By Daniel Hunter

Visualization expert Barco has released the results of its recent Meeting room of the future survey, jointly organized with InAVate and PFM magazine. Via this research, more than 300 senior business managers in the EMEA region expressed their opinion on collaboration and knowledge sharing and the environments and tools that support these behaviours.

One of the major results is that 59% of the respondents believe that the meeting room of the future will be fully digital by 2014, with 94% believing this will be the case by 2020.

During the month of June, InAVate, PFM and Barco launched an online survey in which respondents shared their vision on the meeting room of the future and the importance of collaboration and knowledge sharing in those meeting spaces.

The survey provided important insights into how organisations are dealing with today’s changing work environment and culture and how this affects the technology needs for meeting rooms. 59% of the survey respondents expect their meeting rooms to be fully digitally equipped by 2014, 25% expect this by 2016, and 9% by 2020.

When asked how often they and their colleagues work remotely, 91% of the survey respondents stated that they work remotely on a regular basis, with 27% working remotely almost daily. The future is mobile - and as increasing numbers of employees are working remotely, meeting spaces must become more flexible and support a greater range of technologies and demands for virtual conferencing. When attending a meeting, 82% bring their own device (the majority of these are laptops, but other mobile devices are on the rise).

While meetings are still largely presentation-driven - 92% of the respondents cite support for presentation software, such as Microsoft PowerPoint, as the main priority - there is a growing demand to provide support for additional digital media. 59% of businesses are now using photos and video to deliver better meeting performance, as digital media drive the push to improve the effectiveness of corporate meetings.

When organising or attending a meeting, the survey respondents are most frustrated by long setup times and technical issues. That’s why the main objectives for investing in new AV equipment are to: improve meeting dynamics (47%), reduce meeting setup times (41%) and improving the reliability of technology (40%). When investing in meeting spaces, the three most important technology priorities are: presentation tools, remote conferencing technology, and audio reproduction systems. In the respondents’ organisations, the IT Manager (47%), CIO (30%) and Facilities Manager (28%) are the main decision-makers for investing in AV equipment and the average budget for meeting room technology is €10,000.

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