Running a successful meeting requires a considerable level of engagement from its participants. A lot of things determine the level of participation a meeting gets – top on that list is the room arrangement. Room arrangement has to be taken into consideration because it plays a huge role in achieving the goals of different meetings. Physical spaces can create an atmosphere that impacts not only the speaker's efficiency but also the audience interaction. Thoughtful room designs can minimize common social barriers between speakers and their audience.
Different Meeting Room Setups
Technology also plays a significant role in boosting engagement. It makes it easier to communicate ideas and information and to bring in remote participants.
We will examine different room arrangements and corresponding technology to help you select the perfect one for your meeting.
This particular room setup consists of one large table that allows around 6 to 20 people and still allows room for their various equipment like laptops, mobile phones, video conferencing devices, and other gadgets. This style is effective because all participants have to face the middle to ensure all- round discussion and participation.
This setup is most effective in meetings that involve video conferencing and brainstorming sessions. The best technology tools that can be utilized for this room arrangement are the interactive touch display, together with a digital flipchart for brainstorming and the personal devices of the participants for wireless screen sharing.
The auditorium or theatre style room setup is the regular arrangement of chairs in rows just like it is at theatres. The members are seated in these rows, which ideally have a gap in the middle that allows for smooth movement. They listen and pay attention to the speakers who usually are seated on a stage that also allows for auditory and visual aids. It allows for many participants at a time and a major focus on the speaker.
Because of its arrangement, it is best for events that call for less interaction amongst its participants. Events like board meetings, conferences, product launches, lectures and performances and other activities that require a large number of participants. The best kind of technology that works for the auditorium style is a large screen display for presenting.
Just like its name describes, this room arrangement is set up in a U-shape. The arrangement of the chairs and tables are usually in an open-ended way so that the participants can face the center. This way, they can face the speaker and each other at the same time. It allows for interaction between them and gives an opportunity for the speaker to engage everyone. In situations where there is a presentation, the open area can be arranged and used as a presentation area.
The best technology tools to use in U-shaped arrangements are a large screen display for presenting, a digital flipchart for brainstorming, and the personal devices of the participants for effective collaboration.
What is the Best Room Set Up for Your Meeting?
Now that you know the kind of room arrangements that can be used for your meetings, the next step is to determine the best setup that will work for your meeting. You have to consider the goal you look to achieve with your meeting, and how many participants will attend the meeting. Here’s how you can pick the best room set up for your meeting.
It allows for a considerable level of interaction between the participants amongst a small group. In the case that you have a group of 5-12 people that need to brainstorm and make an important decision about a proposal or a project, your best bet is the boardroom style. The large table allows for gadgets and collaborative tools that aid note-taking and decision making.
For meetings that involve a large number of participants and require the least level of interaction, the auditorium setup works best. Whether you have a board meeting or training for participants that involves a significant focus on the speaker, you should use this setup.
This style allows for the best interaction to happen. Whenever you need the participants to work together during your meeting and interact, or it is a session or training that involves a lot of communication, a U-shaped room style is your best bet. It involves a relatively small group of people, and you have the choice of removing the tables to allow the group to break into smaller groups or circles.
The different room setups that exist allow for a variety of involvement and learning (or both) as the case may be for your meetings. You have the choice of making your meeting room suit the goals you’re looking to achieve with your meetings and getting the best out of it. Are you looking for new technology to complement your meeting rooms? Check out our offering here.
Written by: Muriel De Bruyne on Monday, June 21, 2021