Can’t I just do this myself? In our second installment of blogs that answer this question, we’ll take a look at a meeting room.
Meeting rooms are a critical part of any office environment. This is a space where systems need to work all the time, and the “time to connect” should be measured in seconds not minutes. Let’s imagine a simple meeting room. There’s a display on one wall, with a conference camera mounted below it, and a few cables to connect your laptop on the table. This could be much more complex with in-room speakers and ceiling microphones, a touch screen for meeting controls, and even multiple displays with a rack full of control and processing equipment.
For our example, we’ll keep it simple. What all happened for this simple meeting room to become functional?
Setting aside the necessary steps of business requirements, system selection, configuration, and programming, we’ll focus only on the physical requirements.
First, during construction, the general contractor (GC) needed to know where your display was going to be mounted so that he could install backboard behind the sheet rock. The GC then needed to know where the boxes and conduits were going to be for AV devices, power, and cabling. Is the meeting room table pushed up against the wall or floating in the middle of the room? This dictates where the conduits and boxes should be installed.
One more detail that’s often overlooked is coordination with the furniture vendor. Are the AV connections installed in the table itself? Is there a cable tray mounted under the table for the cables to neatly lay into? Most meeting room furniture providers have custom inserts, trays, and boxes that house AV equipment and their connections. Coordinating system requirements with the furniture specifications are critical– especially when a credenza is involved, and it needs to house a small rack – not only is size a factor, but ventilation for proper equipment cooling!
One more important element is effective project management. All of these tasks and activities need to be properly sequenced to ensure a smooth handover to your end users. The GC should have the boxes and pathways complete, then the walls should be painted/finished, and any floor base installed. The LV team should come in and rough-in their cabling while these areas are exposed. The furniture vendor should then have the furniture in the room, assembled, and positioned correctly. Then the low voltage team should come back and terminate the cabling they previously pulled. Then the AV team should come in and install the devices, displays, etc. Something as simple as the floor base not being installed at the right time can cause a situation where the furniture needs to be moved, which can be a big issue if all cabling and devices are already installed.
The good news is that we’re here to help with this entire process from start to finish. Having a team with the right experience drive the delivery of these types of systems saves you from dealing with these headaches, and avoids additional costs simply because of poor communication and coordination.