As companies continue to adapt open-office design concepts to their business and employee needs, new conference and meeting room designs must keep pace.
You want your space to fully capitalize on creativity while maintaining the collaboration and energy of open workspaces. However, designing conference and meeting rooms within open floor plans must wrangle another critical challenge: Incorporating space for focused, productive meetings that require technical solutions and isolation from the noise and bustle of the open office.
Today’s meeting rooms should have it all: privacy and functionality, noise and distraction reduction, comfortable work environments and contemporary audio-visual (AV) equipment — all wrapped up in a beautifully textured, colored and on-brand design.
This may seem too good to be true for today’s ever-popular open-floor offices, but not anymore with panel-based SnapCab® Pods and Portals, the personalized meeting-room solution designed to fit your business’ evergreen spatial needs.
Integrating form with function and aesthetics with top-of-the-line AV systems, you can design the perfect conference or meeting room using the following contemporary SnapCab products, tips and tricks guaranteed to create a space that wows your employees as well as your customers.
Typical Conference Room Design Concerns
There are a number of design hurdles offices face in creating meeting rooms that work within open-office floor plans.
Employees lack privacy alongside quiet, dedicated spaces for focused thinking and collaboration. Corporations often encounter difficulties in groups competing for limited meeting spaces. With only a handful of rooms available, you might find your small groups booking spaces meant to facilitate meetings of ten or more individuals — and vice versa, with large groups forced to squeeze into confined, impractical rooms.
What’s more, noise and distractions are routinely cited as leading employee concerns in open-floor offices. When combined, these variables limit creativity, productivity and privacy.
Finding a resolution can be expensive, with high costs to lease multi-roomed corporate offices or to build brand new conference rooms. Plus, these traditional conference spaces sit in fixed locations that tend to be inflexible or challenging to renovate to meet changing office needs, with heavy furniture and static electronic components that often need maintenance and replacement to stay relevant.
How to Design a Conference Room That Fits Your Needs
When designing a conference room for today’s open offices, you will address many spatial concerns through strategic and stylish design hacks — ones that balance the natural flow and collaborative spirit of open floor plans while allotting purposeful, practical spaces that are affordable, fluid, easy to construct and technologically savvy.
1. Understand Current Spatial Pain Points
The first step to configuring your perfect contemporary meeting rooms are designing for your team’s exact needs.
For any project that has a design and construction component — like a conference or meeting room with AV design solutions — this sort of initial assessment goes a long way. It ensures your money is well spent and you’re satisfied for years to come with your conference room and AV outfitting.
The most effective way to assure that the final product of a new design comes out as envisioned — even one as “small” as a meeting room — is to outline explicit, strategic room purposes and specifications. In other words, seriously consider what spatial paint points you currently have alongside the meetings and activities this room will support — both today and tomorrow.
Are you in need of a conference room that satisfies:
- Internal meetings between executives, managers, workgroups, committees and other teams.
- Essential meetings with clients, with sales and technical presentations, as well as those with external vendors and contractors.
- Training sessions, both for your products and procedures, external products and new office programs and technologies.
- Sessions that require participant use of laptops, smartphones and other devices.
- Board or shareholder meetings that include presentations of annual reports or confidential information.
- Meetings with participants in remote locations.
- Meetings that require recording sessions.
- Business functions where food and beverages might be served.
- Parties for employees, clients, investors and supplier partnerships, where the ambiance is critical to the success of the gathering.
- Press conferences, large to small.
- Seminars or workshops for employees and other developmental opportunities.
It’s these exact needs for meeting spaces and AV equipment that will shape your conference room design requirements. The more detailed you can plan, the better — including internal room features:
- Tables, desks or work surfaces for large and small groups.
- Relevant and comfortable seating, whether mobile or stationary.
- Outlets for charging electronics.
- Meeting-room seating arrangements and stylings, including classroom, auditorium, u-shaped, conference, square or banquet-style designs.
- AV and recording affordances, as well as fully equipped media outfits that make multimedia presentations possible.
- Teleconferences and/or video conferences.
The more you can identify your exact specific needs and meeting room pains you want solved, the more you can design a conference space tailored to do so.
