The aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic has been a testing time for businesses, but with a positive outlook. US businesses are experiencing key job growth, as younger start-ups begin to expand their staff cohort. As a business grows, its needs change – and with more capital, more investment can be made in key resources.
The conference room is one such resource, being an important space to cultivate new business and internal growth alike. But how should you approach putting one together?
Defining Key Questions
Before you begin kitting out your conference room, you will need to take some time to perform some research and come to an understanding of your unique needs when it comes meeting spaces. Budget is a key consideration, with conference equipment and installation – plus labor – being a not-insignificant up-front cost. You’ll want to make sure that every cent is spent on equipment and resources that are useful.
Firstly, what is the purpose of the room? Is it a general meeting space, or a break-out area for employees to workshop ideas? Is it a corporate meeting space for fielding meetings with shareholders and business partners? In knowing how many people you will be housing, how often it will be used and what kind of features you will need – such as independent audio feeds, built-in touchscreens or other accessibility concerns – you can better speak to your budget and build plan.
The most important part of the modern conference room is not the room itself; it is the technology. With remote work much more common for workers across departments, and with the increased viability of international conference via internet connections and other satellite link-ups, it is essential that your conference room is adequately kitted-out for the internet age.
Smaller conference rooms may be able to make do with speakerphone arrays and a projector or interactive screen for presentations, but larger spaces require a little more technological consideration. In particularly big spaces, it will be necessary to supply attendants with audio-visual accommodations; coaxial cables can be run under the floor to each desk, connecting microphones to a central A/V system and delivering direct audio feeds of other speakers.
A lot of your setup decisions will depend not only on the purpose of your conference space, but also the equipment in which you have invested. If you are facilitating conference phone calls via central conference speakerphone systems, you will need participants to be within certain speaking distance of the device. For round-table discussion, you will need tables facing inwards or in a U-shape.
For larger spaces, though, this might not be possible. Larger spaces would already be making use of an audio loop with individual microphones in order to facilitate group discussion, as well as a number of screens for remote call-ins – in which case, you could create individual stations in a lecture-hall style array, where local video and audio feeds can be established to highlight individual speakers.