Survey Examines Efficiency of Meetings, Role of Technology

  • Meetings take up a large part of an average business day for most managers and directors. But how are they perceived by the participants?
  • Professional visualization leader Barco commissioned a survey of over 1300 business leaders in Europe and North America to gather their thoughts on meeting efficiency and ways to improve it. The results contain a number of surprising elements.
  • “We just meet and meet and never seem to get any work done.” Does this sound familiar to you? Well, you’re not alone: about half of the business leaders in Europe have the same feeling. This is in contrast to their U.S. counterparts, of which only one quarter share this sentiment. A possible explanation for this large difference could be that the European managers spend a lot more time in meetings than their American colleagues.
  • Rather than revisit the obstacles to efficient business meetings, what are some ideas for improvement? Over 8 out of 10 of the surveyed business managers believe that the right technology will make meetings more productive. With regard to their company’s conference room presentation system, managers are most eager to have an easy way to connect mobile devices to it. Other ideas for improving efficiency that were frequently offered by the managers: easy connection from the participants’ seats, faster start-up time, and wireless connection to the projector or display.
  • The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend is quickly gaining importance, as many managers increasingly want to use their smartphone or tablet to show content on the large meeting room screen. However, using mobile devices easily and conveniently remains somewhat of a challenge. While 73 percent of European managers think it would be useful to be able to share content from their tablets or smartphones, only 14 percent can actually do this in a comfortable way today.
  • Of the countries surveyed, the UK is the best-equipped technologically: 83 percent of the managers use laptops to share information in meeting rooms, 53 percent use tablets, and even smartphones (41 percent) are no longer an exception. However, being an early adopter also entails a number of risks. For example, IT has to intervene in UK meetings much more often than in the rest of Europe (half as often), or North America (only a third as often). So, the key to success is not technology alone – users also need it to be fail-safe.
  • Although the use of technology has increased over the past year in 61 percent of the companies, there is still room for improvement. In particular, business leaders are calling for:
  • 1. Collaboration solutions that make it easy to share visuals/information from different computers during the meeting,
  • 2. Meeting software in which participants enter their comments and ideas during the meeting so that they can be projected afterwards,
  • 3. Video conference solutions,
  • 4. Collaboration solutions that make it easy to share visuals/information from different tablets or smartphones during the meeting.
  • According to 8 out of 10 business leaders, efficient collaboration also means simultaneous sharing of information on the meeting room display.
  • Summarizing all the lessons learned in these survey results, we could say that managers want:
  • * To share content from their tablet or smartphone in an easy way,
  • * A wireless connection to the large meeting room screen from the participants’ seats,
  • * Easy-to-use technology that never fails,
  • * A collaboration solution that makes it easy to share visuals/information from different computers, tablets or smartphones,
  • * Technology that allows multiple people to be onscreen at the same time.

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