If you’re holding an ‘all hands’ or ‘Town Hall’ meeting where most of the company’s employees will be gathering, you may want to include some guests by telephone.
These meetings frequently take place in an auditorium or other large meeting room. For people attending in person in the auditorium to hear the speaker(s) there are usually 3 choices:
no amplification or Public Address system (PA); the speakers raise their voice if the room/audience is very big
inbuilt PA; many meeting rooms have a simple in-built PA system which allows speakers to hold a microphone and be hear through loudspeakers (which are often built into the room, eg in the ceiling)
professional sound desk and PA system; these are usually hired in from Audio Visual Hire companies, set up by a sound engineer/technician who often stays for the duration of the meeting
Depending on which of the above scenarios you have, to join people by telephone conference you will have to consider the following:
is it OK to have telephone guests only hear the speaker(s) or do they need to be able to hear questions from the audience as well?
if telephone guests are to ask questions, should they be heard by the audience?
For each of the above scenarios, the following are suggested:
a conference or boardroom phone (shaped like a spider) placed between the speaker and the audience
a conference or boardroom phone placed near the speaker with an MC or chairperson nearby ready to repeat questions from the audience
a reportaphone (aka ‘Telephone Balance Unit’) which connects the dedicated PA/sound desk to the telephone conference
There are some other options to consider, eg how to handle questions from the telephone conference, who can dial into the telephone conference, whether there is sound coming from a presentation on a laptop, how to handle roaming microphones to take questions from the floor etc, but 247meeting will be happy to go through any details with you and tailor a solution to ensure your meeting goes smoothly.