Almost every business has a conference room. Whether you are using your conference room to show products to your customers, video conference with a satellite office, hold a company meeting or receive visits from sales people, your conference room must serve many purposes. With each purpose, there are changing demands on these rooms. No one wants to spend large amounts of money on a conference room, because let’s face it: the average conference room is probably used about four hours a week. But during those four hours, it’s important that the design of the room does not hinder your agenda.
Here are some key things to consider when setting up a conference room or making changes to your existing setup:
- Screen: Do you need a screen to project things? If so, what size? Screen size is largely dependent upon the room size and what you are going to be displaying on the screen. If the room is large, or if you’ll be working with lots of spreadsheets and documents with small print, then consider a projector and screen instead of a large TV. If you are primarily using it for video and presentations, then a large TV will suffice.
- Screen placement: You will want to make sure the screen is high enough so that everyone in the room can see the full screen. You also want to make sure it’s not too high, as this can cause neck fatigue, leading to people losing interest in the content of your message.
- Connectivity: How are you going to connect devices to your TV or projector? TVs and projectors now have multiple wireless connectivity options, some of which are built-in. There are also add-on devices to TVs, such as AppleTV and Microsoft’s Wireless Display Adaptor. These two options allow almost any tablet or laptop purchased in the last two years to wirelessly connect with ease.
- Confidentiality: Are you going to be using the room to discuss confidential information? You might want to consider a white noise system. This system puts out a soft static sound in the room, keeping people outside from overhearing your conversation.
- Sound quality: What kind of sound quality will you need? You can do anything from a couple of computer speakers to a full-blown 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound system. It depends on your use.
- Drawing board: Do you need a dry erase board? Use it to draw out upcoming plans, troubleshoot processes or do some plain old brainstorming.
- Simple-to-use remote: A smart remote can make all the difference in simplifying your setup. You can program a smart remote to auto-change inputs based on the options you select. For instance, if you have an iPad, you can have a Mac button on the remote to automatically switch to the AppleTV input and turn on the AppleTV. You can set up multiple buttons based on your needs. This takes the guesswork out of which input the TV needs to be on (for any technologically challenged people).
- Lighting: If you are going to be using a projector, you will want to make sure your projector is bright enough so people can see without having to dim the lights. Dimming the lights can make some people uncomfortable. Also, you will want to make sure that light sources will not interfere with line of sight in any parts of the room.
- Other accessories to consider: Conference room phone, webcam, dedicated computer and many more.
The main thing to keep in mind is that you need to make sure any technology you use in your conference room is simple, yet effective. Make sure your employees are familiar and comfortable with the setup; this will put them at ease when presenting. Making the customer feel comfortable in your conference room environment will allow them to give you their full attention, and it will help you to be more successful. A well-planned and well-executed conference room setup can go a long way in helping you be more productive and profitable.