June 5, 2023 - Jack Horry, Industry Trends

Unlock the value of meetings – Producing engaging content with Quorum

“Hey, can we record this meeting?”. – Certainly an easy task but rarely with engaging results. And the difference between “simply pushing record” and producing something truly engaging often gets brushed aside.

In legislatures and boardrooms worldwide, there’s an undeniable need to capture events: Transparency, increased engagement, accountability, or simply to inform. The viewer, however, will always engage better with something that gets them to feel involved, something that helps them understand the reasons behind what is happening on the screen in front of them – think of the difference between how surveillance would record someone stealing a car and how that would be depicted in a crime drama series.

Meetings can take many forms and serve various purposes: Legislative committees hold meetings, corporate announcements aim to engage employees, and even a group of people in a party are engaging with each other. All these meetings have important implications for individuals who are not physically present.

Legislative bodies have been at the forefront of meeting technology, elevating it from a simple means of demonstrating government transparency into a legal requirement for documenting meetings. Similarly, corporations have recognized the value of video calls for keeping the business going and enhancing employee engagement. And as multiple cameras enter the picture, complexity increases while the desire for high production value and image quality grows.

Who should you turn to when it comes to organizing all of this?

Most people start with their IT or AV team, which will certainly do their best to meet your needs. Often, this involves modifying the video conferencing tool and room arrangement to adapt to the new requirements. The result tends to be a convoluted solution with temporary wires, a single person who understands the system, and a significant investment of time and bandwidth leading up to the event.

Often the end result falls short of capturing the true value of the content or being engaging at all.

The next day, someone innocently asks, “Can we record another meeting?” with a simplistic view that it should be easy – This presents interesting challenges because the IT / AV team is suddenly expected to perform like reliable professional broadcasters, but using complicated-looking boxes held together with wires and scotch tape quickly becomes unpalatable, especially when management sets high expectations, or there are legal requirements for consistent meeting footage.

A well-intended but misguided attempt at a solution

Despite being better suited for the task at hand, historically, professional broadcast equipment seemed like the wrong direction for corporate or legislative IT and AV teams, with switchers and control panels resembling something out of the Starship Enterprise intimidating newcomers (no wonder retired switchers have even been used as props in cinema due to their complex-looking nature), IT / AV teams unfamiliar with the manufacturers and skills associated with it, and equipment that are often seen as expensive.

As a result, the focus shifts to the pro-AV market, which in turn presents a bewildering array of different ecosystems, incompatible components, technical specifications and jargon. The end result is often a minimal understanding of the setup, boxes that claim to do the job but disappoint, and the IT/AV team hunting for adaptors to make everything work.

The risky single point of failure

Sometimes, really good in-house systems emerge to solve these issues. These systems leverage the power of good broadcast equipment and tools put together by someone very knowledgeable while providing the end-users with a decent and straightforward experience. However, these solutions are often highly customized and usually a mystery for anyone other than their creator to maintain.

This complexity becomes evident when the system deviates from its strict intended design, and in the real world, we often encounter highly advanced AV meeting rooms that have either been misused or tampered with, which translates to a fairly common “Brian plugged his laptop directly into the screen last week, and it hasn’t worked since.” The reality is, while these systems are helpful, they can still be tricky to configure, operate and maintain.

The best of both worlds

The ideal solution combines the power of broadcast technology with a seamless, intuitive and user-friendly experience. A configurable control system so simple that any user is free to focus on the content without the distraction of worrying about how the equipment fits together. Administrators could effortlessly manage the system without the need for constant rebuilding, while managers could devote their time to producing engaging content rather than juggling compromises. 

One of the fantastic benefits of this simplified approach is the ability to utilize multiple camera angles and positions without having to rearrange the entire room. Instead, the system should adapt to the participants’ and environments’ needs rather than the other way around. This simplicity would open up new possibilities for productions that previously lacked straightforward solutions. 

For instance, a musician operating the system allows their intimate knowledge of the music effortlessly capture an orchestra’s dramatic moments, like a melodic string passage or when the powerful sound of percussion breaks the silence. Now, picture adding robotic cameras to a rehearsal space. Suddenly, orchestras have the ability to release captivating content that drives engagement and even generates revenue. 

Using broadcast-level equipment in your content production workflow not only enhances the overall value of your meetings but also elevates audience engagement. With high-quality content at your disposal, you can steer your objectives toward new horizons, be it creating an efficient archive or establishing an entire channel dedicated to premium content. 

The future is now

Ross Video can help you accomplish these goals and more. 

We’re excited to announce that at InfoComm 2023, we will be unveiling the next generation of our meeting control product, called Quorum. With this innovative solution, legislative bodies and corporations will have the power to take their video productions to new heights. 

Quorum leverages our extensive broadcast expertise to allow you to make the most of your equipment without needing to decipher a sea of buttons, while ensuring you capture the high-quality images you expect. All of this is achieved without the hassle of rebuilding and reconfiguring meeting spaces or isolating specific skill sets. Our control systems are designed to be intuitive, flexible, and seamlessly integrated into your existing spaces and workflows. 

Get ready for an enhanced, engaging, and effortless control experience like never before! 

About Jack Horry

After 20 years of experience, Jack joined Ross in July 2019 as the Automation and Control Specialist as a member of the OverDrive and DashBoard product teams and has since worked with a number of teams to improve the Ross workflow journey. Jack’s is a great resource for information on Ross’s Automation, Control, NRCS, Switchers, and Graphics products.