Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

June 24 2015

Ask the AV Professional

Derek Suminski, GMC Communications Committee
Ask the AV Professional is a regular feature in this newsletter. Questions can range from technology to conference planning and anything in between. Submit your questions to dsuminski@bavservices.com.
My conference is in San Diego, but a key presenter is elsewhere. Now what? Is Skype okay in a professional environment?
Whether it is a travel problem, budget issue, or scheduling conflict, it is becoming increasingly common for a key speaker or presenter to be unable to join a conference in person. Fortunately there is an inexpensive and effective onsite solution that most people are already familiar with – Skype. It is definitely okay in a professional environment as sometimes you’ll even see broadcast news networks like CNN use it.
Simply stated, Skype is a software application that allows users to make voice or video calls over the Internet. It uses a proprietary internet telephony (VoIP) network, called the Skype protocol. A benefit of using Skype in a conference setting is that it provides a secure communication, and encryption cannot be disabled. It is also available on a wide range of operating systems and mobile devices and supports high quality video with full-screen and screen in screen modes, similar to those of mid-range web streaming systems.

All that is needed to accomplish a Skype video call is a PC, an internet connection, and for the remote presenter to have a webcam. Your AV partner will then take the signal and display the image on the presentation screens and project the audio through the house or auxiliary sound system. For the best audio quality, I would recommend that the remote presenter use earbuds. Earbuds will help prevent potential feedback and ringing caused by the presenter’s computer speakers fighting with its microphone.

It’s also worth noting that Google Hangouts is similar to Skype and has been gaining in popularity depending on your software preferences.

About the Author
Derek Suminski is the Vice President of Development for BAV, an award winning, audio visual rental, staging and production company. Derek has worked for and has traveled extensively with BAV for 19 years and serves on various PCMA and MPI committees. To contact Derek or to learn more about BAV please visit www.bavservices.com