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Face-to-face meetings, workshops, events

By those who routinely meet and work online, face-to-face meetings are often remembered with a certain nostalgia. Rightfully so, as it is, of course, great to meet in person, see eye-to-eye and share gossip over a cup of coffee.

That said, many face-to-face meetings fall short of expectations, in particular, as the number of participants grows: Some people dominate, process is slow, openness remains an illusion and prioritization difficult. This is sad, because it is both costly and unneccessary.

MeetingSphere™ is often used in local meetings, workshops or events to enable

  • openness and reduced prejudice through anonymity
  • speed and interactivity by working in parallel
  • focus and shared priorities through rating
  • effective and transparent planning and tracking of actions
  • lossless handovers through automatic documentation

This not only gets the work done. It frees up time for personal interaction where it matters.

Participants who are familiar with MeetingSphere from online sessions simply expect this level of productivity. Why should anyone settle for less just because the meeting is face-to-face and involves travel?

Technical requirements in the meeting room

For MeetingSphere support of a face-to-face session, there are two prerequisites:

  1. Participants require a suitable device for running the MeetingSphere web-client or app
  2. Those client devices require a stable network connection to the MeetingSphere Server

Client devices

Desktops, laptops, net books or chrome books in business use today meet the technical requirements of MeetingSphere if they run a Flash enabled browser. iPad users run the MeetingSphere app. While the Android app is under development, users of Flash-deprived Android tablets rely on Flash-Browsers such as Puffin.

Most participants of face-to-face meetings carry a suitable laptop or tablet. If you cannot rely on this or must expect participants to bring locked down devices which cannot connect, ask them to bring a suitable device or provide devices for them: Most organizations have a pool of decommissioned laptops which are totally adequate for MeetingSphere. If you can spend money, Chrome books are an option to consider. 

Network access

Whatever the device, it must be able to connect to the MeetingSphere Server. This Server can sit

  • in the Cloud
  • in your organization's data center (On-premises Server)
  • in the meeting room (Portable Server)

If your MeetingSphere sits in the Cloud or in the data center, clients must be able to connect to the Internet (or, if so, Intranet) typically over a Wireless LAN. This poses very different challenges depending on the location you are in:

Conference rooms within the organization

usually give access to the organization's regular network only for users (or devices) who can authenticate against a proxy (a kind of firewall) or central authentication service. While this is usually not a problem for local members of the organization, it can be difficult for colleagues who have travelled from another location. It is usually proves an unsurmountable obstacle for external users.

  • Check if there is "guest" network which will allow external users to connect to the MeetingSphere Server
     
  • If required, provide devices which allow users to
    • authenticate against the network, or
    • access a guest nework (are not locked down)
  • If connecting to the networked MeetingSphere proves difficult, consider use of a Portable MeetingSphere Server which runs on a separate (wireless) LAN which is easy to connect to. 

Hotels, conference centers and large venues

In contrast to "corporate" (or government) conference rooms where the main challenges stem from IT security requirements, off-site venues primarily pose challenges of network stability.

MeetingSphere does not require a lot of bandwidth but connections must be stable.

Be wary of Hotel networks which are often less than stable, time out frequently or become frightfully slow when hotel guests start hitting the video or other bandwidth-hungry services.

Make sure

  • there is a separate line to the Internet (assured bandwidth) for your event
  • the Wireless LAN will reliably support the required number of simultaneous connections (this is the most frequent point of failure)

Test this.

If the you are in doubt about the infrastructure, use a Portable MeetingSphere Server and bring your own separate Wireless network. Such an out-of-the-box solution not only ensures quality of service even for large numbers of participants (hundreds) but also reduces the time for negotiations and on-venue testing dramatically.

By those who routinely meet and work online, face-to-face meetings are often remembered with a certain nostalgia. Rightfully so, as it is, of course, great to meet in person, see eye-to-eye and share gossip over a cup of coffee.

That said, many face-to-face meetings fall short of expectations, in particular, as the number of participants grows: Some people dominate, process is slow, openness remains an illusion and prioritization difficult. This is sad, because it is both costly and unneccessary.

MeetingSphere™ is often used in local meetings, workshops or events to enable

  • openness and reduced prejudice through anonymity
  • speed and interactivity by working in parallel
  • focus and shared priorities through rating
  • effective and transparent planning and tracking of actions
  • lossless handovers through automatic documentation

This not only gets the work done. It frees up time for personal interaction where it matters.

Participants who are familiar with MeetingSphere from online sessions simply expect this level of productivity. Why should anyone settle for less just because the meeting is face-to-face and involves travel?

Technical requirements in the meeting room

For MeetingSphere support of a face-to-face session, there are two prerequisites:

  1. Participants require a suitable device for running the MeetingSphere web-client or app
  2. Those client devices require a stable network connection to the MeetingSphere Server

Client devices

Desktops, laptops, net books or chrome books in business use today meet the technical requirements of MeetingSphere if they run a Flash enabled browser. iPad users run the MeetingSphere app. While the Android app is under development, users of Flash-deprived Android tablets rely on Flash-Browsers such as Puffin.

Most participants of face-to-face meetings carry a suitable laptop or tablet. If you cannot rely on this or must expect participants to bring locked down devices which cannot connect, ask them to bring a suitable device or provide devices for them: Most organizations have a pool of decommissioned laptops which are totally adequate for MeetingSphere. If you can spend money, Chrome books are an option to consider. 

Network access

Whatever the device, it must be able to connect to the MeetingSphere Server. This Server can sit

  • in the Cloud
  • in your organization's data center (On-premises Server)
  • in the meeting room (Portable Server)

If your MeetingSphere sits in the Cloud or in the data center, clients must be able to connect to the Internet (or, if so, Intranet) typically over a Wireless LAN. This poses very different challenges depending on the location you are in:

Conference rooms within the organization

usually give access to the organization's regular network only for users (or devices) who can authenticate against a proxy (a kind of firewall) or central authentication service. While this is usually not a problem for local members of the organization, it can be difficult for colleagues who have travelled from another location. It is usually proves an unsurmountable obstacle for external users.

  • Check if there is "guest" network which will allow external users to connect to the MeetingSphere Server
     
  • If required, provide devices which allow users to
    • authenticate against the network, or
    • access a guest nework (are not locked down)
  • If connecting to the networked MeetingSphere proves difficult, consider use of a Portable MeetingSphere Server which runs on a separate (wireless) LAN which is easy to connect to. 

Hotels, conference centers and large venues

In contrast to "corporate" (or government) conference rooms where the main challenges stem from IT security requirements, off-site venues primarily pose challenges of network stability.

MeetingSphere does not require a lot of bandwidth but connections must be stable.

Be wary of Hotel networks which are often less than stable, time out frequently or become frightfully slow when hotel guests start hitting the video or other bandwidth-hungry services.

Make sure

  • there is a separate line to the Internet (assured bandwidth) for your event
  • the Wireless LAN will reliably support the required number of simultaneous connections (this is the most frequent point of failure)

Test this.

If you are in doubt about the infrastructure, use a Portable MeetingSphere Server and bring your own separate Wireless network. Such an out-of-the-box solution not only ensures quality of service even for large numbers of participants (hundreds) but also reduces the time for negotiations and on-venue testing dramatically.