If you’re confused about how to set up video conferencing, this guide will walk you through the process.

Video conferencing is an ideal way to host a large meeting if you’re limited on space. You can set up video conferencing equipment in several locations and hold one meeting that hosts dozens, even hundreds, of participants. It’s the perfect solution for CEOs hosting a town hall, for professionals giving presentations to multiple stakeholders in different locations, or to hold a fun virtual event for employees across the globe.

Setting up a video conference – whether it be in your company’s conference room or from your home - is a fairly easy process, and this guide will tell you:

● What hardware you need

● What software you need

● How to set up video conferencing on a laptop

● How to set up your video conference space for the best optics

What is a video conference?

A video conference is a kind of online meeting where the participants communicate via a live call with both visual and audio components. The participants interact in real time, and can see and hear each other, regardless of the distance between them.

Video conferencing is typically used for large group meetings, and participants on one end usually gather in a large room with a big screen that connects them. However, video conferencing can also be used for recreational gatherings and virtual events.

What hardware do you need to set up video conferencing?

To conduct a video conference, at a minimum you need the following hardware:

A large screen that is connected to the internet

When you have multiple participants gathering in one space to attend a video conference, you need a large screen to display the content of the meeting and the attendees on the other end, and it needs to be connected to the internet. If the room is large enough, you may even need two screens. Here are our recommendations for screen sizes:

● 200-400 ft2 conference room: (1) 42”–52” screen

● 500-1000 ft2 meeting space: (2) 42”–52” screens, spaced apart so everyone in the space can see at least one screen.

● 1500-3000 ft2 auditorium: HD projectors rated for 2500 to 4500 lumens for a lit room

Web Camera

The web camera – or webcam - can be integrated with your screen and computer system, or it can be an external camera. Minimum ideal video quality for the webcam is 1080p Full HD. If you use an external webcam, mount it in a location that will capture the attendees. 360° cameras can be mounted in the center of a conference table and capture each speaker around the table as they talk.

Conference Phone

Because one microphone can have difficulty capturing voices in a larger room, it’s recommended to use a conference phone with echo cancellation, automatic gain control and automatic noise reduction when conducting a video conference. There are multiple kinds to choose from, and you can even get a conference phone integrated with a web camera.

What software do you need to set up video conferencing?

To conduct a seamless video conference, it’s advised that you use video conferencing software that has:

● Robust security

● Stellar sound quality

● Recording capabilities, so you can share the video conference or playback later

● Screen sharing capabilities

(Psst! BlueJeans video conferencing platform has all these features and more)

How to set up video conferencing on a laptop

If your video conference is for a smaller meeting (2-6 people), your laptop should be just fine for conducting the call. In this scenario, make sure your laptop has the following:

● A webcam, either integrated into your laptop or externally mounted on the top of the laptop’s monitor

● Speakers a microphone, which can also be integrated or connected externally

● If you don’t have speakers and/or a microphone, you will need a phone plus the dial-in number for the meeting

● Video conferencing software

How to set up your conference space for the best optics

Minimize Wires
Too many wires and cords are cumbersome, could present health hazards, and will be distracting to attendees. It’s recommended that the equipment you use in your video conference – like your conference phone or webcam – be wireless. If wires are necessary, it’s advised that you invest in comprehensive wire management.

Proper Lighting
A well-lit video call adds to its overall clarity and aesthetic appeal. Avoid combinations of natural light and artificial light (go with one light source if possible) and use diffused lighting instead of bare bulbs. A lampshade or fixture cover will create a soft glow that minimizes shadows.

Use a Room with Light-Colored Walls
If you have the option to choose between a space with light walls and a space with dark walls for your video conference, opt for the room with light walls. Rooms with light-colored walls will reflect the light and brighten the rest of the room. Additionally, it’s ideal if the furniture in the room is light-colored.

Use a Strong Internet Connection
A strong, dependable internet connection can be the key to a smooth video conference. At a minimum, use an internet connection with 1 Mbps speed for video conferencing. However, the ideal speed is 3 Mbps.

BlueJeans Video Platform is Perfect for Video Conferencing

There are many reasons why the BlueJeans video conferencing system will help your video conferences go off without a hitch:

Ease of Use
BlueJeans video conferencing platform makes it easy to join a meeting directly from a web browser, and passwords or downloads are required.

Screen Sharing
The ability to show visuals during your video conference is the best way to deliver a presentation or a speech helped out by learning materials. BlueJeans’ video conferencing software will let the host or speaker share their screen with an audience, and even let others in the conference share their screen.

Best in Class Security
BlueJeans’ Restricted Meetings encrypt every call with AES-256 GCM, keeping video conferences secure and safe from outside breaches.

Chat Box
Questions and comments can be made in the native chat box without interrupting the speaker. This is an ideal tool for presentations when you want to follow with a Q&A session.

Best in Class Sound Quality & Noise Cancellation
BlueJeans’ Dolby Voice technology suppresses background noise and maintains consistent volume levels across soft and loud talkers to make sure nothing is missed or misunderstood. The spatial audio feature makes it easier to focus on the content of the conversation by presenting each person’s voice from a distinct location, so everyone hears as if they were together in the same room regardless of their location or device.

Ability to record moments
Record segments of your video conference or the entire thing. All recordings are stored in secure containers in the cloud and encrypted at rest (AES-256bit). They are accessible to the recording originator.

Ready to learn more about BlueJeans Video Conferencing platform? Sign-up for a free video conferencing trial today.