Your conference room setup may need to look professional, but it certainly doesn’t need to be boring. It also doesn’t have to be sterile, like you’re stepping into an interrogation room either.
When designing your conference room setup, always keep in mind that your meeting space isn’t just a place to host meetings––you’ll be doing so much more. FInding the right conference table and chairs set will make all the difference.
Boardrooms are often where all the magic happens, everything from creative brainstorming, to pitching key presentations, to strategizing on important business moves and innovative marketing campaigns. It only makes sense to make your conference rooms as comfortable and inspiring as possible. Below are some boardroom setup ideas and conference room necessities for large or small conference room ideas to help you do just that!
Conference Room Setup: Layout
Before setting up a meeting room, you need to determine what it will be primarily used for. For example, will it be used solely for presentations or will it also host things like workshops and other collaborative meetings?
Questions like this can help determine what kind of layout you should go with. The most common layouts seen in a modern conference room include:
U-shape styles are a popular choice for chic and stylish conference rooms. For this, three tables are arranged with their ends next to each other, making a U-shape, while the seats are arranged on the outer side of the U.
This setup gives you a lot of conference space to move around and address the audience, which can be especially beneficial for interactive sessions. It allows for multiple presenters at the front of the meeting room, and allows presenters and the audience to converse with each other and among themselves.
U-shape styles are ideal if your conference room is mainly used for presentations, video conferencing, and small-scale training sessions.
Closed U-Shape / Hollow Square
Similar to a U-shape style is the hollow square style. For a hollow square layout, four tables––either square or rectangular––are arranged with their ends close to each other to create a hollow square shape.
This allows for free room in the middle of the tables so presenters can address each person individually. However, this layout is more suitable for small groups and problem-solving sessions.
For instance, if you host a workshop or interactive session with this layout, the instructor will have the ability to keep an eye on everyone’s progress and guide them as needed.
One of the most common and basic layouts for conference rooms is the boardroom style. This conference room design involves a long oval or rectangular table, surrounded by chairs on all sides.
A boardroom layout is best for meetings involving agenda-focus discussions as it is designed to make it easy to discuss things with the other people on the table, as well as to host conference calls. Generally, a boardroom table is designed to fit 25 people.
A theater style layout is somewhat of a go-to conference room setup with big corporations in mind. In this room design, all chairs are arranged in straight rows facing toward the same space. This empty space essentially serves as a stage or sorts for the presenter.
A setup like this ensures that the attention of your audience is focused on the platform and that they’re able to see everything clearly when doing presentations or video conferences.
This type of setup is ideal for large groups, and also performs well for seminars, lectures, presentations, and other situations where there is little interaction between the audience and presenter.
Another popular conference room idea is using a classroom layout––essentially a blend of the different types of layouts mentioned prior. Chairs are arranged facing one side of the room where the speaker will share from.
However, the difference lies in the additional tables for all the chairs. This style is ideal if the conference room is going to be used for group brainstorming activities as it allows partners to discuss their ideas together and take notes on a whiteboard setup making for a collaborative office space.
Additionally, a speaker or presenter can command the attention of the whole room with this layout and easily converse with any member of the audience or keep an eye on their progress.
As the name indicates, a circular layout in a conference room features a banquet style setup, with round or oval tables surrounded by chairs placed throughout the room.
This type of conference room layout is ideal for discussions and interactions on a personal level and facilitates networking and conversation. In most settings, this circular layout is adopted for larger conference rooms, with enough space around the tables for everyone to move around freely.
Conference Room Setup: Equipment
A well-set conference room should have not just tables and chairs, but also the proper equipment. Without this equipment you can’t really utilize the room to its full potential.
Nowadays, every conference room needs to be equipped with a large TV screen. For any conference calls or presentations, a TV screen is essential to ensure everyone in the room can get a clear visual.
Audio / Video System
To support the TV screen, you should have a high-quality audio and video system. For best results, opt for a video camera that is designed for business use, preferably with a 120-degree view to ensure all the participants are visible.
You can have as many fancy gadgets in a conference room as you want, as long as you have the right control panel for it. Setting up a control center in a conference room is very important to make it easy for everyone to access whatever devices you have set up.
Just be sure to find a control panel that features an easy and straightforward user interface, that ideally allows you to transition between different functions with a simple touch.
Interactive Whiteboard (Optional)
With the explosion of people currently working from home, the worlds of business and education has had to adopt new tools and ways to make sure they can still perform at full capacity. One of those handy tools is an interactive whiteboard, which is a smart whiteboard that allows people to share their ideas with each other remotely.
Conference Room Setup: Furniture
The furniture in any conference room is so key to your layout and design. If you’re designing the room for a big corporation or office that will have multiple conference rooms, it’s best to create a visual difference between the rooms to make sure people don’t confuse them.
Additionally, your furniture in a conference room can help set the vibe of the whole room. If it’s stuffy and uncomfortable, people probably won’t enjoy working there. Whereas, if it’s inviting and welcoming––while also being professional––it can help people focus on the work at hand while staying comfy.
Like any other room in a workspace, your chairs in a conference room need to be ergonomic. Ergonomic chairs are chairs that are designed to create a balance between work productivity and human health. Sitting in an un-ergonomic chair for long periods of time can be detrimental to both physical and mental health and can significantly impact your team’s ability to accomplish their goals.
Depending on the purpose of your conference room, the tables should also be appropriate. Make sure the color and style of table goes with the rest of the room. Your tables should complement and contrast at the same time for a great look.
Final Tips for Creating the Best Conference Room Setup
Employ Easy-to-Use Technology
It’s important to ensure that technology and tools offered in the conference room are easy-to-use and accessible. If they are too complicated for most of the workforce to understand or use, they lose their purpose.
Ensure High Network Bandwidth
In this time of remote conference calls and file sharing, having a high network bandwidth is essential. Make sure the conference room is set up with a Wi-Fi system; it won’t hurt to have a backup plan as well.
Display the Rules
For the sake of accessibility and convenience, it’s always best to display general information and rules in a visible area of the conference room. This can include SOPs for things of note, Wi-Fi connection information, as well as booking information to book the conference room.
Obviously, these conference room ideas are by no means exhaustive. Hopefully though, you have a better grasp of how you can design and layout a boardroom in a way that looks aesthetically pleasing, while also maximizing productivity and creativity for those who use it. Look to Juniper Office Furniture Solutions to set up your perfect conference room. Juniper offers services from design, to planning, to installation, so you can create the perfect office space.