A conference room, also called a meeting room, is a room where you can carry out meetings, discuss private ideas and generally carry out business which can’t be done in the normal office. The design of this particular room is of great importance since it determines how effective it is to the firm.
Most offices will have a hall-like room for meetings and other collaborative efforts. How they’re designed depends on the business being carried out. For example, there are different conference room designs for casual meetings, product launches and idea demonstrations.
Whether you have a small meeting room, a large one or one with an uncommonly shape, the following ideas are the best for a modern conference room. We further discuss why each design is functional and how it fits into what type of use case scenario. Keep in mind that the furniture you choose for your office depends on the type of meeting you have.
Best Conference Room Designs
Currently, the best conference room designs are as follows:
1. The Modern Conference Room
The modern conference room contains a set of chairs facing each other on either side of one long table. Usually, the table is a series of conjoined tables to accommodate a large number of users. The table should be large enough such that everyone at the table sees everyone else in the meetings without leaning forward.
At one end of the table there can be a whiteboard, screen or other item on which a presentation can be made. A person can also stand on this side of the table to make the presentation. At the opposite end, a senior member of the team can sit there. In most cases, however, rectangular conference tables don’t have people sitting at the narrower ends. Above the table should be lights to illuminate the table as ideas are shared.
This design of conference room is for large meetings where people can bounce ideas around the table to find solutions to problems.
2. The Studio Conference Room
The studio is a place where creative minds gather to share ideas. This type of meeting room allows for easy sharing of ideas in fields such as the arts, construction and others which require a lot of flexibility and tiny details. Maps, models and similar ideas are shared in this type of conference room.
Given the needed closeness of the participants, the studio is usually smaller than other conference rooms. Thus, instead of one large table in the middle, there can be several tables in different designs and sizes to accommodate different needs. Circular tables are common in the studio as they offer individuals equal chances of interacting with the main ideas in discussion.
While other types of conference room designs favor executive office chairs, studios use minimalist chairs that are easy to get on and off. Sole studios even use circular stools that one can rotate around and point out an idea. The lighting in studios is usually much brighter with some tables having their own sources of light to illuminate maps from below.
3. The Ideation Hub
The Ideation room is like the more informal studio conference room. It’s meant specifically for using boards and other pieces of equipment to share ideas. Usually, it has one or two high tables which can be used when standing for ease of movement. The chairs will also be stool-height for ease of movement.
4. The Relaxed Conference Room
This type of conference room is for sharing ideas on the fly and is for a few people. Usually, the chairs and tables are of a lower height than the standard conference room. Lounge chairs are commonly used for this kind of meeting room. A whiteboard is also used with most relaxed conference rooms.
5. The Café Conference Room
For quick meetings between 2 to about 5 people, the café design is the best. Most large places of work will have a café-like area with a mix of high and low chairs and different table sizes and designs to match. There are even standing areas for the quick sharing of ideas with a few colleagues. This type of conference room isn’t the best for making presentations or sharing confidential information.
6. Video Conferencing Rooms
At times, physical distance can be a limitation to attending a meeting at work. For such cases where a large number of people need to attend a meeting but are located in different areas, the video conferencing room is the perfect solution. It combines video and physical attributes to allow meetings take place without restrictions.
The use of video conferencing apps and services such as Google Meets, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and others makes it possible to carry out meetings from different locations. At work, these apps can be harnessed with a large screen on one wall allowing people from different locations to interact with those in a single room.
Such rooms are usually arranged with the video conferencing screen on one end, a table with chairs in the middle and a whiteboard on the other wall or on a wall adjacent to the one with the screen. This allows those in the room and on the screen to use the whiteboard without obstructing one another.
7. The Modular Conference Room
The modular conference room is adjustable in that it can be switched around to suit the task at hand. With this kind of room, you can use it for board meetings, ideation, as a studio and just about any other idea you may have.
For this to be possible, you need equally modular and adjustable furniture. Tables and chairs should be adjustable in height and size. For example, you can raise the height to transform a board meeting session into an ideation studio with ease. You can also have furniture that expands out to accommodate more people in meetings.
With these conference room designs, you can have yours created as per your needs.
What determines a conference room design?
The design you’re likely to pick on will depend on the following aspects:
1. Space available
The amount of space available dictates almost everything that goes into the design of the conference room. If it’s small, you’ll design it to economize on the space with smaller pieces of furniture than if you had all the space you need.
The space available also determines the shape of the furniture you’ll use. If you have a circular room, you’re more likely to use a circular table than a rectangular one for example. This also goes further to dictate other aspects of the room including the type of lighting to use, how to supply power to the users and where to place whiteboards and screens.
2. Type of meeting
Whether it’s a board meeting, brainstorming session or a PowerPoint presentation, the design of the conference room will depend heavily on that. While a board meeting will have a formal design with a table, chairs and some form of presentation material, a studio will have several tables, chairs, charts and other items in a random order.
3. Equipment available
If the firm has specific types of furniture for the conference room, it’ll also determine the design of the room itself. You may have circular tables, rectangular ones, whiteboards of certain sizes and other parts of conference room. How you arrange them such that the room is functional depends on their sizes and shapes.
4. Number of users
The number of users will also determine the design of the meeting room. For a few users, a small round table with a few chairs is enough. If you have lots of people using the room, you may require several rows of chairs around a circular table to have effective meetings.
- What should a conference room have?
A good conference room should have a smart board/projector screen, good projector, good internet (wired and Wi-Fi), quality audio equipment, proper seating arrangement, video conferencing system, good air conditioning, common room (tea room), and good staff.
- How do you design a conference room?
The design of your conference room is subjective and depends on aspects such as the number of users, the purpose of the conference, the space available, and the equipment available.
- What are conference rooms used for?
A conference room is used for most decision-making situations such as management discussions, board meetings, ideation and conference calls.