Meeting rooms that work

Have you ever been in a meeting room that just didn’t work the way it should have?  For example:

  • Wrong cable for the screen
  • Power points in the wrong spot
  • Lights too bright and washed out the screen
  • Too hot
  • Too small for the number of attendees
  • Remote staff can’t hear you
  • Too complex to operate technology and no instructions

This is strangely pretty common.  We spend significant amounts on office fit outs and inject an enormous amount of effort into getting it right, but the practical reality is that no one ever designs rooms with one simple idea in mind – what conversations will be had in that room.  This is the fundamental piece of information required before a design pen should ever touch paper.

I’m not talking about a broad approach like “we will talk to clients” or this is “HR’s internal meeting room”, I mean specifics.  The approach should be specific.  For example “1 or 2 of our senior advisors will work with our customers (up to 6) to demonstrate our product X in the room so that we can get them to understand its value, ask all of their questions and make a decision to purchase there and then.  The questions will be commercial and often highly technical.  They should be able to clearly see our product on the screen from their seats without the need to move and share what is on the screen with their colleagues remotely who will access it securely just via a web browser. At the meeting, they should register at Reception and be guided to the room via electronic signs.  The room’s lights, displays and air should come on 5 minutes before the meeting starts.  If video conferencing is to be used, it should start automatically before I enter the room.”

Writing a brief like this actually isn’t even detailed enough but you get the idea.  Meeting room design is simple if it is broken down into its elemental components starting with a thorough understanding of what you want in plain English terms.

Taking this to reality though requires experience and expertise.  The calculations and design requirements for good audio alone are significant, let alone ergonomics, lighting etc.

Continue the conversation at

Each of these topics will be covered at the Australian Skype for Business Launch & Conference.  See you on the 4th June!