Conference Room Design Do’s and Don’ts
Companies today are increasingly concerned with the design of their workplaces. When you’re designing your workplace, the conference room is one of the most important locations to focus on. Conference rooms are where employees, partners and clients can come together for productive interactions.
Whether you’re designing a conference room for the first time or redesigning an existing one, these conference room design tips will help you create a functional and visually engaging space.
Don’t Underestimate Color Psychology
When brainstorming how to design your conference room, consider how some colors are scientifically proven to produce beneficial results and can improve your workspace:
- Blue: A light shade of blue can offer a comforting and calming presence to encourage new ideas. Darker hues may make a room feel smaller as a way to bring a team closer together.
- Green: Bright, vibrant shades of green can energize a space, and darker hues can increase focus.
- Yellow: A light yellow can work as a natural mood booster to increase positivity in your meeting rooms.
- Orange: The color orange can make a space feel lively, warm and calming while leaving a lasting impression.
Do Use Colors That Match Your Brand
One of the first things you’re likely to think about when you’re starting with a blank canvas — or in this case, an empty conference room — is where you should apply your color choices. This mainly comes down to what color you’ll paint the walls.
Rather than get overwhelmed from all the color options, stick to lighter colors that fit within your brand’s color scheme. This may mean going with a lighter version of a color that’s prominently featured in your logo. In most cases, you also can’t go wrong with white, as long as you incorporate some branded color accents into the room to keep it from looking too sterile.
Don’t Be Too Creative
Your conference room should feel like a separate yet related extension of your office’s interior design. To accomplish this, consider using the color from an entry point, like a lobby, in the hallway or workspace leading up to the meeting space.
A few reoccurring hues in your paint, furniture and decoration choices can make an aesthetically pleasing and purposeful design flow through each room. Creating a mood board can help you see how different options look in your space.
Do Choose Materials That Reflect Your Image
In addition to the colors you choose, the materials you incorporate into your design can also reflect your company’s image. This is especially important if you meet with clients in your conference room rather than using it only for internal purposes.
For example, richly stained wood evokes a traditional feel perfect for a company that wants to highlight their reliability and long history. Sleeker materials like chrome can help you project a more modern, innovative image. Reclaimed wood is a perfect choice for companies with a focus on sustainability or nature.
Don’t Install Fixed Lighting
Many offices install recessed or fixed lighting in the ceiling. Some blue-enriched light bulbs can increase work performance by supporting mental alertness. While this can produce positive results at a workstation, a gathering space may need customized lighting options.
Some custom lighting may include dimming features, allowing you to see a screen better while viewing a video or PowerPoint. In other scenarios, a light may need adjustment to test a company product or create the desired effect during a presentation or event.
Do Integrate Natural Light
Lighting is a critical aspect of your conference room or meeting space’s design. A well-lit room won’t only make it easier to see documents or take notes — it will also help employees feel more alert when they’re in a meeting. Ideally, a conference room should have windows to let in natural light in addition to the light you install.
Lighting fixtures come in nearly limitless options, so you can choose a style that will add the aesthetic you’re looking for in your conference room. Using oversized or unique pendant lights as a focal point is a current design trend you may want to take advantage of, even if you already have recessed lighting installed in your conference room.
Don’t Make Audio an Afterthought
Technology offers ways to ensure your ideas are heard when communicating in a meeting room with employees, partners and clients:
- Speakers: The right equipment allows everyone to listen to a Zoom call, video presentation or background ambiance during a brainstorming session or team-building activity.
- Microphones: Clip-on or handheld microphones can ensure everyone hears a presenter in any size conference room.
- Wireless setup: Wireless speakers and microphones let you have excellent audio in your space in an organized, tidy way without bunches of cords. You can also reduce the amount of downtime between meetings while placing items back into storage.
Do Include Collaborative Tools
Collaboration is an important part of the modern workplace, and a well-designed, modern board room should facilitate collaborative work. To help with brainstorming sessions and other collaborative work, install tools like whiteboards or other writing surfaces that everyone around the table can see. Even large notepads can serve as great collaboration tools.
You may also want to try modern tech tools to help with collaboration, such as interactive presentation displays or smart boards. These boards are designed for collaboration and for creating digital records of the brainstorming or presentations that take place on them.
Don’t Allow Distractions to Derail Productivity
A conference room often hosts private or important conversations. If you’re starting from scratch or have an opportunity to refresh your office layout, consider placing your meeting space in a remote location. An excellent spot for a meeting allows attendees to focus rather than get distracted smelling delicious food from the break room or hearing sounds from high-traffic areas like the lobby.
