Revolutionising Meeting Management: Waterschap Noorderzijlvest's Innovative System
Prepare to be amazed by Waterschap Noorderzijlvest's groundbreaking meeting management system, which has been in use for several months now. With the help of the cutting-edge audiovisual installation, attendees are granted the opportunity to live stream the General Board meetings. This remarkable feature enables individuals to join these meetings from anywhere, at any time, and even revisit them at a later date.
Noorderzijlvest serves as the influential water authority for a significant region encompassing Groningen, North and Central Drenthe, as well as a part of Friesland. The General Board (GB) convenes at the esteemed head office in Groningen, where they have relied on an audiovisual installation for many years. During the annual preventive maintenance in 2020, the integrator dB Audiovisueel, noticed that certain components of the system were nearing the end of their lifespan. Consequently, a recommendation was made to the water authority, urging them to consider a much-needed replacement.
Among Noorderzijlvest’s most crucial requirements was the ability to set up live streams, enabling meetings to be accessed from any location. Additionally, the new system had to be robust and userfriendly, according to Kristien Vlieg, intimately involved in the design of the new AB room as a board support officer. Vlieg adds, “Another important consideration was the potential for digital voting. Although not currently implemented, we are well-prepared for the future.”
The fully digital meeting management system was implemented in mid-2022. “It is completely digital”, announces Ben de Jonge of dB Audiovisueel. “All meeting documents are uploaded into the system in advance, and we have seamlessly integrated it with iBABS, a digital platform enabling administrative bodies to conduct paperless meetings and make decisions using iPads. Participants simply register upon arrival using their identification cards. Each conference table features a multimedia setup complete with screens, while cameras are strategically placed within the room. As soon as someone begins speaking, the system swiftly identifies the speaker, ensuring their clear visibility on screen along with their name and affiliation.”
Seamless Live Streaming
Exceptional speech intelligibility is extremely important with such a sophisticated system. To test the acoustics, we conducted several test setups in advance. The room boasts two mobile screens positioned on either side, offering ideal visibility to the in-person audience. Simultaneously, interested parties can participate in the meetings from any desired location through third-party live streaming services. Moreover, the meetings are promptly archived and made available online for future viewing. This feature allows viewers to selectively access specific agenda items based on their interests.
At the helm of each meeting sits board support officer Kristien Vlieg, effortlessly navigating the system via a table-mounted screen. “If a participant accidentally leaves their microphone on, I can turn it off. Occasionally, I need to tweak the camera settings, which is extremely simple with the intuitive menu. Initially, a representative from dB Audiovisueel sat alongside me to provide guidance, allowing me to become proficient in its operation," Vlieg explains. Her colleague Ebel Huizinga echoes her sentiment, expressing delight at the installation's user-friendly nature. “During our recent inaugural General Board meeting, there wasn't a single person who encountered any difficulties in operating the system.”
dB audiovisual in cooperation with Televic distributor Heuff