Today’s technology and forward-thinking businesses aim to make conference room meetings just a little more interesting. Whether you’re meeting for an important discussion with your internal team or having critical conversations with investors, your conference room is key to the next step. To truly make the most of them, they should be designed for comfortability and packed with modern tech to streamline brainstorming and collaboration.
Whether it’s time to update your conference room or you’re starting from scratch in a new office space, these design and tech ideas will steer you in the right direction.
Conference Room Lighting
The lighting in your conference room sets the mood for your meeting. Harsh lighting can easily result in irritability and drain the energy from the atmosphere. For example, fluorescent lighting can feel too overbearing and distract from the purpose of the meeting. On the other hand, excessive soft lighting could create a “sleepy” experience. When choosing your conference room lighting, think about subtle light spaces that inspire you. Try different light sources, like floor and desk lamps, LED lights, dimmer switches that provide full control, and task lighting.
Video Conference Equipment
Have you ever had a meeting with remote participants and found that your screen froze mid-way through the presentation? This can make things pretty awkward between you and your potential client. For the this reason, the right preparation is necessary. Your conference room meeting isn’t quite complete without state-of-the-art technology to deliver your presentation and communicate with others.
The Video Conference Store is a platform that offers all the high-end video equipment you might need. For example, the Polycom Real Presence Centro is a visual collaboration hub that can be used for remote and local participants. It features multi-sided HD displays, a 360-degree camera, microphones, and speakers. But if you don’t need to go that far, a Polycom speakerphone will do: with 360-degree speakers, all participants will be heard just as clearly as if they were in the room. Both of these systems are designed specifically for conferences, giving you maximum use capabilities.
The SMART Board brings multi-touch technologies to your meeting. There are several benefits to using a SMART board in conference rooms. This interactive flat screen has everything you need all rolled into one: a projection screen, whiteboard, and computer. Your standard boardroom meeting then easily becomes an active collaboration hub. Not only can you show attendants slideshows, but all types of videos, images, and content. You can use your fingers as a mousepad, write on, and manipulate objects on the board.
It can even be linked to a computer or printer, making it easy to print notes written on the SMART board or save files locally. To take it a step further, there’s add-on software the enables remote participants to collaborate, and you can integrate tools like SharePoint for increased functionality.
A Great Layout & Design
While technology is at the forefront of your conference room meetings, there are other elements of a meeting that make it more enjoyable, like your design. To truly maximize your conference room, it’s important to design one that meets your business needs. This means that you don’t always simply need to throw in a rectangular table and chairs; these days, there’s much more to meetings than the most basic office furniture.
Highly functional conference room tables encourage mobility and work well in the conference rooms of today. Consider opting for an adjustable conference room table or a boat-shaped table, which makes it easier for attendants to view presentations because they aren’t arranged in a straight line.
A few decorative pieces can also lend an air of creativity. Add some artwork or cool centerpiece plants to make the meeting room feel a little less stifled. Keep in mind that your conference room design should reflect the business and be authentic. If you’re a young startup with cool products, let your conference room design aid the image. If you’re a corporate business, create a functional, sleek space that speaks to that.
Choosing the right furniture for your conference room is something of an art. You want seating that all visitors can enjoy, regardless of height and weight. Not everyone has the same back health, and if a visitor is uncomfortable in your chair, it will likely make them anxious to leave. Opt for adaptable, ergonomic chairs and have a few employees test them out for comfort. On the same token, you want your chairs to be simple enough where adjustment doesn’t take too much time or offer additional distraction.
Check out the National Business Furniture’s Conference Room Chair Guide for inspiration.