Sometimes a whole office building may have areas with employees talking to customers on the phone. To limit distractions in a conference, consider installing soundproof doors and walls. In addition, a flooring choice like carpet can absorb sound to keep others from hearing conversations inside the room.
Do Keep the Design Simplistic
Minimalistic design is a popular choice for modern offices since many people find they can focus better when they’re in a cleaner, more simplistic environment. Rather than worry about how you’re going to decorate every square inch, keep the office conference room décor simple.
Focus on one or two elements in the room that will serve as focal points, such as a pendant light and your conference table, and let these shine against simpler backdrops. You may even want to use muted colors to keep the room feeling serene.
Don’t Crowd the Room
Account for your furniture dimensions when planning a conference room layout. Meeting tables come in many shapes and sizes. The option you choose should serve the purpose of your space and leave enough room for chairs and a walking zone.
A table’s surface provides many functional uses and needs to accommodate enough space for beverages, snacks, notebooks and laptops. In some cases, team-building activities may require a large surface. Leave enough elbow room for employees or guests to comfortably sit in their chairs and accomplish all the tasks planned on the agenda.
Do Include Plenty of Seating
Seating is one of the most important practical aspects of your conference room. To plan for adequate seating, consider how you’ll be using your conference room. Will it be for board meetings? Interviews? Collaboration sessions? Meetings with clients? Maybe it’s all of the above. Whatever the case, consider the scenario that has the largest number of people in the conference room at one time.
Maybe you have a biweekly meeting that will involve 12 people. That means you need seating for at least 12. Did you know, though, that around 73 percent of meetings only include two to four people? If the room is big enough, consider including two tables: one large one and one smaller one to accommodate more exclusive meetings. However many seats you determine you need, select comfortable seating that fits with your aesthetic and ensure you choose a table appropriately sized for your numbers.
Don’t Block the View
To create an excellent view and allow your conference attendees to focus, choose the best table setup for your room:
- U-shape: A U-shape table includes an open end. Participants sit along the perimeter to focus on the center of the room.
- Boardroom: The traditional rectangle or oval table can create a hierarchical seating arrangement and work well when viewing a board or screen at one end.
- Hollow square: Participants can sit along a grouping of rectangular tables with an open space in the middle. This square design works well when everyone needs to see a speaker who’s interacting with them.
- Classroom: Rectangle tables arranged in parallel lines work well when meeting attendees need to focus on the front of a room.
- Auditorium: A theater-style layout of chairs without tables allows more attendees to focus on the front of a space for learning sessions.
- Banquet: Round tables facilitate easy group activities when peers need to face each other.
Do Work Technology Into the Design
Laptops and tablets are a necessity in the modern workplace, so conference rooms should be designed with them in mind. Some conference tables include outlets or an opening in the middle of the table for cords to come up from the floor. Charging stations can also be helpful in conference rooms or other locations in your workplace.
Video or conference calling is also an important tech tool for conferences. If your company uses these tools, be sure to include whatever physical technology you need in your conference room design.
Don’t Purchase Cheap Furniture
Your company can save money and time by investing in the right conference furniture. Well-built constructions with high-quality materials provide impressive durability, allowing a longer life span. Consider handcrafted designs made of hardwood or steel.
Some protective qualities, like stain and scratch resistance, better maintain a table’s ideal appearance. These surfaces offer easier and quicker cleaning after meetings and less maintenance, repairs or replacements altogether.
Do Install a Custom Conference Table
Finally, don’t settle for a standard-issue conference table from an office furniture supply store. Instead, enhance your conference room design with a custom table. When you allow expert craftspeople to create a custom table for your conference room, you’ll get a piece that perfectly fits your design needs on both a practical and artistic level.
A custom conference table with unique design features, such as a waterfall or live edges, can help make a positive impression on anyone who visits your conference room. Conference rooms can tend to fall into a cookie-cutter look, but you can break free of this standard with an amazing custom table. A custom table doesn’t just look great — it also lends legitimacy to your business. It shows you have a unique professional identity.
Custom Conference Tables From Greg Pilotti Furniture Makers
If you want a unique conference table for your business, you can rely on Greg Pilotti Furniture Makers to create a custom conference table that’s perfect for your facility. We can help you find the design elements you love and make alterations wherever needed to deliver a product that meets your needs and your preferences on every level.
When you want your conference room to be a step above the ordinary, you need a custom table that serves as a beautiful focal point and a place where people can come together.