Video Conferencing for Large Groups: What Your Team Really Needs

by in Best Practices, Meeting Room

With more companies than ever employing remote teams, video conferencing is becoming the norm in the way we collaborate and communicate in the workplace. Meetings are now larger and more complex, with business-critical conversations increasingly happening via video conference calls. These meetings with 20+ participants require more advanced video and audio capabilities. Video conferencing solutions that don’t integrate with conference rooms and free apps that limit the number of participants just won’t cut it for large teams dialing in from multiple meeting rooms in addition to individual remote workers dialing in from their personal devices. In this blog, we’ll discuss how to empower your team with the right tools for successful large group video conference calls.

Dual screen large video conference with video participants and screen sharing

The Pros and Cons of Large Team Calls

Done right, video conferencing for large groups is a seamless way to get everyone on the same page and create cohesive team goals across different offices (or even borders). But as with anything, there are pros and cons to these types of video conference calls.

PROS CONS
  • Enables a distributed workforce
  • Saves time and costs associated with travel
  • Provides a green alternative to travel
  • Allows you to connect on a deeper level with face-to-face communication
  • Makes team meetings more efficient and effective
  • Encourages employees to interact with one another to build camaraderie
  • Multitasking can reduce attention span
  • Potential for technical issues
  • Inefficient when not used properly
  • Some travel destinations may be seen as a perk

5 Common Problems with Big Team Calls

Between the time waste, technical difficulties and video and audio quality issues associated with large team calls, it’s understandable that employees get frustrated with these types of meetings when they use the wrong solution. Here are the five most common problems with large team meetings

1. Wasted time

With employees multitasking, being inattentive and even sleeping during large team calls, you might find yourself wondering why you’re even meeting in the first place. According to Atlassian, employees attend 62 meetings a month on average with 31 hours spent on unproductive meetings. If those 62 meetings are each an hour long, that means half of all meeting time is wasted! Use our guide How to Run an Effective Meeting to make your meetings more productive and a better use of everyone's time.

2. Video quality issues

With underpowered and inefficient video conferencing solutions, having a large number of employees on a call at the same time can cause the video quality to decrease and result in a pixelated or choppy image. With poor video comes inferior audio quality, leading to wasted time as employees try to fix the issues. In addition, poor video quality leads employees to disengage since they cannot clearly see or hear what is happening in the meeting.

3. Limited participants allowed

If you have a team of 100 people but your software only allows for 10, how can everyone get on a call? You want a solution that allows your entire team to meet together on one video conferencing call, not just a select few. The process should be as easy as making a phone call or sending a text from your mobile phone. 

4. Dongles

Making sure you have the right dongle or cord in order to share your screen during a video conference call is a hassle, not to mention the time waste associated with passing the dongle to the next presenter during the meeting. Find a solution that allows you to wirelessly share your screen and present in meetings without the need for cords and dongles. 

5. Cumbersome recording and sharing

Were some team members unable to join the call? Video recordings can be made available to them, but with many video solutions, even a one-hour video takes hours to process and even then only saves to the desktop, so it has to be reuploaded and hosted somewhere before it can be shared. Find a solution that lets you easily and instantly capture and share important team meetings.

Why You Need to Invest in a Proper Large-Call Experience

Truly take advantage of your distributed team

Companies with a globally distributed workforce are able to employ top talent from all over the world. However, being a remote worker can sometimes be lonely and isolating, especially if most of your team works together in the same main office. Enabling teammates to easily connect face to face over 4K video conference calls helps them build deeper relationships and feel connected to their team, similar to an office environment. 

Represent your company and your brand

A bad video call can cost you money. No one wants to do business with a company that can't communicate effectively. With clear audio, video and screen sharing capabilities, your sales calls will be more professional and you’ll have a better opportunity to establish relationships with potential customers.

Get more done in less time

One of the most challenging aspects of having a team that’s distributed globally is getting everyone on the same page. Video conference calls are a great way to do a quick team sync or have regularly scheduled team meetings to ensure everyone is working together as one unit. When you don’t have to spend a long time waiting for the presenter to share their screen or waste time saying, “Can you hear me now?” you can stay focused on the meeting agenda and get back to doing your job. Meetings that are scheduled for 1 hour can be reduced by 5–15 minutes if the team is engaged and isn’t experiencing issues with their call quality.  

