What is conference system?
Literally, the conference system is a complete set of audio equipment to assist the participants in a conference to communicate comfortably, so that everyone participating in the conference can “hear” and “speak” clearly. The most notable device in a conference system is the microphone, so most people call a conference system a “conference microphone system.”
But, is the conference system compulsory for a meeting?
Why do you need a conference system?
In what scenarios do you need a conference system?
Indeed, meetings are the most common scenario for person-to-person communication. Not all scenarios require a conference system.
However, imagine that in a meeting with more than 10 experts, sitting around a large table to discuss a municipal issue. Also, there are nearly 100 public audiences coming in to care about the issues. In this scenario, it is impractical to use only one wireless microphone for the communication between the 10 experts; it would be more likely to cause the meeting to a chaotic state. This kind of scenario is where the conference microphone system needed.
Applications for conference microphone systems include:
- Municipal councils and government agencies
- Lecture and educational seminars
- International convention events
- Panel discussion
- Press centers
The common feature of the above applications is that multiple participates join the discussion for major issues. Usually there are two important roles:
- Chairman: the person presiding over the meeting. A chairman can identify the speaker, remind the time limit of speaking, and execute voting (usually 1 chairman, in some special circumstances, a vice-chairman needed.)
- Delegate: many delegates or representatives participating in the discussion and speaking in the meeting.
In these conference scenarios, if a conference microphone system is set up, each participant could use a personal gooseneck microphone or a table-top microphone. In this way, they can speak and discuss with other participants smoothly, and clearly listen to other people’s speech. The chairman usually has a special unit, which may have different functions such as volume control, mute control, speaker identification, speaking time control, speaking sequence control, or voting functions.
What are the benefits of using a conference system?
When a conference room is set up with a conference microphone system, you can enjoy the following benefits:
- Save meeting time: when everyone has a personal microphone on the table, it definitely avoids wasting unnecessary time on the transmission of the microphone. At the same time, when the microphone is activated, the light on the microphone will be lit, so you can clearly know who is talking, saving the time to identify the speaker. During the meeting, 1 minute saved is a considerable time saving for all.
- Optimize meeting flow: the conference microphone system has functions such as mute, volume adjustment, speaking time control, and voting, which allows the chairman to carefully control the conference, identify the speakers, and proceed the meeting smoothly.
- Enlarge engagement：conference microphone system helps participants to easily engage in the discussion. At the same time, the use of amplifiers, speakers, and other equipment allows a wider audience to pay attention to or engage in the content of the conference. This is critical in municipal meetings.
- Integrate simultaneous interpretation: in international conferences, multi-language speaking and simultaneous interpretation are essential. The conference microphone system can be integrated with synchronous interpretation equipment, which transmits signals directly to the interpreter for translation without interruption.
- Aesthetics: each participant’s position has a professional gooseneck or table-top microphone that makes the whole meeting professional, marking the importance of meeting topics and expressing the speaker’s commitment.
In general, the ultimate goal of the conference microphone system is to increase the efficiency of the conference to a larger range and exert a greater influence.
What equipment does a complete conference system include?
The following lists the equipment and main functions of a complete conference system:
1. Chairman Unit: chairman can identify the speakers, remind them the speaking time, and organize voting. Therefore, the chairman has a special microphone called “chairman unit”, which has more functions, such as muting the speaker and changing the discussion order. These functions can help the meeting go smoothly and make attendees focus more on the discussion.
2. Delegate Unit: delegate unit usually has a one-key speech button, which will be identified by a light signal when it is activated. Some delegate units may have functions such as volume control or voting buttons.
3. Central Control Unit (CCU): this device can control all microphone units, including the chairman unit and delegate units . It integrates microphone sound input, audio signal transmission, mute and speech order mode settings, advanced voting functions, etc. It also determines how many chairman and delegate units can be accommodated. It’s the core or brain of a conference microphone system (Know more about BXB’s conference system.)
The above 3 components are the basic equipment of a conference microphone system. According to different meeting scenarios, some peripheral devices will be added into the conference system, such as
- Louder speaker
- Power amplifier
- Simultaneous interpretation equipment
- Recording, lecture capture system, video conferenceing, streaming media processor, etc.
- Graphical control software
For the next article, we further introduce more details about the conference microphone system, with four aspects of techniques, types, pick-up patterns, and designs. Please read the article to learn the key factors when choosing a microphone system.