So, you have left planning an important meeting to the last minute and now you are forced to hold it at your business premises? This blog post aims to give you a helping hand with that by providing some top tips on how to set up a meeting room effectively.
Before delving any further it is important to remember that, if you don’t feel like your offices are substantial enough to host the meeting in question, you should make it a priority to hire a space specifically designed for meetings. Meeting room management software can make sure you stay on top of this so you never find yourself in such a position again.
If you are holding a meeting – whether it is for employees, prospective clients, business associates, stakeholders or anyone else – the layout of the meeting room plays a monumental role in the successfulness of the occasion. You need to set up your offices effectively so that everybody feels included and that you get your message across to everyone successfully.
The first thing you need to do is assess the room. The main thing you should take note of is how many electrical sockets there are and whereabouts they are located. After all, you may need to use these for projectors, screens and alike. The last thing you want to do is have to traipse wire all across the room for your guests to trip over!
Once you have done this you then need to consider what layout you are going to go for. Some of the most popular options include; theatre, classroom, boardroom, u-shaped and banquet. Which option you choose depends on the type of business meeting you are hosting. Let’s look at each layout in a bit more depth so you can make your decision…
- Theatre – This consists of rows of chairs that are lined up to face one focal point; a screen or the person giving the presentation. This works really well for large groups whereby the meeting is not going to last long or at least does not require an extensive amount of note-taking. This works particularly well if you are hosting a meeting whereby you are doing most of the talking and the attendees mainly act as an audience.
- Classroom – This is similar to a theatre set up in the sense that there are rows of seating all centred on one focal point. However, a classroom layout works best when the meeting is one that is long and/or requires note taking as each person has a desk in front of them. If you are giving out handouts and reference material then this is also a desirable choice of room.
- Boardroom – This consists of approximately eight-foot conference tables clustered together in the middle of the room. The chairs are placed all around the rectangular tables to create an environment whereby everyone can see each other and everyone can interact with each other.
- U-shaped – As you may have gathered from the name; the tables are arranged in such a way as to form the shape of the letter U. Chairs are then typically placed around the outside of the tables. This tends to be the preferred choice for any committee meetings or discussion groups. It also lends itself well to any visuals being played.
- Banquet – Imagine walking into a hotel for an evening’s banquet or a wedding reception for your sit down meal; this is how the banquet set-up works. It consists of roundtables with approximately six to eight people sat around. This works really well when discussions and interaction are a key part of the meeting.
Creating an effective meeting room is really easy if you think of these clear and concise simple steps. First, consider the electrical sockets and then think about what layout is going to be best suited to the meeting you are conducting. Do this and you can’t go wrong.