What Large Teams Really Need in Their Video Conferencing Solution

Large group calls are usually where free services start to fail. Many are restricted by number of attendees or meeting duration length, while large teams with multiple offices and remote employees require a video conferencing solution that’s designed to handle dozens or even hundreds of attendees. 

Here are a few things to consider when researching video conferencing solutions for your team:

1. BYOD capabilities 

Aka, bring your own device. Regardless of whether users are on their laptops, mobile phones or tablets, they need an easy way to join video conferencing meetings. Lifesize supports all the different ways your teams want to connect. With a simple click of a meeting invite link, users can even join right from their browsers without having to download an app or a plug-in.

2. Highest quality video resolution

Your large team meetings may include a number of individual remote workers on a video conference call with multiple large and small conference rooms, so it’s important that everyone can clearly see and hear their coworkers. You need a video conferencing solution that is capable of transmitting the best possible video resolution quality for your large group meetings even in suboptimal bandwidth conditions. Lifesize supports lifelike 4K image quality and superior sound quality to ensure that everyone in the meeting is getting the most out of the call. 

3. Easy content and screen sharing

One of the most effective ways to explain an intricate project to your entire team at once is to host a video conference call in which you present the project details by sharing your screen or slide deck or playing a video. Lifesize Share allows you to wirelessly control your presentation right from your mobile device or laptop during your video conference call — no dongles needed.

4. A large number of participants 

Most free video conferencing apps limit the number of participants to around 8 people, making meeting with your entire team impossible for companies with a large number of remote employees and offices. Lifesize allows up to 300 video participants per meeting with the ability to live stream large group conferences to 10,000 concurrent viewers.

5. Ability to connect multiple meeting rooms

Geographically distributed teams often have offices with conference rooms in multiple locations that all need to be able to join the same video conference call. Video conferencing designed for small groups, free apps and app-only solutions do not satisfy the needs of large-group video conferencing with multiple meeting rooms. Lifesize offers a range of dedicated meeting room equipment from small huddle rooms all the way up to large auditoriums or all-hands meeting spaces.

Learn how to design, set up and deploy the perfect meeting room based on your unique needs.

6. Recording and sharing capability

When large team meetings span multiple time zones, it’s important to capture a meeting recording to share with attendees who are unable to make the live event. Once the meeting is over, you can share the link with attendees who missed it. Lifesize Record and Share lets you capture your important meetings with a single click of the record button and share the recording with your entire team immediately after your call has ended. 

2 Fast-Growth Companies that Use Lifesize for Video Conferencing

Here are two fast-growing companies using Lifesize to host more engaging and authentic face-to-face meetings with our 4K video conferencing solution.

New Directions Youth & Family Services

“Our organization utilizes Lifesize Video Conferencing to link our many sites. From connecting our board of directors across six counties to enabling our health services office to chat with our outside physicians, Lifesize is a service and product that we could not function without. Even the phone-only feature is everything we need it to be… We especially love the mobile app available for smartphones and tablet devices when we need to meet while on the road.” — Trevor Wilson, IT Specialist at New Directions Youth & Family Services | Read full review

Action-MCFR Mediagroup

“We're using this solution to bring in remote subject matter experts for distance learning and global collaboration sessions. Some streams are recorded and archived for the future. If you're working with big distributed teams across the country or even worldwide [Lifesize] is perfectly suited for this… For the last year we hosted around 2,000 meetings (~1,600 meeting hours) and Lifesize doesn't let us down.” — Ilya Popovich, QA Test Lead at Action-MCFR Mediagroup | Read full review

Conclusion

When you have a globally distributed team, you’re faced with the daunting challenge of making sure everyone stays connected and works together as one unified organization. Large calls present unique challenges and are often the breaking point of free video conferencing services. Lifesize is equipped to handle mission-critical business communication with the reliability, quality and specialized features needed for large team video calls.