A Quality Video Conferencing System
Establishing good video conferencing protocols starts with choosing the video conference system that makes the most sense for your business. A video conference system is a solution that allows users to meet virtually via video. While all video conference systems require a solid internet connection, many offer the option to join meetings either within an internet browser or using a desktop application on the user’s computer or laptop.
Video conferencing infrastructure is built around communications applications, like audio, video, and web conferencing, as well as phone management. Your organization might consider Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) as a way to tie all of your communications applications together.
The centralized platform makes it easy for team members to contact one another with one click and pull up past video calls to access critical information. If you have offices spread across the globe, you won't lose track of any communications with a UCaaS platform. It also offers robust reporting features so you can collect and analyze meaningful data about your company's video conferences.
The Right Video Conferencing Features
Video conferencing systems can serve just a few meeting participants or many. Some video software options are best used for 1:1 or small group meetings, while other video solutions allow companies to scale up to host virtual events for thousands of users. For the former, a solution like Vonage’s Video Express offers the ability to upgrade your video experience using a low-code solution. For these larger-scale use cases, such as all-team meetings at a large company, you might want to consider a solution like Vonage’s Interactive Broadcast, which allows you to create customized video event experiences that immerse audiences during and after the event.
Video conferencing solutions also offer a range of features. While some options are simple and designed to be used out-of-the-box, others are more customizable, with add-on features that can elevate the virtual meeting experience. Video conferencing systems run the gamut, but most include some key features to enable more efficient meetings. Screen sharing and recording features are now table-stakes for most video conferencing solutions, as they allow participants to see each other’s screens and record meetings for future reference.
As video conferencing solutions become more sophisticated, many have also rolled out add-on features like virtual backgrounds, reaction buttons, and more to make video meetings more engaging and enhance the visual experience.
When establishing video conference standards, it’s also important to consider mobility. Since some users may want to access meetings on the go, you may want to consider a video conferencing solution with a mobile application. At a minimum, choosing a system with a good in-browser experience will help users join meetings either at home, in the office, or on the move.
While there’s no shortage of features of video conferencing, most businesses can benefit from sticking to some of the basics, coupled with an easy login experience and both desktop and in-browser access options. A video conferencing system like Vonage Meetings offers a user-friendly experience that makes it easy for participants to log into meetings, while also including the core features needed for a successful video session.
Video Conferencing Bandwidth Requirements
As video conferencing technology advances, your internet connection must keep pace. Using HD video creates a sharper image. However, HD video requires more bandwidth than standard video streaming, so ensure your internet connection can handle the extra load. Consider how many video streams your company may have at any given time to calculate how much overall bandwidth you'll need. Most users will need an internet connection that offers at least 10 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream. Higher bandwidth can help with better video quality, and as the number of participants in a meeting go up, you’ll also want to consider upping the bandwidth to accommodate all of the users.
The Best Mic for Video Conferencing
When it comes to improving audio quality on video calls, investing in the right tools goes a long way. As part of your video conferencing standards, your business should consider providing headsets or other types of audio equipment for employees. Most of the time, the built-in speakers on laptops or desktop computers will not be the best option for the clearest sound on a video call.
Luckily, you can choose from a range of different external audio options. Standalone microphones or hockey puck-style speakers can be great choices, as they allow users to be hands-free. Headsets, headphones, or earbuds can also be good options for users on the go, and they also offer the benefit of improved audio quality. In general, video conferencing protocols should strongly encourage users to use external audio sources for better results and engagement in virtual meetings.
A Background Screen for Video Conferencing
Having a well-organized background screen for your video calls is highly recommended as part of your video conferencing protocols. You should make sure that the background in your space on calls is organized to avoid distractions, and you might even consider purchasing a physical backdrop to streamline your space.
Alternatively, some video conferencing platforms offer built-in backgrounds to use in meetings, or you can download external applications that offer virtual backdrop options. No matter which option you choose, having a high-quality background can help make your video calls more productive.
Webcams for Video Conferencing
Investing in external webcams can also go a long way to improve the video conferencing experience. While most laptops and desktops have built-in video cameras, webcams tend to offer higher resolution and, as a result, better picture quality. Most individual webcams are also relatively easy to use; users can plug many of them into their existing laptops using a USB connection. When looking at webcams, consider features like resolution (at least 1080p), frame rate (at least 60 frames per second), noise cancellation or reduction, background removal, and low-light or automatic light correction.
For conference room settings, many of the same standards apply when considering webcam solutions. Some manufacturers now offer webcam solutions designed specifically for meeting rooms; these types can sync up with video meeting technology inside a conference room and allow multiple participants to join from the same space.
Whether employees are joining meetings at home or from the office, external webcams should be a part of your video conferencing standards to improve video quality and engagement.
Finally, you'll need to train your employees on how to use the video conferencing system. Advise them on best practices, such as where to stand and how to adjust lighting, as well as technical details, such as how to share screens for presentations, how to record meetings and trainings for future reference, and how to access call stats and other valuable information. Taking time to train employees before implementing video conferencing solutions can make all the difference in a successful adoption.
With video conferencing, you create effective opportunities for teams to stay on the same page, even when they're on the go. And to get the most out of your video conferencing solutions, be sure to have the right personnel and technology requirements in place prior to implementation.
Choosing the right video conferencing solution and having the proper accessories in place to enhance the video experience is key for making video meetings productive and for keeping employees engaged.
Looking for an out-of-the-box video conferencing option for your business? Learn more about Vonage Meetings.
Want to take it a step further and consider building your own custom video experiences? Explore all the features of the Vonage Video API.
- 1:1 Video Conferencing: This kind of video conferencing involves a virtual meeting between two individuals who both access the meeting from their respective computers.
- Internal Team Video Conferencing: Similar to 1:1 video calls, team video conferencing involves a group of employees gathering together in the same video meeting. These video calls can usually rely on the same video conferencing infrastructure as 1:1 meetings.
- Virtual Events Video Conferencing: Consider this video conferencing at scale. Events video conferencing could involve an internal all-hands meeting for your business or a larger, public-facing event or webinar. In this case, your business might choose to onboard a more comprehensive video conferencing solution with features designed specifically for events; these solutions can accommodate a greater number of participants and differentiate between access modes for event hosts and attendees.