2. Determine Your Meeting Room’s Features and Details Around Those Pain Points
By making a list of your room needs and potential feature requirements, you lay the groundwork for outlining the ultimate conference room solution. In this step, you’ll list design aspects and details for your conference room to function, both extensive and detailed.
This process can be completed by creating a two-column table with “Business Requirements” as the heading of one and “Feature Requirements” the heading of the other. Generally, a business requirement will feed one or more corresponding feature requirements.
For example, the business requirement for your meeting room design to accommodate internal meetings might include these corresponding features:
- Rooms that cut out disturbances and outside noises.
- Rooms that preserve privacy.
- High-quality and attractive furniture.
- Ample whiteboards for illustrating concepts and key points.
- Storage space for pens, pencils and notepads.
- Lighting options that adjust to varying times of the day and weather conditions.
- Display capabilities to quickly post and change room schedules and user IDs.
- Safety features that accommodate building-code requirements.
- Ramps and doorways that meet specifications for those with physical disabilities.
Conference Room Interior Design: Design for Your Audience and Wow Your Employees and Clients
With the functional planning aspects of your new office room or meeting space outlined, you can then move to the next design phase: conference room interior design.
Conference room design displays an artistic, inviting touch while creatively branding your office. From wall materials to paint colors and furniture textures, consider how you’ll need to make form match function in new meeting rooms:
- Whiteboard walls that cover specified surfaces, in purposeful places.
- Attractive, modern equipment that can connect to the internet.
- Video walls with one or more video screen panels that can display high-definition media.
- Floor layouts that allow a comfortable number of furniture and people.
- Interior design that matches the existing office, or complements particular features.
- Company branding applied media walls and/or other panels.
The materials available for your walls and AV components should be visually appealing, inviting and inspire people who enter the conference space. Through aesthetics — colors, textures and lighting components — you create an atmosphere conducive to creativity, productivity and collaboration, with the following overall considerations:
- Choose colors based on branding elements, as subtly or boldly as you want. While many tout the advantages of neutral colors combined with a single, contrasting accent color, design opinions are as varied as your employees’ favorite colors themselves. In fact, there’s a whole science to understanding psychological effects of colors in office design.
- Pick furniture textures and patterns that similarly match or complement the office. Do current desk chairs have fabric patterns you don’t want to clash? Does your office or do your meeting rooms contain artwork you can match? Consider these details in your furniture selections.
- Select surface finishes that enhance the vibrancy and energy of a meeting space. From high-gloss finishes on glass walls to matte tables and chairs that don’t make the space appear heavy or busy, furniture finishes are another important aesthetic element to consider in your interior design.
1. Get Creative, but Don’t Lose Sight of Meeting Room Goals
Many aspects of design decisions are subjective. Including employees and leadership in the design process can help alleviate pressure on just one person and keep the design project moving on schedule.
In the design phase, make sure you don’t lose sight of addressing specific scenarios with functional elements. For example, smaller, informal employee meetings or one-on-one gatherings will use Pod designs and configurations differently than larger, boardroom style spaces. Each will require different design features inside the Pods:
- Relevant seating amount and furniture type
- Practical tables and work surfaces
- Tailored multimedia affordances
- Creative branding on walls, doors and furnishings
2. Add Sleek Technology
Whether an informal, collaborative session or a formal meeting, participants can write, sketch and collaborate on the Gorilla® Glass whiteboard surface of a Portal wall installed inside their workroom or Pod.
This added multimedia technologies can make meetings more effective with presentation panels and communications features, alongside other cutting-edge collaborative Portal technology:
- 65-inch 4K HD Smart TV
- Bezel-less TV with flush mounted to the Gorilla® Glass surface
- Glass speakers are built inside whiteboard panels to keep the entire surface sleek and seamless
If there are regulatory requirements specific to your industry, consider how they might impact business or functional operations for your meeting-room solution. There can be ways to elegantly craft panel-system technology to fulfill these needs.
3. Select the Right Furniture
When it comes to furniture for your meeting room, select for comfort, functionality and a cohesive look aligned with your office’s other design elements.
