For the Council of the Tarn-Et-Garonne Department in the southwest of France, it is vital to involve its constituents in decision-making. But how can it do that when people are confined to their homes?
The Council is an elected body that is responsible for local services, laws, and budgets in Tarn & Garonne, in the French administrative region of Occitanie. Besides its own meetings, the Council holds mandatory public events to discuss important matters such as the coordination of resources, leadership, and local development. Importantly, it is in these meetings that votes are cast to set budgets to support families in the area.
So when France declared a lockdown in March 2020, the Council had to quickly find a way to continue its meetings and public events. It had deployed BlueJeans Meetings but was not using the video conferencing platform extensively.
As Manager of Audio-visual Management and Maintenance at Hôtel du Département of Tarn & Garonne, Wilfrid Garcia had seen how BlueJeans Meetings effectively met the Council President’s communication needs. BlueJeans Meetings was highly functional and reliable — and with one-click access, was easy to use. So he suggested extending its deployment to enable the Council to carry on its meetings and events.
Bringing Constituents Together
In a matter of a few days, the Council created around 20 new accounts for elected representatives and Tarn & Garonne entities such as the archives office, town halls, and libraries. These representatives and entities have been meeting virtually since then, bringing together an increasing number of participants from across the department and saving on travel time and costs.
“BlueJeans provides the means for closer and more frequent collaboration between the members of the Council and their various contacts at a departmental level, which facilitates faster and more collegial decision-making,” says Wilfrid Garcia.
To organize virtual events such as voting on budgets, the Council adopted BlueJeans Events. It now livestreams public meetings that are open to all Tarn & Garonne residents, making it much more convenient for people to attend. Up to 400 residents joined one event, way more than the average of three people who had previously turned up to face-to-face meetings. Residents also get to really participate and interact through features such as chat and Q&A.
“With Events, the Council gains in communication scope and proximity with its constituents, who are now more inclined to participate and get involved,” says Wilfrid Garcia.
Enjoying Superb Audio Quality and Easy Event Management
Participants’ experiences are made even better by the impeccable audio quality of Dolby Voice embedded in BlueJeans Events and Meetings. Dolby Voice suppresses unwanted noise and uses a technology that lets participants hear each voice from a distinct location, making it easier to follow conversations.
For moderators, managing events is effortless. They can control sound and video, customize screen layouts, integrate the Council’s logo, and organize express polls — all from a single dashboard. They can also allow multiple presenters.
Modernizing Meeting Facilities
To adapt its collaboration tools to all meeting requirements and configurations, the Council transformed five traditional meeting rooms into modern workspaces using BlueJeans Rooms featuring Dolby Voice Room — combining audio, video, and document sharing. Staff members don’t need to have extensive experience of video conferencing technology as they can start a meeting at the touch of a button.
Thanks to BlueJeans, the Council now has the flexibility to schedule meetings on demand and the ability to make all public events accessible virtually. This has not only boosted public participation but allowed elected representatives to be present for meetings and events even when they are away or busy with other work commitments. Importantly, the Council has been able to make decisions together with its constituents and deliver key services to them even during times of disruption.
“With BlueJeans, the icing on the cake is its 24x7 chatbot, which guarantees business continuity throughout the Tarn & Garonne Department,” says Wilfrid Garcia.