American Association of Orthodontists
The American Association of Orthodontists wanted to design their meeting to be completely paperless. Going paperless means that people need to be on their notebook computers constantly, and to have fast access to the web portal where all the documents and their notes reside. But they also need for them to move the focus away from the computers, so they can interact with their colleagues and have meaningful discussions. To meet these two contradictory needs, the board decided to try to redesign their boardroom in a way that would encourage personal interaction while members used and shared computer files.
Conference Technologies, Inc.® designed a system that would be built into an octagonal table and a center insert with eight LG Electronics 37-inch LCD displays facing outward toward 20 meeting participants. Board and committee members can face each other and speak naturally, while keeping the central displays within a comfortable line of sight. With this setup, it's easy and natural for meeting participants to glance from their laptops to presentation slides or videos and to each other, encouraging technology use and person-to-person contact simultaneously.
The association now posts all of the information on a web server running Microsoft Office SharePoint Server to give members the ability to read, annotate, upload, and modify meeting materials. Now board, council, and committee members can walk into a meeting carrying only their laptops, yet access reports and presentations that they may have uploaded or annotated on other computers prior to the meeting. The board and support staff used SharePoint for about six months before they began to look at the boardroom itself and how it could best be structured to facilitate the new meeting style.