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On The Move? How to Hold a Video Conference on The Road

Despite the prevalence of video conferencing as a means of communication, there is often still the need to take a virtual meeting on the road and use a portable video conferencing system to connect your teams with clients, suppliers or customers.

Of course there are times when you’d want to set up a large conference experience and while this is something which can equally be done with a portable video conference system, we’re going to focus on the more intimate, smaller video conference scenarios which you might encounter.

Preparing For Your Video Conference

It should go without saying that preparing for any event, including a video conference which you’re holding on the road is essential to ensure a great experience for all involved, whether on site, or remote.

A professional experience can have a huge impact on the perceived success of your event and, if dealing with prospective customers, their decision to work with you. What are the key elements that you should consider when preparing a video conference on the road?

Think About The Purpose of Your Video Conference

Considering the purpose of your off site video conference might sound like a really obvious starting point, but failing to consider this step can have huge impacts on the ultimate success of your meeting.

What are the key events or activities which will happen during the meeting, these might include:

  • A presentation
  • Someone speaking to an audience
  • Q&A sessions
  • Virtual participation
  • People sat round a table

Each of these activities may require different technology or equipment setups in order to deliver a great offsite virtual meeting, for example a Q&A session would need a good portable video conference camera and sound so questions and responses are clearly communicated. Knowing what will happen in advance will help you to meet the needs of your meeting with the best portable video conferencing system.

Think About The Presentation Space

If you’re holding a video conference away from your normal settings, are you aware of the room layout and features? Is the room large or small or does it echo? We’ve spoken before about how glass walls can reflect sound and reduce audio quality.

The position and availability of furniture should also be of consideration, will you need additional tables, chairs or ancillaries such as external displays. Perhaps you’ll need to reorganise the layout of the room to suit your needs.

When it comes to the portable USB camera, portable speaker phones and other devices you might use for your off site video conference, you should consider where these devices will be in relation to each other. If you’re using cables to connect devices, are the cables going to be long enough, the last thing anyone wants is to be creating a trip hazard or assault course of cables.

Device Positioning

Assuming you’ve thought about the layout of the room and the kind of virtual meeting you’re holding, how you’re going to position your portable video conference equipment should be relatively straightforward.

With the capability to be attached directly to a tripod, the JPL Spitfire 4K video conferencing camera is a perfect example of a really flexible, portable USB video conference camera. Designed for life on the road, it ships with a desktop tripod which is great for most situations, though attaching it to a full size one allows for even more positioning options.

It’s more that the camera you need to think about though, if you’re using a laptop to run your video conference platform, where is this going to be and who needs to see it?

Thinking about all of these things in advance can help prevent challenges on the day, helping to ensure smooth running and allowing you and other participants to concentrate on the content of the meeting.

Essential Portable Video Conference Equipment You Need

As a list of bare essentials that you need to run a well organised video conference, you should consider investing in the best of the below:

  • Camera
  • Speakerphone
  • Laptop

These alone are the basics that you need to run a video conference, however depending on the purpose and content of the meeting which you’re hosting, you may also need to consider additional accessories.

Extra equipment might include an external screen or monitor, should you need to present anything to a group in a room.

A full sized tripod may also be well worth considering too, if you have a group of people in a room a table top positioned portable video conference camera, even with a wide field of view, might not be able to see everyone. Using a full sized tripod will allow you increased camera positioning options to get the best view of your host’s meeting room.

Other Considerations For A Portable Video Conference

We’ve already mentioned the use of an external monitor or screen when thinking about other equipment you might need to support your video conference, but not everything you need might be that obvious.

Broadband Connection Speed

While these might not be obvious, it doesn’t mean that they’re not important. Take data connection for example and knowing whether the place you’ll be working from has a stable and fast broadband connection. Without this, you’ll be speaking to no-one any time soon.

You can ask your venue to confirm their broadband connection speed ahead of time, you’re going to be looking for a connection speed of at least 5 MBPS to ensure good connectivity, but as always, the higher the better. It might also help to have a back up plan, perhaps a 5G dongle as an emergency option, but even these are susceptible to poor signal quality. 


Lighting plays a huge role in ensuring a good, clear image on any video conference and this is also true for a temporary location. Checking ahead of time if your location will have access to natural light and good room lighting can help you make sure that your lighting will be adequate.

If you’re unsure whether this will be the case, you can always consider using portable lighting to improve the lighting and video image.

Practice Makes Perfect

Undertaking any activity away from your normal place of work brings additional risks, whether from a health and safety perspective or the smooth running of your activity.

If you’re going to be working away from your normal location, take some time to set up and test your equipment before you leave, perhaps in a different location in your office so there is a sense of remote working. This will help you to quickly identify any equipment you might be missing or that doesn’t work quite as you expect it.

It’s also worth considering packing some spare equipment too. Cables are a great example, taking different length cables means you have more options about where to position equipment, as well as having replacements should one fail.

Of course you can’t realistically take spares of everything if you’re trying to pack light and be super portable, but some essentials can be the difference between your remote meeting happening or not.

Finally, look after your equipment. Carry cases may seem over the top, but a good soft shell case will help to protect your portable USB cameras, speaker phones and laptops. Coiling your cables properly rather than just shoving them in a box is also a good idea, this will help keep them working for longer.

Where Ever You Need Video Conferencing, JPL Are Here to Help

Being on the road can be tough, but the right equipment will make things that bit easier and speaking to the team at JPL will help. Knowledgeable about our range of video conferencing products there’s no pressure, no hard sell, just good honest advice to help you make an informed choice.

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