The Death of the Overhead Projector.
By RL Fielding
Thursday, 26th January 2006
How technology has changed the corporate meeting.

If you haven't noticed, most company computers now come standard with the latest software, allowing meetings that used to take hours (sometimes days) to conclude in a matter of minutes.

High-tech presentations held in business meeting facilities or in your office and rapid data exchange are the norm (shareware, wireless technology and video/Internet are just a few of the technologies leading the meeting revolution).

It's not enough to provide projectors and dry-erase boards anymore. The days of scrubbing marker remnants off your fingers from your last presentation are over. With a few clicks of a mouse and the right network connections, millions of viewers can watch a presentation the minute it's submitted online.

In today's competitive marketplace, it's more important than ever to demonstrate that your company and the business meeting facility it uses is technologically sophisticated. The bar has been raised - do your meetings measure up?

To Unplug or Not to Unplug

Wireless is everywhere-coffee shops, airports, restaurants, even at home.

Corporate professionals who need instant access to online data have made wireless technology a business meeting must. Whereas, before, a meeting consisted of projectors, markerboards, and a notebook, today's meeting includes a wireless laptop for each participant, shareware, voice and keyboard chat, online quizzes and polls and more.

More and more companies are offering live online demos and "webinars" using the latest software, bringing professionals together from many different locations and backgrounds. And with wireless technology, professionals can participate in meetings from the road, without missing beat.

Gone are the days of squeezing in a meeting around your travel schedule and agreeing on a meeting location.

In are the days of meetings-on-the-fly, from the hotel, airport or home. The motto of the times is "get it now", and it applies to both our personal lives and our professional lives.

The Virtual Meeting

As businesses continue to expand their relationships regionally, nationally and even internationally, the virtual meeting becomes an enormous time and money saver.

Getting in touch with partners and clients no longer requires a plane ticket and a hotel room, but rather, a video conferencing system. With video conferencing, professionals can join a meeting from miles (or countries) away and companies save thousands on travel and accommodations.

Employees also save time and are able to get more work done with travel taken out of the equation.

Best of all, video conferencing still provides, as closely as possible, the "face-to-face" interaction that is so important to maintaining a business relationship.

Location, location, location

It's true for real estate and for business meetings - location is a major factor. A high-tech meeting requires a high-tech business meeting facility.

Professionals expect meeting facilitators to provide the basic tools: Overhead projectors and a projection screen, CD/Audio cassette players, VCR and TV monitors, DVD players, printers, and an internet connection.

More and more business meeting facilities are equipped with wireless access, and many even rent wireless laptops to meet increasing demand. To ensure ample bandwidth, the best business meeting facilities will have super high speed T3 lines that can handle full-motion, real-time video, and very large databases over a busy network, to avoid slow connections or bumping users off the internet.

In short, meeting venues need to offer everything that a professional would have access to in their office, and more, to make the meeting as convenient and seamless as possible. The technology should be up-to-date and working properly at all times and able to handle the most sophisticated presentations and requirements.

A Helping Hand

Providing up-to-date technology is only half the battle for business meeting facilities. Technical difficulties can ruin a meeting and equipment trouble can kill a meeting's momentum or end it completely.

For this reason, it is important to have a professional setup the equipment and stay on hand in case problems later arise-an expert technology consultant with AV/IT training can save time, energy, and your entire meeting.

Technical support can also help ensure that off-site participants have compatible programs and equipment at their locations in advance, as well as offer suggestions and creative ideas for delivering key messages with the latest technology.

What Does This Mean for You?

Staying connected and up-to-date means staying productive. New generations of workers will be more and more technologically proficient, having grown up with computers and the Internet their entire lives.

Companies that don't provide the equipment that these tech-savvy business professionals have become accustomed to will be labeled "behind-the-times" and will appear less impressive. It could even lead to a loss of business.

Today, many businesses still view these technologies as "nice-to-have" tools but not necessities. But as technology continues to play a leading role in business, it will be critical to stay in step with the advancements to remain competitive.

Don't force your company to play catch-up down the road when you can make the transition now.

Article provided by Q Center. Q Center offers unequalled meeting resources, including 110,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space with sophisticated technology to meet the most advanced needs. Great for meetings of any size, Q Center comfortably accommodates 2 to 2,000 guests. For more information on using technology for your corporate meeting, visit http://www.QCenter.com .

This article is copyrighted by Q Center. It may not be reproduced in whole or in part and may not be posted on other websites, without the express written permission of the author who may be contacted via email at qcenter@digitalbrandexpressions.com.
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