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Corporate leaders still rely on paper for engagement and collaboration during meetings according to survey results
Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Sixty-eight percent of respondents lack the technology to easily project and share content with colleagues

Duluth, GA – 6 Aug 2013 – Although there is widespread availability and a growing dependence on certain technologies like mobile devices in the corporate environment, business leaders still lack effective, user-friendly tools to facilitate collaboration in meetings, according to the 2013 Survey on the Obstacles to Effective Business Meetings. 

Lack of easy-to-use meeting room technologies sustains reliance on paper
While computing and AV equipment abound in the meeting room, they don’t necessarily play well together. Technical issues, especially the lack of interconnectivity among devices, are inhibiting companies from fully migrating to a digital meeting environment. According to the survey of 572 North American business leaders, 69 percent of executives continue to rely on hard copies of presentations in the typical meetings they attend. In fact, paper usage outpaced newer technologies by a landslide, with only 28 percent of survey respondents using a presentation device to share content, and 23 percent using a tablet.

Technical obstacles continue to stifle business collaboration
In the digital age, productive meetings are more than having the right attendees and an effective meeting leader. Business leaders often deal with a myriad of technical issues in the meetings they attend. Sixty-two percent of survey respondents say they face technical issues when trying to show or share information in meetings and 48 percent are challenged with effectively sharing information or visuals during meetings.

Although the survey indicated that the “Bring Your Own Device” or BYOD trend is gaining acceptance in many organizations, among executives that have a mobile device, 68 percent lack the technology to easily project content from their smartphone or tablet during a meeting. Another 15 percent can “sometimes” project content from a smartphone or tablet during a meeting, with 10 percent stating “yes,” but only if they have the correct adaptors on hand. At the same time, more than two-thirds of business leaders state that the ability to easily project content from those devices in meetings would be useful.

Solutions should focus on improving meeting efficiency
“Executives and other business leaders spend a significant amount of time in meetings for the specific purposes of planning, idea generation, group consensus and team engagement,” stated Patrick Lee, vice president of digital at Barco North America. “To help optimize their time and drive group engagement, organizations need easy-to-learn and useful solutions that foster collaboration in conference rooms to improve overall meeting efficiency.” 

Enhanced connectivity tops corporate leaders’ wish lists
While 43 percent of business leaders stated their company’s use of technology in meetings has increased in the last year, these individuals have an extensive “wish list” of technologies that they feel would make the meetings they attend more productive.

Topping the list is the desire for wireless/cable-less connectivity to the room’s projection screen or LCD, as expressed by 52 percent of survey respondents. When thinking about the ideal conference room for their company, 50 percent of business leaders also want easier connectivity with other mobile devices, while 41 percent look for connectivity to/from the participant’s seat. Thirty eight percent sought quicker start-up times.

Other meeting room technology wish list items include:

  • Collaboration solutions that make it easy to share visuals/information from different computers, tablets and smartphones during the meeting (46 percent)
  • Meeting software in which participants enter their comments and ideas during the meeting and the ideas are projected (41 percent)
  • Video conferencing (39 percent)
  • Voting tools (19 percent)

“For many organizations, the digital divide occurs between their offices and meeting rooms,” Lee said. “The good news for business executives and organizations that conduct a lot of meetings is that this divide is narrowing and there are new options available to enable meeting participants to take full advantage of technology in meeting rooms as they do in their offices.”  

Complete findings from the 2013 Survey on the Obstacles to Effective Business Meetings, a blind survey of 572 North American business leaders cond