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A meeting room is a center for collaboration. It is where ideas are shared, deals are made, and topics are brainstormed. The layout and setup of a meeting room can either support or hinder this purpose. A properly configured meeting room optimizes learning, makes attendees feel comfortable, and encourages them to participate.
When thinking about how you want to set up your meeting room, consider the room’s objectives. Do you mostly plan to do presentations there? Will you use the meeting room for brainstorming? Who will be attending these meetings? Whatever the purpose may be, the design and layout of your meeting room should support that.
The location of conference rooms is important. A meeting room should be easily accessible for employees and customers. Avoid placing meeting rooms in busy, bustling areas of the office where there is lots of noise and potential for interruption.
The seating arrangements in a meeting room help to direct the attention of attendees. The style of the seating arrangements you choose should depend on the size of the audience, the purpose of the meeting, and the relationship that the attendees have with each other.
Theatre- or auditorium-style seating arrangements are best for longer meetings with a large number of participants, whereas boardroom-style rooms that have a single table in the middle of the room with attendees seated at all sides encourage interaction and communication. Boardroom-style rooms are commonly used for videoconferences.
If you’re planning a presentation and attendees are going to be working on laptops or taking notes during the meeting, the classroom-style layout with rows of tables and chairs facing the front of the room would be suitable. U-shape layouts are best for presentations with smaller groups.
Video displays are a must for modern-day meeting rooms because they are crucial to collaboration with remote attendees and conducive to information-sharing. Large LCD screens are effective at communicating information and seamlessly deliver high-quality imagery to any participant in the room.
The positioning of the screen is also important. Make sure that the screen is located a comfortable distance from the audience. Additionally, ensure that there are speakers, cables, and other accessories installed to allow attendees to connect their laptops as needed and share content as needed.
The quality of the lighting in your meeting rooms strongly impacts the ambience. Natural lighting is better to have than artificial lighting, when possible. But if you have projectors and screens in the room, make sure that you can block the natural light with blinds or shades to prevent glare during presentations.
Most meeting rooms aren’t without these two things: a table and a screen. The bigger the meeting room, the larger the table and screen tend to be. Your meeting room shouldn’t feel crowded when it is full, however. The table you choose for a meeting room does not need to fill the room. Leave enough space in the meeting room for whiteboard areas, a secondary table, and extra seating.
Add some stools to a meeting room to encourage people to move around, sit in different places, and use the whiteboards as needed. Stools allow people who want to stand up and speak to be at a similar height to those who are seated so that they don’t automatically dominate a conversation that is meant to be more collaborative in nature.
You can also place a small table and chairs right outside of the meeting space so that people leaving a meeting have somewhere to debrief. This prevents people from lingering in a meeting room after a meeting is over and delaying the next meeting, while giving them a place to gather and share their thoughts post-meeting.
Meeting room digital signs that are displayed right outside of a meeting room allow people to view the schedule of a meeting room and quickly determine if and when it is available. They also prevent no-shows from taking up much-needed meeting space by requiring meeting organizers to check in. This frees the meeting rooms up for others to use in the event of a no-show. Meeting room digital signs also prevent meeting rooms from getting hijacked so easily.
Add-On Products’ Digital Sign Service displays meeting room schedules on conference room signs and allows attendees to book, cancel, and reschedule meetings on the spot. For more information about Digital Sign Service and Resource Central, our meeting room booking system for Microsoft Outlook®, Exchange, and Office 365, contact Add-On Products today and sign up for a free demo.