June 01, 2003
Meetings & Conventions: Planner's Portfolio June 2003 Current Issue
June 2003 ChecklistPLANNER'S PORTFOLIO:




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


  • Will the videoconference be held point-to-point or multipoint? 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 the 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 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.

  • At what time will the videoconference be held? Many international videoconferences occur at odd hours of the day and night. Offer coffee if it is scheduled in the early morning or late evening.
  • 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.
  • Advise participants not to wear flashy clothing or jewelry.
  • Give a list of participants and locations to all involved. preparing the room and equipment
  • 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 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-effectiveness.
  • 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 and to those who could not attend.

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