Hillman Av Modernizes the Municipalities Association of Saskatchewan With Q-SYS and Shure
Since 1906, Municipalities of Saskatchewan has represented the interests of urban municipalities, advocating on their behalf at the federal and provincial levels of government on program matters and policy. Also known as Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA), the organization strives to lead efforts to improve local government and foster thriving, sustainable communities.
Municipalities of Saskatchewan needed to improve the quality of its meetings and communication. Prior to working with Hillman AV, the board of directors hosted its quarterly meetings at a local hotel because their workplace wasn’t outfitted with technology that could facilitate modern collaboration. They couldn’t host online meetings — think of Zoom or Teams calls — and members often ran into speaking and hearing issues.“We tried a number of different solutions to reduce our costs, and to try and make our meetings better,” said Sean McKenzie, Director of Advocacy Services.
With such a large board of directors, it proved challenging time and time again to gather in the same place at the same time. But even so, some within the organization had reservations when it came to implementing a digital solution to meetings — and to invest in the technology. Upon joining the organization, CEO Jean-Marc Nadeau became responsible for updating and advancing Municipalities of Saskatchewan, including technologically. “My goal has been to modernize the organization,” he said. Nadeau engaged Hillman AV to introduce new collaboration technology to the organization, with hopes that it would improve communication for the board.
Hillman AV was mandated to modernize its meeting and conference rooms. The solution had to address the challenges often experienced by in-person participants, while being simple enough to deploy and operate.
“We put together a system that wouldn’t change their workflow,” said Jarrod Hillman, president of Hillman AV. “We have to ensure adoption is going to happen. Adoption is extremely important to us.”
To achieve the desired outcomes, Hillman AV leveraged the Q-SYS platform from QSC to integrate audio, video and control for the project. Q-SYS is an IT-centric, standards-based solution that makes it simple to manage and control audiovisual technology across an organization. This means as Municipalities of Saskatchewan grows and continues to modernize, the Q-SYS platform can scale to meet the organization’s needs. QSC also developed an entire ecosystem of hardware that ties directly into its Q-SYS platform, including pan-tilt-zoom cameras, amplifiers and loudspeakers, control panels and more. All of it connects to a QSC processor, which acts as the heart and brain of the Q-SYS Ecosystem. Hillman AV integrated this solution into Municipalities of Saskatchewan’s workplace, powering its boardroom and conference rooms.
To complement the QSC Ecosystem, a tabletop microphone and speaker solution by Shure brings audio control to every individual in the room, with speech reinforcement and localized audio distribution. Hillman AV also installed Samsung displays to complete the conferencing solution.
By integrating a modern collaboration system, Municipalities of Saskatchewan can host virtual meetings to enable remote and hybrid work. That means if some members can’t attend in-person, it’s no longer a problem to connect them with the rest of the board.
“After seeing the technology work, we’ve had more and more buy-in from our board,” said McKenzie. “We’ve even managed to change our budget for next year, and we have a couple of meetings where we’ll be meeting solely virtual.” By shifting some meetings to an exclusively virtual format, McKenzie said “it’s a huge cost-savings” for the organization — and it doesn’t come at the expense of productivity either. “Our latest board meeting we got through in record time despite the fact that we did it electronically instead of doing it in person,” he said.
The new collaboration systems continue to prove beneficial for in-person, hybrid and virtual meetings. The organization adopted the new systems easily, given the intuitive nature of the technology.
“The equipment is top-notch and easy to use,” Nadeau said. “I’m very happy with the relationship that we’ve developed with Hillman AV.”