Blogs - Posted on March 17, 2023

The New Avatar of The Town Hall for The Age of Hybrid Work

The New Avatar of The Town Hall for The Age of Hybrid Work

As organisations get back to the office, it becomes clear that how we work together may have changed for the long term. As such, most businesses across industries are working resolutely to create the right technology infrastructure that augments and elevates interactions and engagement in this new world of work.

With the hybrid work model establishing itself as the new normal, enterprises are identifying ways to deliver more unifying experiences to boost engagement. This becomes especially important for meetings such as town halls.

Town halls are a critical platform that facilitates two-way communication. In a town hall, the leaders deliver direction and company agenda, and the employees get the opportunity to interface with the organisational leaders.

Meetings like town halls are an opportunity to create an impact. However, in a hybrid work environment, employees attending the town hall may or may not experience death by PPT, in the absence of the right tools and content. 

The experience for remote workers who are kept in the loop via a choppy videoconferencing link also leads to a similar effect. This is not the kind of ‘unified experience’ that the workforce needs!

The Role of AV Systems in the New Age of Hybrid Work

High-profile meetings such as town halls need to be supercharged by the right AV technology to remove fatigue and deliver compelling, engaging, and uniform experiences to all those attending. A hybrid town hall is likely to be conducted physically in a large room, like an auditorium or conference center. This meeting is then live-streamed for those joining in remotely.

Hybrid town halls can be a great boon as they enable greater attendance. These events also become highly scalable as compared to traditional in-person meetings, as there is no limit to the number of people who can join virtually.

However, a well-conducted, hybrid town hall needs an effective AV design. A few key points of consideration are:

Audio Quality

Nothing shouts poor quality than a screeching mike or audio lags. Using high-quality microphones with noise-cancellation features is important for conducting a hybrid town hall. The sound system at the physical locations also must be placed strategically and ensure that the loudspeakers do not reinforce the presenters’ vocals and lead into a feedback loop. 

Acoustics impact the intelligibility of a presentation. As town halls and other such important meetings become hybrid, organisations can no longer have conference rooms, meeting halls, and other such congregation spaces with poor acoustics.

Well-designed acoustics deaden reverberation and sonic reflections. These features are fast becoming essential for enterprises to enable work models.

Investing in the right AV design and using the right AV equipment in these spaces are hence climbing up the ‘strategic investments’ enterprise priority list. 

Premium audio through the ceiling or surface-mount speakers, wireless lapels, and handheld microphones have become important for today’s town halls. Line array speakers and microphone systems, correctly placed transmitters and receivers for signal transmission, and robust recording and streaming systems contribute to high-quality hybrid town hall meetings. 

Display and Delivery 

Ensuring the right presentation display is crucial for a hybrid town hall. Enterprises need to consider that some people might stand during the presentation. This can adversely impact the main presentation display for people at the back.

Hybrid town halls need screens to be reinforced in strategic locations to ensure that no one misses out on the fine print. AI-powered, 4K Ultra-HD video, Intelligent Zoom, Intelligent Lighting Optimization, and Intuitive Picture-in-Picture mode are some features that further enhance the hybrid experience and provide an immersive experience to all views alike. Video walls, digital signage solutions, and touchless guiding systems elevate the levels of these meetings.

These meetings must be equally immersive and engaging for the remote employee as well. Enterprises need to ensure that the AV technology at work delivers a uniform experience to all users across devices. An employee accessing the town hall from their smartphone and one accessing it from their laptop should not have any difference in experience.

Delivering superior and consistent audio-visual quality across devices, as such, becomes an important goal for enterprises for conducting successful hybrid town halls.

Controls 

Hybrid town halls need a robust AV ecosystem to drive them. Enterprises often get the latest technology to ensure elevated experiences, but unless these high-end technology products are user-friendly, they don’t make the meetings impactful. 

The AV technology at work must provide a simple and user-friendly stage experience. There is no room for clumsy interactions with controls, especially when there are so many eyes and screens on you. 

The technology should provide a single interface for AV tools such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom Rooms and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) conferencing environments. Wireless presentation and device management are features that make hybrid town halls more smooth, more uniform, and more seamless.

Bespoke control systems, one-touch presets to easily configure audio systems, and the flexibility to easily program and control these systems by even non-technical people become important capabilities for successful hybrid town halls.

Two-Way Communication 

Town Halls are a space where employees can engage with their leaders and gain clarity on the organisational direction, plans, and purpose. As such, it becomes important to ensure that the remote workers not only just view the meeting but can participate in it as well. 

Hybrid town halls need a separate meeting taking place online on platforms like Zoom Rooms etc., specifically for members to register, sign in and connect. This setup ensures that the virtual attendees can submit questions and comments which are moderated by elected representatives.

For the in-house attendees, AV technology can help enterprises add the element of fun to Q&A sessions. Catchbox microphones become a fun addition to serious town halls. These customisable microphones, wireless mic and transmitter are housed inside a cushioned cub and are great for Q&A sessions. These microphones run a clever algorithm that mutes the microphones when it is tossed around or dropped. This prevents those unwanted noises.

To Sum It Up

Interactive audiovisual solutions powered by advanced technology can transform hybrid town hall meetings. These platforms need powerful video conferencing platforms that can support modern AV equipment such as active LED displays, video wall displays or high lumens projectors. The right audiovisual design also plays a pivotal role in ensuring the success of these events. 

AV technology is driving today’s digital enterprise as hybrid becomes the new normal. More enterprises will have to take a close look at the AV infrastructure and assess if it can serve the needs of the enterprise of today and tomorrow as well. Connect with us to learn more.

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