Conference Rooms: Designing for Efficient and Enjoyable Meetings

A conference room serves several business needs – it is a place to present to clients, conduct meetings and hold brainstorming and training sessions.

Since it is a setting for important business deals, a conference room needs to make an impression. Gone are the days when it was just a room that consisted of white walls, a large table and office chairs. The design can either help people come up with ideas or distract them with how uncomfortable it is.

Considering Your Business Needs

When it comes to office design, there is no single formula to success. Conference rooms should always be designed to suit the needs of your business. Your employees are your greatest resource, so consider sending out a survey to ask them what features they find most important in a meeting room space.

The nature of the meetings also determines the size and design of a conference room. Large conference rooms are preferred for meetings with clients or other important visitors. Smaller rooms are more suited for small-group brainstorming sessions, official internal meetings, conference calls and one-on-ones.

Designing Your Conference Room

The design of your conference room needs to be professional for your clients yet comfortable for your employees. The following are factors to consider to infuse professionalism and personality in your meeting area:

Colour

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The colour of a room has a direct impact on the moods and productivity levels of occupants. Although neutral colours like white and grey provide a clean finish, they can generate feelings of sadness and depression. Consider painting the conference room in blues and greens to promote productivity and focus. To trigger creativity and innovation, a mellow yellow is a solid choice.

Furniture

Whether you’re buying online or in a physical store, prioritise comfort when shopping for chairs, tables and other office furniture. The nature of your business also determines the type of furniture: go for something formal if you’re in a more corporate setting, but choose something fun if your business fosters fun and creativity. You also don’t have to stick to the standard boardroom table, as there are several seating styles to choose from.

Amenities

Consider the office supplies and technology the room should be furnished with. That way, people don’t have to leave or get up in the middle of a meeting to, say, make a phone call or get fresh markers for the whiteboard.

Technology

If budget permits, integrate all the technical elements you need into one “touch panel” control that’s as easy to use as a TV remote. This saves you the time and the embarrassment of employees troubleshooting your presentation while clients and colleagues wait.

Naming Your Conference Room

Although it’s not required, conference room names are an important part of your office branding and design. Depending on the name, they reflect your company’s values and can be a source of humour among the team. Ask employees to submit suggestions and vote on their favourite name.

The design of your conference room makes a difference in how your employees use it. A well-designed and comfortable space makes people more likely to engage in meetings, whether they are one-on-one meetings, client calls or brainstorming sessions. You’ll also see a strengthened corporate image and workplace culture when employees collaborate and discuss in a room that meets their needs.

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