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Some of the biggest ideas come out of conversations in conference rooms. From integral internal meetings to closing key accounts, so much of your business's success will revolve around how your conference room looks and functions. Modern business is digital. Employees are no longer bound by their physical location when it comes to collaboration and communication. It's all a part of staying in touch and maintaining agile and on-demand fulfillment.
We're all familiar with the phrase, "That meeting could have been an email." Sometimes, this perspective is completely justified. Meetings can be messy, one-sided, dragged out, and unproductive. This can also largely depend on the amenities of said conference room.
If you have remote employees, multiple offices, large teams, or are meeting with a client, you're likely stuck huddling around a telephone or laptop, and you reduce your meeting to shaky video and garbled audio. Taking shortcuts and getting by with halfhearted measures for meetings with remote teammates puts both parties at a disadvantage. If neither of you can really hear or see each other, the quality of the conversation will be poor.
Rather than dwell on the context of a meeting (the what), it may be time to focus on "the where" and "the how" of your business collaborations. How you equip and lay out your conference rooms can either empower seamless hybrid team interactions or hinder your team's potential.
There is perhaps no room more diverse and pivotal to a business' immediate and long-term success and function than conference rooms. From meeting with stakeholders and high-dollar clients to creative brainstorming sessions, a conference room must be equally equipped to suit both formal and creative pursuits.
How your conference room is equipped speaks volumes to how your business views collaboration. Whether it's a room with four walls and a table or a well-thought-out space with its own equipment and clear purpose, it can make a huge difference in the efficiency and effectiveness of your business' meetings.
Make sure your business has this equipment for conference rooms to enable hybrid teams:
If your conference rooms have a dedicated conference camera equipped with a high-resolution lens and high-quality speakers and microphone, you automatically eliminate the main barriers in digital communication.
Get the whole team involved and allow yourself to close the deal with a camera that has 360 degrees of coverage. This ensures that all participants are given equal engagement and stake in the meeting's events and empowers efficient and productive collaboration.
From videos to slides, equip your meeting rooms with a projector or HDMI or VGA ready monitor to account for any necessary visual information to presented clearly to all attendees.
No more waiting. No more, "how does this thing plug in?" Your employees and clients are too busy. Your business is too important for your meeting rooms not to have the necessary equipment. Make sure it is set up with all the essential visual presentation tools it may need to allow for successful meetings. If you're unfamiliar with audiovisual equipment, check out this guide outlining AV basics for beginners.
Whether you're presenting slides, taking notes or in need of an answer instantly, you have to have the ability to access high-speed and reliable internet from within your conference rooms. Don't allow for lag time to disengage your meeting participants. We all know the frustration of being frozen during video meetings.
The information you are presenting may need to fluctuate. A sizeable whiteboard is the just the right thing to take quick notes or draw a quick diagram for your team to analyze and generate business shaping solutions. Make sure your whiteboard is in view of your camera for remote participants so they can be involved with brainstorms and stay up-to-date.
Whether it's to keep in-office participants alert or to provide remote viewers a clear perspective of the information presented, your conference room needs to have sufficient lighting.
Now that you know what your conference room needs to enable powerful presentations, pitches, and brainstorming sessions, the next focus is how to lay out your meeting room to best accommodate the presentation of both visual and auditory information.
These are the key elements of the best way to lay out a conference room:
The typical visual for conference rooms is a long, rectangular table surrounded in chairs with the C-suites at the head of the table and the rest of the attendees trickling towards the back of the room.
If you truly wanted meaningful collaboration, you would pare your meeting size down to only those who would be involved in the presentation of information or who would be involved in the decision-making process. We found that when there are fewer people in the conference room, remote teammates have more talk time.
With a round table, all meeting participants have an equal say in the conversation and can be seen, and heard, by all other attendees.
If the purpose of a conference room is to converse, then your conference rooms should be small. This prevents any wasted time from meeting participants having to repeat themselves or, worse yet, any participants (think of your remote teammates!) missing or not hearing critical points in the conversation.
Keep your conference rooms relatively compact to stimulate clear, concise, and meaningful meetings.
As more and more business is conducted remotely, it's critical to accommodate meeting attendees calling in through a digital video conference line. These attendees could be potential clients or key collaborators.
In either case, you should not neglect these participants by subjecting them to a different experience than in-office attendees. With a round table, smaller conference room, and 360-degree video conference camera, you ensure that your business has the capacity to conduct high-quality meetings with anyone at any time.