Matching furniture to your design keeps the office consistent with its branding. That includes staying consistent with the visual weight of furniture, as well as color, fabric and materials like wood, metal and glass.
4. Include Noise-Reducing Design Technology
SnapCab Pods create much-needed quiet collaborative workspaces through their noise-reducing engineering. They’re a unique and cost-effective solution for open floor plan offices that need separate, convenient conference rooms that aren’t busy or domineering.
Innovative sound-absorbing panels filter outside noise from reaching inside. Participants can hear everyone in the Pod meeting space and any accompanying media. Distractions are reduced or eliminated.
Furthermore, offices have additional methods at their disposal to reduce sound in open floor plans:
- Noise-absorbing flooring, such as carpet, rugs, vinyl and some laminates.
- Adding subtle white noise or ambient noises to counteract background sounds.
- Plants placed to absorb some of the noise and contribute to oxygen levels in the office.
5. Conceal Clutter
The clean look of open-office concepts will only be maintained through minimizing clutter. For meeting and conference rooms, this often means concealing wires and any other office equipment that makes the room appear disheveled or unorganized.
As you plan your office layout and place furniture, think about where and how you can store wires out of sight. Consider if they can even be installed inside wall panels, as is the case with the technology included in SnapCab Portal installations.
In fact, all devices you may need to hook into your Portals can run through concealed USB and HDMI ports. Electronic plug-ins are all merged into a single location behind one panel, with options for further plug-ins and expansions down the road.
6. Light, Amenities and Other Design Elements
Opt for room configurations and designs that optimize natural light. This is ideal for both its easiness on the eyes as well as its energy-saving budget benefits.
Depending on the number of windows in your meeting space, consider blinds that allow you to vary the amount of sunlight that enters, plus look aesthetic and are easy for anyone to adjust.
For supplemental lighting, LED installations are designed to replicate natural sunlight. LED bulbs cost more up front than standard bulbs but pay for themselves in the long run.
Additional amenities to consider for comfort and convenience in the design of your meeting room are:
- A thermostat for heating and cooling comfort.
- Storage in the form of floor or wall cabinets where AV equipment items, office supplies and beverages, food, napkins, cups and utensils can be conveniently stocked.
Create the Ultimate Conference Room with SnapCab Pods and Portal Multimedia Walls
Today, the integration of media into walls using slim-paneling technologies — in multiple configurations — is a key solution for your office’s conference room and AV design solutions.
These paneling systems conceal equipment while delivering professional presentation and communication functions. SnapCab Portal multimedia wall designs can add whiteboard, video and communication media surfaces to any office design.
Features of the SnapCab Portal multimedia wall include:
- An easy-to-assemble interlocking panel system
- Rigid aluminum substructure
- Writable surface with a meeting space whiteboard wall
- Connectivity for screen-sharing and idea display
- Smooth glass speakers without grills or holes
- Concealed USB and HDMI ports
In addition, SnapCab Pods mobile meeting spaces all onto themselves, offering a variety of flexible and customizable configurations you can change in real-time. Pod panels simply stack one on top of the other, and installation can be completed in a day. It’s that simple!
Contact SnapCab Today for Your Meeting-Space AV Solutions
SnapCab Pods and Portals are a twofold solution for your office’s spatial needs, both those existing today and set to emerge tomorrow.
With Pods, you get the convenience of flexible meeting room placed where you want, when you want. You can later move Pods as needed to other areas in the office, or keep them stationary for go-to small collaborative settings. They can be outfitted with Gorilla Glass and designed for on-brand colors and finishes, plus include sound-absorbing paneling for utmost meeting privacy.
Likewise, SnapCab Portals deliver high-quality, versatile multimedia walls installed wherever your office needs visual and audio technology. From behind a reception desk and in seated waiting areas to large-scale, multi-functional conference rooms, Panels are as attractive as they are useful.
SnapCab cares about its customers by bringing the most affordable, specialty office-space solutions to you. We take pride in delivering simplified spatial systems and committed craftsmanship through all our products. Our patented system of interlocking panels is engineered to make your office design, remodel or room facelift a snap.