If you want to make sure that you have more productive and effective meetings, if you want to be able to better communicate your vision and goals, and if you want to be able to project the sense of professionalism that your clients want from your business, then a good conference room can be a truly useful tool. It’s where the big decisions and big conversations happen in many a business, so you should give it the thought that it deserves. Here, we’re going to look at what you can do to create the conference room or meeting space your business merits.
Consider different layouts
When we think of the conference room layout, we typically think of the big desk, with chairs all around it and you, the leader, at the head of the table. However, not all meeting rooms play the same purpose. Some might be for around-the-table discussions, others might be for meetings with clients, or they might be for delivering presentations to the team. In some cases, small tables can be better for a sense of personal connection, or you might want to make room for rows of seating. If you want to keep your conference room flexible, then you might want to look at things like hybrid office furniture that can be adjusted to suit those needs.
Location makes a big difference
If you have multiple rooms that could work as the conference room, then you might want to start by looking at the location of each and how well it plays into its purpose of bringing people from across the office together. Choosing a location that is accessible from most of the office, easy to reach for clients, and fits the purpose of the room is always a good idea. This might mean choosing an area that’s a little more private and not as likely to distract as many workers. Of course, there’s a lot you can do to suit the room itself to your needs, but the location is certainly worth thinking about.
Comfort is an important factor
If you’re of the ilk of business leaders who think things like “you need to keep your employees uncomfortable so that they’re focused/on the ball,” then this tip might not be for you. However, for most people, we acknowledge that spending a lot of time in one space can get a little uncomfortable. Aside from taking breaks, you should make sure that you’re investing in ergonomic seating that’s better able to support the people in your conference room for longer. If your meeting participants are starting to feel uncomfortable, they’re going to be distracted by that discomfort and less likely to take part in or absorb what’s being discussed or shown.
Try to ensure personal space for everyone in there
You might want to get as many of your top thinkers in the conference room at once, but you should always be mindful of the space that you’re able to provide for them. If you can expand your conference space to offer more space to more people, that’s excellent. However, usually, this means rethinking how many people can be in that space at a given. Accommodate who you can support to give them the space to be comfortable and to have some privacy if they’re taking notes, jotting down thoughts, and the like. No one likes the feeling of having their shoulder looked over.
Set up your tech just right
Conference room meetings usually involve more than just the people who are seated at the desks. There are presentations to be given, people to welcome from remote locations, and other multimedia that might need to be used at various points to ensure the best communication. To that end, your technological setup is just as important as any other aspect of the room. Investing in solid AV integration can make sure that you’re not caught lacking when it comes to the ability to fulfill any of these needs. Otherwise, your conference room will always be limited in what you can actually use it for and if you need to do remote calls, presentations, or the like, you’ll have to take them elsewhere.
Make a focused, private space
As mentioned, the location of the conference room that you choose will certainly play a role in how private it feels, but there’s a lot that you can do to maintain it, too. Not only does it reduce the chances of distraction on both sides of the glass, but it can improve the sense of focus and comfort in discussing and presenting in the room. You don’t want people feeling self-conscious about standing up to take over a presentation when they feel like everyone can see them, including those outside the room. To that end, you can simply put up some blinds, but if you want to maintain a feeling of light and space, then you might want to go with something like frosted windows for the conference room, instead.
Good lighting is vital
Keeping the room well-lit was mentioned because, naturally, lighting is crucial to make sure that your conference room is able to fit its purpose. If you can keep the lighting in the conference room natural with windowed walls and big windows to the outside, that’s great, but you have to make sure that you can adjust it, especially to be able to make use of projectors and screens or other technologies. Layering your artificial lighting can be useful, as well. Rather than using overhead lighting, a lot of good conference rooms will use task lighting, such as lamps spaced out over the desk to make sure that everyone is better able to make out their notes or resources you hand out.
Your conference room can play a major role in the success of your business but you should make sure that you’re putting as much into it as you expect to get out of it. The more you use it, the more you should treat it as an asset worth investing in.