Conference or meeting rooms are essential in today’s modern working environment. It allows us to have a face to face with our clients and partners whenever possible, bypassing modern communication alternatives. It is also space where our teams can come together and discuss and exchange ideas. Its usage can go much further than that if we allow it. A conference room can leave a strong impression on a potential client. It can promote the creation of fresh and creative ideas, or it can distract and become a detriment to productivity with a lack of comfort and necessities one finds in a corporative environment. It needs to be a room where you are finishing your work and your deals. So, here are some of the best ways to make that happen.
We have already covered that want our employees and clients to be comfortable. Enough elbow room and space to get up and walk around are pretty much a given. This means that we have the responsibility of calculating how many people need to fit into that area. For some businesses, especially ones in their infancy, it is not feasible to have multiple meeting and conference rooms. That is where flexible or modular areas come into place. Designing a room for multiple purposes can be a little tricky but can go a long way in reducing associated costs in the future. This kind of flexibility in mind comes in various forms like modular room dividers, presentation equipment like projectors and portable tv stands and easy to move furniture. Even though we shouldn’t be so keen on tearing down walls and support beams, a bit of strategizing our layout does go a long way when designing a conference room. Layouts are aplenty and are highly dependant on our industry, niche and what we are trying to accomplish and portray.
We have covered the layout and how to best utilize it to fit multiple purposes. Now, let’s switch to the right equipment that employees and external parties need in order to get work done. Functionality should be at the top of our priority list. Thankfully, technology and modern tools have made it easier now more than ever to equip a room with all that is necessary. It is ubiquitous and inexpensive, for the most part. Whiteboards that are posted on a wall that is visible from all parts of a conference room are pretty much a must and a staple in presentation equipment. Easy access to food and beverages is crucial for longer meetings. People can get pretty exhausted in today’s turbulent and stressful working environment. Having refreshments and sustenance at hand is important to keep everyone happy and energized at least until the work is done. Creative ideas need proper fuel. Last but not least, comfort is an important aspect of conference room planning. As with fuel, people need to withstand prolonged sitting periods such as those in meetings and conferences. Being able to spend longer periods of time in a single, usually sitting the position can be a feat in itself. We can help people involved with that by introducing comfortable, customizable, ergonomic and practical furniture such as desks and office chairs. Combining all of these design aspects will grant the best possible experience while having meetings and conferences with employees and potential clients alike and we are sure to leave a lasting impression.
Since all person-to-person communication is done vocally, it is important to have good acoustics in a meeting room of any kind. Now, we are not talking about record label studio-level acoustics here, but a certain degree needs to be met in order for a conference to go smoothly. Bad acoustics can easily ruin the experience and can cause crucial pieces of information to be dropped out of the exchange in more severe cases. Acoustics is an entire field in itself and we cannot cover all of in just a few paragraphs, but we can summarize the essentials upon which we can work on. Rooms intended for private conversations where potential confidential information is exchanged can benefit greatly from sound absorption techniques and utensils. Sound dampening panels are everywhere, just look at your favorite YouTube streamer, they all have them. Remember those modular, transportable walls that we have mentioned? Those can also have sound dampening foam on them for noise to not escape the room, but also to not enter as well.
As with all things in business and in life the more time, effort, knowledge and preparation invested, the greater the chances of success are. It is the same with designing conference rooms, the more we prepare and think things through, the better the experience will be for all parties involved. Any unforeseen issues that might occur will occur if we do a test run prior to the main event. Much like a soundcheck at your favorite concert. Technical problems will come to the surface and you will be able to remedy them. And if all turn out exactly as we planned, we at least have peace of mind knowing that everything will work out flawlessly. Mock meetings and roleplay can give us great insight and preparation into the real deal. Try and anticipate your client’s questions and needs in order to be prepared for any circumstance. Giving a presentation to a bunch of empty chairs can really calm the nerves and test the associated equipment for any faulty and loose wiring.
The design of your conference room will dictate many things. From how your employees utilize it to how your clients view and experience what you are representing. The amount of space available and comfortable furniture make up for a standard of any professional environment. Ultimately, it is what you have to offer that makes the bedrock your company’s future.