The office conference room is an important space on many levels. It is often the central collaboration space for your team, but it can also be your prime presentation location when working with clients. Making sure the room is well-suited for both scenarios requires strategic planning.
Several elements should be considered when planning your conference room, including the ways you may want to use the space. What technology needs do you have? What furniture should you choose? Are the acoustics suitable? Even the color scheme is important in establishing a productive and positive environment.
The Effects of Color in a Conference Room
Numerous studies address the psychology of color and its influence on our mood, perception and productivity. These effects should be considered when choosing paint and accent colors for your conference room décor.
Greens and Blues for Calm
Serenity is the mood promoted by blues and greens. They are the colors of nature, such as the blue of a calm sky or body of water and the greens of grass, trees and other living plants. If you are looking for a relaxing environment, green or blue paint on your walls would be a good choice. Blues and greens are also said to be the two colors that encourage a sense of trust, which is why you often see them used in branding for financial institutions.
Yellow and Orange for Emotional Stimulation
Both orange and yellow can be highly stimulating in any environment. The big question is whether they are providing the right kind of stimulation for your conference room. Although yellow is considered inviting, it can also enhance feelings of frustration and anger. Orange is known for stimulating appetite. Choosing either of these as your conference room paint colors might be counter-productive.
Red for Energetic Excitement
Red is said to signify authority and success. This can make it a good accent color, especially for white, gray or black color schemes, but on the walls of a conference room, it’s a little too bold.
Brown, White and Gray – Neutral Negativity
While light, neutral tones, like white, cream or beige are most commonly found on the walls of office conference rooms, all variations are not created equal. Going too dark with a gray or brown can create a sense of negativity or gloominess, definitely something to avoid.
The best advice is to go with a light, neutral color for your walls, and use accent colors to add the appropriate stimulation. These can be incorporated in artwork on the walls, the color chosen for chairs or the colors in other accent pieces.
Trends in Conference Room Technology
Making your conference room technology-friendly adds the convenience of current presentation and communication tools. Video-conferencing can accommodate regional or even international clients, offering convenience and savings on costs and travel time. The same is true for regional meetings, for a company with multiple locations. IT-enhanced visual presentations in the conference room can increase effectiveness and express your company’s forward-thinking.
The ability to easily draw an arrow or circle on a screen during a presentation can limit prep time and make your presentation more interactive. It’s amazing how much smoother things flow with the tap of finger rather than having to hold and click a mouse.
Clear, sharp high-resolution image display has become the standard. Blurry just doesn’t cut it. Large, flat panel display screens and video walls offer improved visibility for images, reports and video conferencing.
Sound and Acoustics
Sound quality becomes especially critical when you’re including off-site participation in your meetings. How will the audio of the remote participants be projected? In reverse, will the remote participants receive the voices present in your conference room clearly? Professional installation of acoustical panels on walls or ceilings can make a big difference in the sound quality of your conference room.
Practical + Comfortable = Productive
No one likes long meetings, but sometimes team collaboration requires a time commitment. When that is the case, making your conference room as comfortable and practical as possible can go a long way towards productivity. Whether your conference room is used for client meetings, other business partners or in-house staff, you want to offer a balance of practicality, hospitality and comfort.
Choosing well-cushioned and height-adjustable chairs will decrease fidgeting and improve your participants’ abilities to focus. A beverage counter and cooler will make caffeine and hydration easily accessible. Wi-Fi is a must for your guests, but also keep a supply of pens and notepads available for those who prefer old-school note-taking.
Suitable color choice, high-tech connections and comfortable accouterments enhance the effectiveness of your conference room. Consider each of these points as you make plans to upgrade your current conference room or design a new space.