October 01, 2000
Meetings & Conventions: Planner's Portfolio October 2000 Current Issue
October 2000 ChecklistPLANNER'S PORTFOLIO:




The following checklist was compiled with the help of Megan Kirst, president of Global Videoconferencing Solutions, Inc., 12 South First St., Suite 306, San Jose, Calif. 95113.


  • Will the videoconference be point-to-point or multi-point? Point-to-point is between two locations; multipoint is between three or more locations.
  • Can the videoconference be held on-site, or will a videoconferencing facility have to be rented?
  • If a multipoint videoconference is planned, does your facility have a multipoint bridge? If not, an outside bridging provider will be needed.
  • What will the speed of the videoconference be? It is standard to use three ISDN lines at a speed of 384 Kbps; however, some of the older systems have a maximum of one ISDN line at 128 Kbps. The faster the speed, the better the image.
  • How many participants will be at each location? Ensure that all participants will have adequate visibility and will be covered by cameras and microphones.
  • What support equipment will be needed? If any video or computer presentations are scheduled, a computer scan convertor or VCR might be needed.

  • What time will the videoconference occur? Many international videoconferences occur at odd hours of the day and night. Offer coffee if it is scheduled very early or late.
  • Provide all participants with the conference agenda, including the date, time and a complete list of participants.
  • Provide participants with instructions or a contingency plan in the event of technical difficulties.
  • Consider using a facilitator to ensure full participation, especially if the videoconference will be multipoint.
  • Build in time for audience interaction, which will give the meeting a more traditional feel.
  • Advise participants not to wear flashy clothing or jewelry.
  • Distribute a contact sheet of participants and locations to all involved.

  • What type of equipment are remote sites using? Most domestic videoconferences are conducted via an H.320 system.
  • What are the ISDN numbers for the remote site or sites?
  • Set up a test call a few days in advance to ensure compatibility between local and remote sites and systems.
  • Be sure video equipment is on and working 30 minutes before the meeting is scheduled to begin.
  • Adjust camera angles. Ideally, no more than 10 percent of the picture should be above the participants’ heads.
  • Close curtains and blinds to reduce glare.

  • Introduce participants at all locations, and state the agenda before beginning.
  • Follow the agenda to maximize time- and cost-efficiency.
  • Advise participants to address one another by name to avoid confusion during interaction.
  • To reduce background noise, put participants in a “listen-only” mode when they are not speaking.
  • Present information in short segments for better audience retention and smoother Q&A sessions.
  • Utilize colorful visual aids such as charts and graphs to communicate key points.
  • International connections might have slight delays in response time. Time comments to avoid overlap and interruptions.

  • Distribute conference minutes to all participants.
  • Make audio- or videotapes of the event available to participants or those who could not attend.

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