Speaker addresses Swedish American Chamber of Commerce via videoconference

The Swedish American Chamber of Commerce – Ohio, (SACC-Ohio), featured a speaker from Reston Virginia at one of their events last February.  The topic was perfect for this group – “The Imperative for Change — Why management style, personal views, and work attitudes have changed over the years.”   This presentation illustrates how the different generations communicate — Baby Boomers; X Generation and Y Generation.

There were three major challenges in getting this speaker.  The first challenge, Geography — The SACC-Ohio meetings are in Cleveland and the speaker is in Virginia.    The second challenge, Weather – Virginia is snowed in the month of February. The third challenge, Time – The speaker is a partner in a small consulting firm thus her time is extremely valuable and she could not be drawn away for two days for a one hour presentation.  Other challenges include:  The speaker never having any experience with videoconferencing; a PowerPoint® presentation that needed clear and well timed execution; and the fact that the chamber is meeting in a hotel in Cleveland, and as with most hotels, has lousy network and poor internet access.AVER_HVC310_Meeting_01

The first three challenges are easily addressed as SACC-Ohio decided to use standards based videoconferencing.  They engaged Glowpoint to secure a public videoconferencing room in Virginia minutes away from the speaker’s home.  The speaker never used videoconferencing before, but this was not a problem as the location had the expertise to set her up comfortably in their conference room.  They plugged her computer into the system for a seamless display of her PowerPoint® presentation using the standard Duo Video, H.239 collaboration algorithm. (See collaboration article).  At the hotel in Cleveland they used an AVER videoconferencing system, that automatically splits the screen with the speaker and the PowerPoint® Presentation.   This is a great feature as other systems cover content in the PowerPoint® image with the PIP or picture in picture showing the speaker.

The last challenge is the network.  Not having a reliable network will crash the entire meeting, but this was easily resolved.  As mentioned, hotel internet connections are very bad for videoconferencing.  The safe assumption is no reliable network and not enough bandwidth.  SACC-Ohio contracted with a Verizon distributor who brought in a wireless 4G router with a public static IP address — Very simple to hook up with the videoconferencing system.  SACC-Ohio has access to a very bright projector with a robust speaker and amplifier, thus all of the 25 attendees could hear the presenter clearly and see every detail in her PowerPoint® Presentation.  The question and answer portion worked smoothly.  The presenter can hear all the questions clearly and the audience can hear all the answers.   The pan-tilt zoom camera with automatic presets accommodates panning from one side of the room to the other during the question and answer period.

This is relatively easy and simple set up if you have the right resources. SACC-Ohio definitely knew who to contact to execute a successful event via videoconference at a hotel with no reliable network or internet access.

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