Kitted Out: Conferencing Systems for Listed Buildings
For successful meetings and congregations in council chambers, a lot of equipment is needed to optimise the experience for delegates. From microphones and name plates through to visual facilities and sound systems, there’s a range of equipment that can be installed to make the meeting process as smooth as possible.
But, if your council chamber is located in a historical building, can you install all of the equipment you require?
Not surprisingly, many councils and government organisations are housed within old properties, some of which are even listed buildings. This means that there are additional planning controls applied to the building that protects its historical integrity. As a result, many buildings face strict control when it comes to changing, or adding to any of the furnishings, supposedly making it hard to install technology such as microphone systems.
To ensure that none of the original features are damaged or changed during the installation process, a lot of careful planning and research has to take place. In many cases, the work we complete at Auditel is as non-invasive as possible, often actually complementing the existing furnishings.
There are, however, some bits of conferencing equipment that can easily be employed for conferences without having to worry about damaging the historical value…
Microphones such as the DDU103P model in the Envoy System are completely portable, offering the necessary specifications without having to be wired into tables or existing furniture, whilst still providing the plethora of benefits found in their wired counterparts in comparison with the completely wireless systems. Dependant on your preferred system, there are also a large number of microphones that can be linked into the space to accommodate large scale meetings. In addition to this, we also provide a wide range of wired portable microphones, such as the IDN Pod & Diplomat Portable systems.
Where microphone units are able to be fitted into the tables, it is possible to make them as unobtrusive as possible so as to remain in keeping with the original features of the building. The conference system we installed into City and County of Swansea Council was a great example of this. Here, their chamber (including the desks) was Grade I listed, so we sought permission to fix the units to the desks and reduced the size of our IDN unit to just 85mm x 45 mm x 20 mm for ultimate discretion.
Need help choosing your microphone system? Take a look at our handy guide here.
For those looking to integrate camera systems for recording and/or webcasting or screens for presentations, real-time voting results and demonstrations, there are adaptable solutions.
The inclusion of flat panels and electronic projector screens can be discreetly hidden around your space including within the floor and ceiling to match the current interiors due to the bespoke metalwork created by us here at Auditel, however, they can also be encased in the wooden housings.
Alternatively, with the need to showcase visual aids we can also create concealed input plates in floor boxes and wall plates made, created to also match the interior of your space. In comparison, wireless presentation devices are also a great alternative to their wired counterpart, requiring considerably less visual cabling and creating a smooth experience for the end-user.
One of the biggest concerns with installing non-invasive equipment is the amount of wiring that will end up on show, becoming a health and safety risk. Luckily, there are solutions for this too. Bespoke cabling can also be designed and deployed within furniture and the most compact areas of your space, reducing the look of untidiness and compacting the trail they leave behind.
If you’re in need of a bespoke solution for a historical or listed building, we can help. We’re no stranger to creating custom-made solutions that cater to any customisations of hardware, software and aesthetics. Get in touch to discuss your requirements today.