Meeting Room Setup: What You Need to Know
Putting together a meeting room must take into account its purpose and size. Find out which meeting room setup works best for different types of rooms.
What Is the Best Meeting Room Setup?
Meeting rooms are an essential part of any modern office, used for anything from quick one-on-one sessions to all-day board meetings. Getting your meeting room setup correctly depends on a number of factors that we explore below.
Questions to Ask Before Setting Up Your Meeting Room
How your meeting room is set up and what equipment it uses will often be determined by the following.
1. What Will the Meeting Room Be Most Frequently Used For?
This is the most pressing question to answer. Basic meeting rooms for quick in-office chats will not need much space or equipment. On the other hand, conference rooms will likely be a lot larger and require far more technology and equipment.
2. What Is the Size of the Meeting Room?
This might be pre-determined by the office space you have available. Knowing the size you have to work with will usually help you narrow down the range of possible functions for your meeting room.
3. How Many Participants Should It Be Able to Support?
This will typically go hand-in-hand with the above. If physical space is not a limitation, you must decide on the maximum number of participants a meeting room should be able to comfortably accommodate. This will dictate everything from furniture and layout to the equipment used.
Types of Meeting Rooms
A meeting room is a meeting room, right? Not quite. Meeting rooms vary in their intended purpose and the complexity involved.
1. Huddle Room
This is typically a small room for just a few participants. It’s used to facilitate spontaneous chats between colleagues and quick breakout sessions. They can also function as a “focus room” for an individual employee to do some focused work away from office noise or to make a call without distractions. For this type of room, you can get away with just a small table and a few chairs.
2. Meeting Room
These can vary greatly in size but are typically intended for more structured, pre-scheduled sessions that last up to an hour or more. A good meeting room will frequently need additional equipment like whiteboards, projectors, and the like.
3. Conference Room
A conference room is a step up from a meeting room, as it must not only accommodate physical participants but also facilitate conferencing with remote colleagues. Just as with meeting rooms, conference rooms may vary in size, but they all call for specialized conferencing equipment depending on the number of participants. In recent years, it’s become increasingly common to equip conference rooms for a specific conferencing platform a company may use, such as a Microsoft Teams Room.
Microsoft Teams Rooms
Microsoft Teams Rooms is a full-featured conference room solution based on the Microsoft Teams software. This allows you to have a conference room designed and set up from scratch using software, hardware, and audio-video equipment that’s certified for Microsoft Teams.
How to Set Up Your Meeting Room?
When it comes to putting the meeting room together, here’s what to keep in mind.
The room needs to be both visually and physically comfortable. This means adjustable lighting and temperature and neutral color choices. Ideally, the room will be located in a quiet and private area of the office.
In times of COVID, you should pay extra attention to ventilation options (easy-to-open windows and doors) and access to hygiene products in the form of hand sanitizer and the like.
The furniture itself should be ergonomic and allow for sitting comfortably over longer periods of time. It’s often a good idea to introduce chairs with wheels. This enables people to move around freely for flexible group work, as well as helping to comply with any existing social distancing guidelines.
If your room is likely to be used by people with disabilities, you’ll have to account for accessibility. This involves making sure the entry- and passageways are wide enough for wheelchair users, the room’s displays can accommodate vision-impaired people, and so on.
Next step is to decide on the furniture arrangement. While there are dozens of different room layout options, the most useful ones for a meeting room are:
The classic layout, with a table or several tables linked together in the middle and chairs around it. It works great for most meeting purposes and group sizes.
The U-shaped table arrangement allows a person to move into the center space and get closer to any participant. Best for meetings featuring speakers or presenters who want to interact more closely with the other participants.
Similar to a U-shape but with the center space completely closed off. Can facilitate focus groups or other types of meetings that feature a primary moderator engaging with others around them.
This features a central presentation space with a white board, display, or projector and rows of seats or desks facing it. Perfect for classroom-style presentations and key speakers addressing an audience.