Four Reasons Why You Might Need A Custom Conference Unit

Antony Lovell | August 3, 2020 Four Reasons Why You Might Need A Custom Conference Unit

Whether it’s a local city council, a state legislature, or a national congress or parliament, government users must adhere to strict procedural rules. Depending on the nature of the meeting, it may also be important to document who attended a meeting, what topics were discussed, who spoke and for how long, and what was decided.

A powerful conference system like Microflex Complete adapts to the particular laws, customs, and protocols that are in place while serving the overarching goal of facilitating transparent communication and decision-making. It’s essentially a microphone system that enables participant identification, remote microphone control, speech timers, agenda management, parliamentary voting, reporting, etc. The system maintains an electronic data file about every meeting, and also works with third-party recording, streaming, and transcription systems to produce archival material that is indexed and searchable by date, topic, or speaker. These can be used for historical reference or made available to constituents.

Reason 1: Custom Conference Units Fit the Space

Some government meeting venues pose special challenges that are not often encountered in typical boardrooms or educational institutions. Government meeting rooms may have unique architectural limitations or mounting constraints that make standard MXC components difficult to install. The desks or tables in the room may have historic significance, so it may not be cut or enlarge openings for new conference units. This means that the new unit must fit into the existing opening and use existing holes for cable routing.

In most cases, new conference system components are replacing existing components from an earlier product series or a different manufacturer. If the new units are slightly smaller than the existing hardware, a customized front plate can cover any gap which might be visible.

Another common scenario is for the members of a legislature to sit in theater-style seats without a desk or table. In this case, the conference unit microphone and controls are mounted in the armrest of the seat. A conference unit that mounts in an armrest must be narrow enough to fit in the limited space available. In some situations, an armrest conference unit that is shared by two people is required. They use the same microphone when speaking, but may have separate headphone jacks and controls to listen to interpretation channels.

Reason 2: Features and Controls

It’s also important for the conference system to precisely match the way that a government legislature holds their meetings. This might require a conference unit with a specific set of features and controls that the members of the agency are familiar with, or that support the procedures used by that government body.  For example, a city council in one location might only desire three buttons for voting -- Yes, No, or Abstain – but another council might need five voting buttons. Or, one legislature might have assigned seats for participants, while another might allow participants to sit where they like and thus require conference units that include an NFC ID card slot.

Reason 3: Conference Units With Custom Color    

Even when physical or functional constraints do not exist, a government customer may want a conference unit with a unique color or finish that matches the room’s interior styling or reflects the importance of the organization. A gold conference unit might fit best with the colors in a room with traditional décor, for example, while a brushed silver finish may be a better complement to contemporary furnishings.

Reason 4: Custom MXC Conference Unit Hardware

With these situations in mind, the MXC flush-mount conference unit was designed to facilitate custom hardware configurations. It consists of functional modules with the relevant controls, connections, and indicators, a metal front plate, and a metal rear housing that provides robust shielding from external electrical interference. These modules can be added, deleted, or re-located to allow the creation of a bespoke conference unit with exactly the right combination of features, size, and appearance to meet the needs of a specific organization.

Of course, even a custom-designed conference unit must be part of a system that meets the underlying requirements of government agencies. These include flexible options for microphone control and language distribution plus meeting management capabilities like accommodating participants with different roles, speaking rights, or voting weights, agenda management, and integration with external systems for recording, transcription, streaming, etc. The Microflex Complete conference system with SW6000 Conference Management Software can be personalized to match the specific procedural requirements of any organization, whether the room holds 10 participants or 1000.  Finally, the MXC system can also be integrated with other Shure equipment like wireless microphones for presenters, array microphones to pick up questions from the audience or media, and DSP to allow remote speakers to join by videoconference.

How to Order Custom MXC Conference Units

For government users with unique operational, appearance, or architectural requirements, customized MXC conference units deliver state-of-the-art features and performance while preserving traditional design elements. Inquiries should be directed to a qualified system integrator/designer or the Shure Distribution Center in your area.

Antony Lovell

Antony Lovell

Antony is the Senior Manager, Global Market Development – Conference & Discussion Systems, which barely fits on his business card. Based out of Dubai, he works with colleagues around the world, helping customers get the most from their conference experience. When at home, he experiments on his family by attempting to cook new dishes he has discovered on his travels. No-one has been too ill yet.