As June 21st approaches, a whole bunch of people are looking at how to run Hybrid Meetings. This is not easy with consumer technology i.e. laptops, neither the mic. nor the camera’s are likely to be good enough. One will thus be reliant on the venue’s AV facilities. Here are my notes on the tech and rooms in London. This was update in Nov 2022, after a visit to Birkbeck college. We successfully made a configuration work. This is documented in  one of the comments. For some reason, I originally made this private, possibly because I was linking to solution providers that I hadn’t checked out. This might be helpful to someone other than me and so I have changed the visibility. Here my notes as they stand. …

This video is very popular but very irritating.

For meetings beyond that of a board room, the meeting room will need a podium or roving cameras and the ability of the platform to be seen. It will need a large monitor or beamer to allow the room to see the virtual audience.

Some tech vendors are looking at how to integrate a roving camera or mic into the laptop/pc.

Bottom line you need

  1. strong speakers i.e. the device not people, to broadcast to the room.
  2. multiple cameras
  3. multiple Mics in the room (this is very hard with zoom)

All these devices need to be better than those integrated into a laptop.

I found this advert, from Cevent, which looks at the planning issues. I have copied their notes on technology into the modal below. (Actually the modal’s CSS broke when I implemented the tempo theme. I’ll fix it sometime soon, I hope.

There are also social issues, what happens if too many people turn up. Do you or the venue require people to socially distance?

More Tech

I went to Birkbeck and tried something out. I wondered if it was possible to connect the room camera to the vroom, without a laptop?

  1., from owl labs looks like Zoom’s answer albeit published by a camera vendor.
  3. or if one’s feeling cheap,
  4. A Pi would reduce the form factor of the connecting Laptop


  3. Conway Hall, Red Lion Sq.,
  4. Rooms at Coin St. Community Centre, sensible rooms, but seem to be a/c not windowed.
  5. St Brides Foundation, good rooms, currently coming out of COVID restrictions, £490 for 4 hours, laptop & projector would be extra, sound system is poor i.e. speakers only and no cameras.

Perhaps I should try Regus, to see if they have a big enough room. Also, see this on google maps


2 Replies

  1. I moved this comment from the main article,

    Management Planning & Hopin

    Hopin have a guide, this is very much aimed at selling a cost benefit analysis and the needs for management/event planning. It asks questions about audience design and engagement. It’s definitely worth reading if you don’t think about these questions. It is clearly designed as an advert and they are aiming at conferences rather than business/movement meetings. They do have a free service layer. They do not provide on-site AV kit, and like everyone else need a camera, mics and speakers. They offer free demos and why not.

  2. I visited Birkbeck yesterday, and got what I wanted almost working.

    1. Plug a Laptop into the OHP projector controller using the HDMI cable, set the output channel to ON
    2. Start the zoom meeting, ensuring that microphone control is set to Host Only, “Allow Participants to Unmute” set to OFF.
    3. In the zoom control panel, set the sound output to the room’s speakers (via the hdmi)
    4. Start the bluetooth connected mic and connect to the laptop, and in the zoom control panel, set the mic to external having turned it on
    5. Use a second laptop as a camera host for a second camera, aimed at the platform/table. The second laptop turns its mic off using windows control panel and logs into zoom.

    The difference between here and the library is that here, the microphone is controlled by the controller laptop; at the library it is controlled by the AV controller box.

    We were unable to test at volume and on the day had to use a phone as the mic host as we identified the venue’s WiFi service as the performance constraint. The phone was connected to zoom conference over GSM rather than via the AV controller host and bluetooth. The platform camera may have been done by phone over GSM.

    our birkbeck network using a phone over GSM as the microphone host

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