Guide to setting up a room based seminar
Week Prior:-
  • Publicise seminar abstract to all relevant mailing lists, put up local seminar advertisement posters.
  • Ask speaker for slides to arrive in advance. Discuss options for slide presentation.

Day Prior:-

  • Setup SDR announcement. Check that it can be seen by other sites. 
  • Test session. Coordinate a time with at least two other remote sites to check:-
    • Machine in seminar room is available and configured correctly.
    • All AV equipment is available and working. Unless the room is correctly miked, a second hand

    • held radio microphone will be needed for questions.
    • SDR announcement is still active. Always start tools from SDR announcement to avoid typing or ttl mistakes.
    • Batteries on handheld microphones/anything battery powered. Always keep spares to hand.
    • If possible ask speaker to be present at test session.
    • Audio levels from speaker's microphone to other sites and audio levels from other sites on the seminar room output speakers.
    • If available, train echo canceller to the point where the speaker will be talking from.
    • Local camera feed is attached to transmitting machine and working correctly.
    • If possible, disable auto focus and auto-iris on room cameras.  If you do this, ensure the manual setup is correct.
    • A spotlight from high up on the speaker is useful.  Speakers should wear dark coloured clothing for close up shots - white shirts cause auto-iris cameras to close down too much.
    • Speaker is comfortable with slide transmission method. Check that slides are appearing clearly to remote participants.
    • If possible, transmit at a higher rate than planned during the actual seminar and monitor the machine CPU performance. Ensure that the machine is capable of handling the data rates.

    **Remember that other sites may well be transmitting video images of their audience.**

1 hour Prior:-
  • Check the SDR announcement is still active.
  • Startup audio/video and slide data streams 1 hour prior to seminar. Ensure other sites can receive them without experiencing loss.
  • Check audio levels are still set correctly and that all pieces of equipment are available. 
  • Try to encourage the speaker to stay in one place on which the camera is focused. If it seems that the speaker is likely to move a lot during the talk, reduce the zoom on the camera to accomodate this. Discourage the speaker from moving slides around if document camera or other OHP projection device is being used.
  • Once the room has been setup satisfactorily, and there is a break before the beginning of the lecture, if possible tranmsit an audio stream, such as a music tape, at the same level as the speaker's microphone to enable sites joining just beforehand to adjust their local levels. 
Allocation of People:-
  • Ideally there should be four people involved to enable the smooth running of a seminar:-
    • The Chair person - if the speaker is not familiar with remote videoconferencing, having somebody to introduce the talk, coordinate the asking of questions and close the seminar is important for ensuring his/her comfort with the technology.
    • A Technician - responsible for controlling the tools on the conferencing machine.
    • Network Monitor - somebody located at a different machine elsewhere but in the same building to monitor the network and provide the technician with feedback on levels etc..
    • Standby Technician - somebody to fix anything that needs fixing during the seminar.
  • The network monitor and the standby technician can be the same person if support is scarce.
  • The chair person and the technician can be the same person if conveniently located.



    **There should be at least two people to ensure the smooth running of a room based seminar**


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