPN service. After establishing a virtual private server, you can hand out login credentials to participants — this will ensure that all members are connected from the same server, which should do wonders for the call’s stability.
Secondly, keep additional services during the conference to a bare minimum. Especially if there is a lot at stake, you don’t want to sacrifice connectivity for things like translators or redundant file exchanges.
For real-time translation, you should enable attendees to have the option to use a dial-in, telephone interpreter service — it will ensure the efficiency of the translators, as the connection to your video conference will not be interrupted by a number of parallel translation channels.
If you need to distribute files during the meeting, do so from a separate device that does not use the same VPN connection as the call, and encourage your participants to receive them in the same manner. This will not only save bandwidth but also enable everybody to look over the recently received documents and take part in the video call at the same time.
Finally, when picking out the right software for your digital meetings, make sure that it has all of the functions that will be necessary to carry it out flawlessly. Here is a checklist of the four basics that are not to be overlooked:
- The capacity for handling large numbers of participants
- Option to edit the information on the screen by many call members simultaneously
- Admin and moderation privileges to maintain decorum and remove unwanted elements
Some of these options are provided free of charge by most platforms out there. However, be wary of providers who promise free conferences consisting of over 50 members — they are most likely going to be of subpar video and audio quality, and that’s unacceptable in a professional setting. If you’re planning to host a meeting with dozens of attendees, it is probably wiser to invest in a premium version of Zoom, or another well-established conferencing software.
In-Person Conference: Safety and Gadgets
In many countries, the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are gradually being lifted, which also means that regular office practices are also returning, albeit with a couple of twists, to ensure everyone’s safety.
Hosting a conference in an enclosed space is much more resource-intensive than it used to be. First of all, you need to make sure that your company provides all of the necessary sanitation materials, such as hand sanitizer and access to more bathrooms, to account for the social distancing requirements. Secondly, the seating arrangement needs to take these requirements into account. Every single piece of logistics needs to be carried out taking into account these new rules and regulations.
Since you need to enforce a mask-wearing rule at the conference anyway (unless you’re planning on testing all of the attendees for COVID), it makes for a good opportunity to hand out some memorabilia in the form of a cotton face mask with your company’s logo or initials on it. People love these types of tiny gifts, and branded masks are guaranteed to be more of an exciting novelty than those generic pens that everyone is probably already sick of getting.
Due to the recent upheaval of restrictions and health risks that are associated with large groups of people meeting in enclosed spaces, organizing an in-person conference might not be the best idea in 2020. Not to mention running the risk of many members not making it on time because of canceled travel arrangements!
Using the software and connectivity-saving strategies outlined above, you can host the perfect video conference, where everybody can easily go over the main talking points and get the work done without having to worry about any circumstantial disruptions.