Having a conference room, whether for business or personal use, requires strategic planning and proper design considerations. Many overlook the smaller details without realizing that there could be a better solution! So take this list of tips and considerations into account to ensure that your conference room is as well-suited, functional and comfortable as it can possibly be!
- Conferencing systems can work in multiple ways.
An ideal conferencing system isn’t a rigid system that only works in one capacity. Even in the simplest setups, you’ll at least have an alternative way to launch a meeting or present content. For example, if you have a room-based solution (meaning your conferencing system has a “brain”, or a system that runs independently from your device), that doesn’t mean your system only runs in that matter. You have the choice to launch a meeting from your laptop and connect to the display wirelessly. Or even then, you can just hook up your laptop to the display via HDMI.
Keep in mind though that the more high quality your solution is, the more versatility you can get. When your collaboration center is just a monitor on a mount, you’re limited to whatever wireless connectivity the monitor is capable of, and a wired solution.
- Supply chain delays can push back projects.
When it comes to designing a conference room, you need to consider the possibility of supply chain delays. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, this has been a common problem alike with electronics companies – production hasn’t been able to keep up with consumer demand since the massive economic disruption of. If you come across this, this isn’t something you or the integrator can control, and it’s critical to plan ahead in order to avoid any delays.
It is also helpful to establish clear deadlines with the integrator and keep up with any updates they provide along the way. If a delay occurs, try to get a timeline from the integrator and revise the project timeline accordingly. If the delay is long-term, be prepared to switch to different components or materials that are available.
- Bigger rooms make for worse audio feeds.
When designing a conference room, it’s important to consider the size of the room. Larger rooms can cause audio issues, as sound waves can bounce off walls and create an echo. To combat this, you’ll need to invest in acoustic treatments, such as sound-absorbing panels, to reduce the reverberation.
It's also a good tangent to think about what the noise levels are like in your room too. Because it’s important that people can clearly hear and be heard, any unwanted noise or disturbances can be very distracting. To combat this, take the time to properly insulate the walls and reduce ambient noise as much as possible, as well as invest in noise cancelling microphone and speaker technology.
However, with video bars such as the Poly Studio X series, Biamp Parle VBC 2500, and the Jabra Panacast 50 becoming increasingly successful at noise cancellation, it’s easier than ever to conference clearly in an echoey, large space.
- Make sure your furniture is comfortable!
In fancy terms - ERGONOMICS! If you’ve got lengthy meetings with guests from outside sources, you’ve got to prepare your conferencing setup to supply comfort for a long amount of time. Comfortable chairs, a right sized table, and proper eye-levels should be included. You can find many of these kinds of designs at Salamander’s website, an amazing company that combines furniture design with technological and ergonomic sensibilities.
Additionally, having adjustable components on the chairs like adjustable armrests and foldable headrests can give ample support to those sitting. Furthermore, the brightness of lighting and the tempo of airflow should factor into the ergonomic design of your office.
- Make sure your internet is failproof!
When designing a conference room, it’s important to consider the networking and connectivity needs of the space. You need to ensure that there is sufficient signal strength and bandwidth to support the number of users and devices that will be utilizing the space, but also the quality that you desire.
For example, if you’re trying to conference in 720p for example, you need to make sure your internet can handle 2.6Mbps / 1.8Mbps for ONE stream. If you’ve got a room full of ten people streaming at this rate, and much more working around the office, at that point it’d be essential to maintain a strong Wi-Fi network, as well as the use of signal boosters and/or repeaters if necessary.