A guide to conferencing hardware

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For a lot of businesses, it’s quite normal to underrate the value of both great conferencing software, and effective equipment. There are a lot of software’s out there that offer comprehensive conferencing services. Things like Slack, Zoom, Global Meets and MS Teams all offer a similar service to the other – but it’s important to complement these with the correct hardware, which can be difficult to find the right one.

In this guide we’ll look at different questions and solutions you may have to conferencing hardware, examples of what this hardware is used for and when you should consider using it.

 

Conferencing hardware

Video conferencing hardware from the likes of Cisco, Logitech, and Polycom will enhance your calls beyond the capabilities of your built-in webcam and microphone, with white noise blocking and automatic camera adjusting just some of the benefits of going all out on video conferencing equipment.

So as mentioned above, conference hardware does a good job in supplementing the needs of your software in that it provides a professional and stable approach to communication via webcams, microphones and acoustics to ensure professionalism in what is now a remote working heavy world.

 

What is video conferencing?

It’s a way to co-ordinate live conversations with people who you need to speak with. Not typical to a standard conference shot via audio, it allows for a live stream of visual content too.

Previously, this would’ve required a big budget and specialist support however with the advances in modern tech and our understanding video conferencing has become the norm.

 

What conferencing hardware should I use?

A lot of the hardware you will need would probably seem a bit straightforward however it’s important in order to achieve a fully professional conference experience you’ve considered all the options below:

  • Laptop
  • Camera
  • Microphone
  • Speakers

Although you can have the above separate it’s pretty common now to have an all-in-one hardware package which would be perfect for your home working setup.

 

Things to consider when choosing video conference equipment

There are several factors for you to think about when considering purchasing conferencing hardware. Considering the implications for the business in a sense that it changes how you are communicating with potential employees, customers and other stakeholders it is vital to consider what outcomes you’re going to achieve.

  • Participants
    First and foremost, you need to be considering how many people are going to be using the software. Obviously, a single webcam suits one person however if you’ve got multiple participants on a single conference, you’re going to need to have higher spec hardware such as HD video facilities, improved mic etc.

  • Accessibility
    Another consideration is how simply you can use the technology you’re thinking of implementing. Things like MS Teams for example and Zoom make it really straightforward to set up conferences and recurring meetings. You don’t want to be spending a lot of time learning how to set up meetings and audio systems so make sure its accessible for all levels.

  • Meeting types
    You need to also consider what you want to be hosting as a meeting. Is this going to be used primarily for internal comms or are you going to be holding seminars/skills workshops or project updates? There are a number of different systems to use for all the above but it’s a good place to start if you know what you’re intending to use the hardware for first.

  • Compatibility
    Your hardware needs to match your software’s capabilities before you implement this. There’s no point spending all this time and financing on hardware that’s either out of date or misaligned with your current software.

  • Added features
    Knowing what you want from your hardware is a great start but you need to also consider what extra benefits you’re getting from the selected provider. A lot of offerings will throw in an incentive to choose them, which may provide cost cutting in things like training for example or even software bundles.

 

Conferencing has changed drastically in the last year, with the majority of us now doing this remotely and not in physical conference rooms at all. With this in mind, businesses have had to take innovative and fast approaches to how they communicate and deliver conferences, which has given way to a lot of new software and hardware advances.

With this in mind you have a lot of choice out there on conferencing hardware but it’s important to consider that with choice comes queries on what kind of conferencing you need to consider and if there’s the right tools out there for you.

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