Mixing Up Zoomscapes Vibes

Been a rich week for eye-catching video call backdrops.

The screenshot up-top is of a rolling telly news channel political editor. In transit with the UK Prime Minister on the stump.

Locally, we'd say he's on the battlebus. The name for the coach which takes party leaders around the country come general election time, with press pack on board. Eagerly searching for those elusive photo opps that make them look relatable to the point of being electable, whilst the accompanying hacks seek out the gaffes.

The calibre of both signal and sound was remarkably without interruption. We'd be well advised not to engage from such roving location for making our sales video calls. Yet mixing it up a little could pay dividends.

And can you have your notebook on display? (Bus lane traffic optional.)

This next image celebrates the life of a genre defining music producer. Sadly at time of his passing. Chosen by one obituary team, to which I link here.


You don't have to be a muso to appreciate the bank of studio equipment control panels covering the wall.

Whilst not crafted as a video call backdrop, anything like, or inspired by, this kind of in-vision array would be a winner.

Then there's this PR shot of a bank ceo.


You think that's maybe some breakout room or executive suite sofa beneath the Kandinsky homage print. There's certainly worse images to be seen in front of.

Next, we have an American livestreamer. Here with not just a second, but a third screen to his rig.

Ten minutes in, he repositions the screen stage-right. Checking the view with his display below the webcam.

We can definitely use this tactic. Lovely when there's just one or two other attendees.

Note he looks down to our left throughout. To either a tablet or phone (or both) on the desk in between broadcast and second screens, just below and behind the large mic.

Lastly, we have the most viewed blurred background for quite a while.

Any ideas as to what he was blurring?

Makes a change from the barely obscured clutter of a living space or ghostly outlines of people scuttling across.

If you know you're going to be somewhere a little unusual, why not make the most of it.

Even if only for the classic, snappy 8-minuter. Which could be the ideal use.

When travelling and in a public place, Sales calling is generally to be considered with extreme caution. Even more so, video.

I myself have been party to an American airport departure lounge scene where a competitor was on their phone to a colleague. Loudly discussing what they were going to do on a bid which we sitting behind, unbeknown to them, were also pitching. Golden.

Here's a trio of further ideas.

Client Buildings

Customers if asked wouldn't tend to like you broadcasting from their premises. Yet occasions can crop up where they happily leave you in a spot to carry on with your own work in between being with them, or in a gap before you go. If a meeting room, then (so long as it's not with anyone even remotely resembling a competitor of theirs) should you be able to position yourself so that no-one else can be seen in-frame, then give it a try. Preferably where the décor is appreciably not that which adorns your normal space.

The Foyer Market

Traditionally the name given to in-person get togethers grabbed in the lobby of hotels. Some such establishments even refashion themselves to attract this passing, and lucrative, business trade. Some places can come across a bit too similar to being on a co-working open-ish floor, but plenty of venues like this can happily suffice.

Amenities Room

A couple o' years back, when helping a company curate a zoom booth for themselves, a stationery cupboard got presented as space to clear out and renovate. It reminded me of a pivotal, similar set in the bank innards of quite cool Clive Owen-Denzel Washington 2006 heist movie, The Inside Man. I mentioned, half in jest, you needn't dispose of its contents to make it a viable video room. Almost any room that has a 'lab' or technical working feel can work well. So long as nothing untoward is exposed.

Which brings me to a fundamental. Respecting the privacy of your prospect is key. Regardless of how comfortable you may be of talking in relatively open view, your co-participants may wish to keep things strictly between you and them.

Wherever you choose, you absolutely must prevent any information even vaguely proprietary from being revealed. Confidentiality is paramount.

But as for once-off locations to mix things up, make yourself more distinct and gain greater traction, the world is indeed your oyster.

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