Conference microphone systems can be a major research and resource investment for event planners.
But as meetings and conferences balloon in size, microphone systems that ensure everyone’s voice is heard and that the the dialogue flows smoothly are no longer a luxury — they’re indispensable.
What exactly are conference microphone systems, and why are they so critical to the smooth flow of meetings?
Here are 5 ways conference microphone systems can power up your meetings.
1. Conference microphones improve the intelligibility of speech.
A few people gathered around a boardroom table can easily hear one another. But what happens as you add participants? Each speaker finds it harder to make himself or herself heard, and even as voices are raised, the ability of listeners to hear them declines.
Conference microphone systems amplify voices so that everyone can use their normal speaking voice and still be heard.
While making meetings audible and accessible for everyone is a key function of conference microphone systems, they are also much more than that. In fact, conference microphone systems are indispensable tools that allow conversations to flow and decisions to be made. Here’s how:
2. A single chairman controls who gets to speak (and when).
A conference session in which everyone was able to speak into their microphones at will would quickly degenerate into chaos.
That’s why delegate microphone systems, at their core, facilitate orderly debate by allowing a single chairperson to select the order of speakers, and activate their microphones only when it’s their time to speak.
The chairperson uses a “chairman microphone” linked to software (or a control unit) that establishes priorities for each “delegate microphone” of the participants.
When a delegate would like to make an unplanned interjection into the conversation, delegate microphones allow participants to speak out of order.
3. Delegates to the conference can “request-to-speak” without distracting other participants.
In order to speak, each delegate must “raise their hands” electronically by pushing a button on their delegate microphone unit. Once they’ve pushed the button, the chairman can recognize their right to speak, and prioritize when their microphone is turned on.
In this way, delegates wishing to speak can make their voices heard without simply stopping other speakers, or by constantly raising their hands.
4. Voting microphone systems speed up decision making.
Just as physically raising and lowering your hand to be recognized can be distracting (and tiring), so can physically voting on matters requiring a decision.
Voting microphones (and the appropriate voting software) allow delegates to vote yes, vote no, or abstain altogether with the push of a button. The system automatically tallies the votes and displays them to the chairman, eliminating the need for a count of hands, and keeping the pace of the agenda brisk.
5. Sophisticated software allows expandability for interpreting and other features.
Voting, delegate, and conference systems encompass far more than simply audio — they also include a range of devices from smartphones to laptops to PA systems. As options to interface with conference systems proliferate, software has become more complicated to allow extra features like voting (as mentioned above) or security features like code cards and passwords.
Consider wireless functionality as well. Wireless conference microphone systems (such as those offered by Televic) are a wise choice if you need a system that you can set up and use repeatedly in a variety of venues.
These are only a few options available for conference microphone systems. That’s why it’s easy to become overwhelmed when choosing a system.
How do you know which system is right for you?
Conference microphone systems are a major addition to your A/V stockpile, and it’s important to consider which features you might need — and which limitations you may encounter — before purchasing a system.
That’s why renting a system can be a great option — you’ll get the most up-to-date equipment, the support you need to operate it (including dedicated, on-site engineers), and (most importantly) the ability to try out a system before you determine whether or not you want to purchase it.
Have a question about renting or buying a conference microphone system? Call us at 1-800-263-0112 or let us know in the comments!