Meeting Room during the pandemic with attendees wearing masks

Face 2 Face... Meetings costs in a crisis! ...or Virtual?

Have you already invested in upgrading your meeting rooms/spaces or are you ‘making do’ with a laptop hooked up to a big TV in the professional does that look?

With the debate still raging about Omicron cases are you and your staff happy to take part in Face-to-Face meetings either in the office or offsite possibly with a client or supplier? Have you considered, that with a lot of staff now wishing to work remotely, perhaps now is the time to re-assess a greater use of technology to facilitate meetings?

Other issues that may arise because of this is. Whose responsibility does the additional services and hardware become and where will the budget come from? It seems, from our experience that the responsibility in both cases is falling in the laps of Technical & IT Managers/Directors with other aspects falling within the remit of HR!

Have you already invested in upgrading your meeting rooms/spaces with a professional Audio Visual Solution or are you ‘making do’ with a laptop hooked up to a big TV in the boardroom?

Have you had a chance to identify the key costs and therefore possible savings?

To address the issue perhaps it’s time to review, and as a part of a SMMP (Strategic Meetings Management Programme) look at the where and how you can save time and money to afford a professional audio visual system best suited to your purposes?

Prior to that you can do some quick assessments and calculations to give you an idea of where the savings can be made and therefore potentially what might be available to spend or budget for.

There are a number of ‘Cost of Meetings Calculators’ available online, however, these seem to focus more on just how much time and cost is spent in meetings rather than addressing the more recent issues. This includes the pandemic as being a major factor in many peoples minds as meetings often mean travelling, locally, nationally, and internationally. Then depending on the distance, it could incorporate other factors from parking, transport costs, accommodation, and expenses. Don’t forget Events and Exhibitions often fall within this area and here you are multiplying the potential risks and costs for staff to partake or visit.

Now we are not saying you can’t attend any Events or that you shouldn’t have any Face-to-Face Meetings as we all know that people buy from people, and we need that interaction to establish relationships in business. What we are saying is to plan how those meetings are to take place and assess their importance and question if more of them could be managed online – certainly some overseas trips on their own could probably fund an Audio Visual Conference Room in one or two visits if it’s the right people for an extended period. Also, many more events are running online events concurrent with the live event which is still providing opportunities for engagement!

What this now does is highlight the Eco-Costs that again is to the fore of many peoples’ minds…Carbon Footprint, Sustainability together with Health and Wellbeing. Here we can turn this into your advantage and add to your company’s value as you ‘Eco-Credentials’ are enhanced because of your considered actions by investing in better technology to give you an advantage in the current climate.

To help you with this in the first instance we have created a more in-depth calculator (Meeting Cost Calculator Spreadsheet) to help you gain a picture of your current and potential meetings costs. This allows you to input your variable factors from Annual Salaries (you might need some guidance from HR on this or take some averages from other research (like Linkedin) to Hotel and Flight costs all available online – it all depends on how accurate you need to be. As mentioned, there are other less tangible but just as important factors like Stress and Wellbeing not just for your staff but for their families, and whilst there is some form of pandemic threat this will not disappear overnight.

Once you have gathered your data then certainly you need to consider the costs and the value that upgrading your meeting room(s) to allow you to engage more readily in your markets. Also, to understand your staff’s willingness or confidence to use the equipment and adopt the new processes. So, ask HR and your staff for feedback.

Now that you have dome this then you will need to gather the additional information of how much this will cost and what are the options. This is where we, Walcom Integration, can help – we offer a free initial consultation either online or if it is important to understand the better the environment, we will be working in then we will visit you. Part of what we do is look to give you best advise as we also work as consultants in all sectors ideally at planning stage because installing Audio Visual equipment has its own specialist requirements and that is why we have staff qualified and certified by industry bodies like CEDIA & AVIXA to carry out the planning, design, sourcing, installation, programming and commissioning of Audio Visual systems.

Once we have discussed with you exactly what you require of the system, we can then check the best options for you from a comprehensive list of suppliers to assemble the right solution, at a price to suit your budget.

Once approved it’s a matter of arranging dates and schedules to complete the installation.

It might be at this stage you possibly don’t feel the need to change and that you are happy to manage a number of systems or computers running Zoom or Teams with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Meetings, providing they have all been screened for the various malware etc. All I would suggest is take the opportunity to visit our website and download the Spreadsheet Template.

Having done that go through the exercise of seeing what the potential meeting costs might be and then give us a call for a quick chat to see if we could help or advise you accordingly. What we want for you is to have a system that is easy to manage for you and your staff that will deliver better safer engagement and that will also enhance your ‘Eco-Credentials’.