Working in almost any profession means that you’ll spend time in meetings. Some meetings seem like necessary evils, while others are effective opportunities to share and implement new ideas and products. The success of any meeting can be largely influenced by having an engaging conference room. Here are some tips for creating an effective, inviting meeting space:
1. Have Comfortable Tables and Chairs Nothing makes a meeting more boring and long than sitting in an uncomfortable chair. So invest in chair that are height-adjustable, have good backs, and are made of comfortable materials (not cold metal). Table size and shape also influence the comfort and productivity of meeting participants. Round tables encourage interaction and suggestion, while U-shaped tables are ideal for training. Long rectangular tables are best for when there are one or two clearly defined decision-makers.
2. Have High Tech Audio/Visual Products One person droning on for 70 minutes is another meeting killer. Use technology to engage participants; for example, with videos, PowerPoint presentations, or even buzzers that employees can use to indicate they would like the floor. Conference calls are also good ways to have effective meetings. But when technology doesn’t work, it can ruin the meeting, so make sure you have spare cords, internet connection cables, batteries, or anything else that needs backups.
3. Have Low Tech Gear Too Technology is wonderful, but sometimes the lights and sounds turn into distracting bangs and whistles rather than helping participants focus. So don’t be afraid to keep some low-tech products around too. Have a white board (complete with markers and erasers), a paper easel or notepads and pens. Also make sure your perfect conference room has extras of common office supplies stocked: pens, correction fluid, highlighters, scissors, glue, staples, tape, hole-punch, etc.
4. Make the Environment Easy to Control No one likes to freeze or sweat through a meeting. Make sure your perfect conference room has A/C and heater options, with the controls in the room, not controlled by a central system. Also, invest in automatic blinds to cover the windows for multimedia presentations. (Windows are a good idea too; natural light keeps people awake.) Part of providing control over the environment is to let meeting participants have access to light snacks and drinks. No one is going to be their best if they are hungry. Having a small cupboard and fridge with simple snacks and drinks (water and crackers, for example) will help keep the meeting happy and focused.
Making the perfect Utah conference room is worth the effort. Meetings will be more effective, and employees and clients will be more focused and engaged.