When it comes to meetings, few things are more frustrating than having a room of people ready to start a conference and finding the wrong equipment, or the correct equipment set up improperly. A checklist for setting up conference room equipment is an essential part of any successful meeting.
What is included in the checklist largely depends on the character and individual needs of the meeting space. There are different sizes and styles of conference areas, each with its own needs:
* Small conferences limited to a dozen or so people in one room.
* Mid-size conference rooms with seating for a few dozen people.
* Auditorium type rooms with row seating for large groups.
* Rooms with small groups around dining room style tables.
* Variable space meeting rooms with movable curtain-type dividers that retract to enlarge the room as more participants arrive.
* Multi-site conferences where participants in different locations connect through an audio/video mechanism such as compressed video or Skype.
Equipment for each can be located in the Dallas area by doing a web search for Projector Rental Dallas. The results from Projector Rental Dallas should help you to acquire the needed equipment.
SUPPLIES: Is the host organization furnishing all supplies or have participants been advised to bring their own notepads, etc.
HANDOUTS: If multiple handouts are used, one idea is to use tinted paper with a different color for each handout. This saves time as the speaker can say, “As you see on the red pages….” or “The article on the blue pages shows….”
NOTE: Extra participants often join a conference at the last minute, making it necessary to photocopy more handouts on plain white paper. For this reason, it is a good idea to have the word RED printed at the top of the first pate of the red-tinted handout, BLUE printed at the top of the blue-tinted handout, etc.
SIGNAGE: This may be as simple as a whiteboard with markers.
AUDIO/VISUAL: For a small group, charts and graphs may be appropriate. For larger groups, an overhead projector, or in the case of video-conferencing, a look down camera mounted over a light board can be used to broadcast transparencies or printed pages.
NOTE: In the case of a projector or camera, use a large, easy to read text such as 24-point or larger Arial. Trying to “blow-up” a standard 12-point font on a screen can easily result in an unreadable blur.
Check out the A/V equipment ahead of time. If using a projector, is it the correct distance from the screen. If using a down-facing camera, is the presenter familiar with the controls?
If something goes wrong, is there someone on the premises who can troubleshoot the problem.
SEATING: Chairs should be comfortable with a surface for writing. This can be a single conference table for small groups or multiple tables or rows of auditorium seating for larger groups.
CONNECTIONS: Wiring may seem unimportant until you realize that the extension cord to your projector is three-feet too short to position the projector properly, or the microphone you were given has a three-prong plug and the sound system has four-prong receptacle. If a technician is there to set up the sound system in advance, be sure the people in the back of the room can hear clearly.
REFRESHMENTS: Coffee and tea, or hot water and tea bags, could be provided. Some kind of light snack, such as pastries or a fruit plate may be appropriate.