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Meeting Space Evolution

There's recently been a tremendous amount of focus on improving the collaborative experience for virtual meetings. Virtual meeting places, team collaboration tools, and other applications have made it much easier for people scattered around the globe to get together virtually and get work done.

However, there's been a lack of focus on evolving the physical meeting space. For the most part, physical spaces such as conference rooms, huddle rooms, or just open meeting areas are as they have been for the past couple of decades. One might say that no innovation has happened in this realm because meeting rooms are fine the way they are. The fact is, meeting spaces are highly inefficient and need to evolve.

To get an idea of the limitations of physical meeting spaces, I interviewed Rob Portwood, Managing Director and Owner of Videocall, a U.K.-based systems integrator and service provider that for almost two decades has been building physical meeting spaces and deploying the technology around the world that enables it.

So what sort of interest is out there from customers on revamping physical spaces? Rob told me that Videocall has seen a tremendous amount of uptake recently on businesses wanting to use these spaces more efficiently. He said the primary focus from organizations building meeting spaces is to not repeat the mistakes of the past. This means working on the following three initiatives:

Even with the desire of organizations to evolve the meeting space, Rob told me that there are still some technology barriers that get in the way of creating optimized meeting spaces. These are as follows:

As a systems integrator/service provider and a company that directly deals with customers, I asked Rob what advice he would give to vendors. This is his wish list:

Rob's final word of advice to the vendor community was to fix the above issues first in order to drive more adoption of meeting space technology. Then bring in the cool stuff because the technology becomes a pull instead of a push. Wise words indeed.

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