Global meeting room usage up 50% in last two years

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Futuresource Consulting has released its latest corporate AV end user report, which has looked at the world of unified communications. In interviews with both corporate AV purchasers and meeting room users in France, Germany, the UK and the USA, they found that close to 50% of employees said their average weekly use of meeting rooms has increased in the last two years.

They also found that despite a forecast growth in home working and the rising usage of remote conferencing platforms that allow meetings to take place outside of dedicated spaces, over 20% of companies surveyed expect to add additional meeting rooms in the coming years.

"Alongside a general increase in meeting room use there is also a drive towards more collaborative work group environments. This is being accelerated by two key points of development, namely, the rising adoption of touch technology and the growing requirement for meeting room AV to host remote attendees," commented Ben Davis, Futuresource Consulting.

"Touch is entering the meeting room in both mobile devices and meeting room displays. Our survey shows that 26% of respondents are using tablets or smartphones to share content in meetings and over 30% of companies expect to purchase an interactive meeting room display within the next two years, significantly growing penetration from its current base of <5%. This touch eco-system is creating new opportunities for content management and collaboration solutions that allow interaction through multiple screens and devices.

"The integration of conferencing solutions is another key point of consideration for AV purchasers. Over 50% of employees surveyed have been assigned a company sponsored web or video conferencing account and there is a strong requirement to utilise these tools in meeting spaces with one in five face-to-face meetings including a remote attendee connecting via video, web or voice. The adoption of interactive and conferencing tools is creating opportunities for vendors in display, conferencing, device management and collaborative software markets. Across each of these categories a growing number of providers are offering affordable, scalable and highly converged solutions to address the varied requirements of both enterprise and SME customers," says Davis.

The research also explores the adoption of display products highlighting the growing appetite to and motivations for both company purchasers and employees to replace projectors used in meeting rooms with flat panel solutions. As the market moves towards replacement the channels used for display purchase are changing. The research highlights a growing reliance on web channels as the primary point of purchase for display solutions. The report also highlights that there is a clear difference in terms of AV budgetary decision making and purchasing within larger corporations and SMEs, with IT managers holding the purse strings for larger corporations and owner managers in the latter.