If you work in an office environment, you’ve undoubtedly been in a meeting — or even lost track of how many you’ve attended.
Meetings are an unavoidable part of work life and commonplace in virtually every industry.
Well, the Harvard Business Review surveyed 182 senior managers across a range of industries in 2017. Its researchers reported that 71% of managers feel meetings are unproductive and inefficient. Meanwhile, 62% feel their teams are missing opportunities when attempting to bring staff closer together.
So, how does leadership find a way to fix those numbers?
One way to help your meetings and team members stay proactive is to create an upgraded, modern conference room with innovative smart technologies. This is especially important because many employees now work per the hybrid model.
How can your workplace keep pace? We’ve compiled 20 conference room ideas and trends for 2023. Follow our lead, and you’ll keep your office connected, productive and in tune with the times.
1. Makeshift Spaces
It doesn’t always make sense to have a large boardroom-style conference room if your company has limited office space or few employees. Larger rooms are great for department check-ins and client meetings, but sometimes small rooms suffice.
Use removable room dividers or sliding doors along easy-to-install metal beams. By doing so, you can adapt your office rooms to fit changing needs. Plus, this creates privacy and closes off space to create an environment that fits the task at hand.
Additionally, conference room changes and shortages are real problems for fast-growing businesses with little office space. When you use all your available space, you take advantage of your at-hand resources. As a result, your office gains flexibility.
[Related: Zoom Conference Room Setup Guide]
2. Video Walls
A modern conference room should take advantage of the most viable visual display options on the market.
For example, projectors are becoming increasingly popular for meetings because they’re larger and less bright than standard TVs. And that creates comfortable viewing for attendees.
Remember that you don’t need to buy the newest, most expensive option on the market to deliver a professional presentation. At AV Smart Solutions, we offer high-grade LED projectors and 100-inch projection screens that provide crisp visuals with an easy setup.
[Related: Home AV Systems: Planning for Expansion]
3. Interactive Whiteboards
Interactive whiteboards and digital flipcharts let you deliver a more dynamic presentation.
Here are just a few actions you can take with interactive whiteboards:
- Annotate photos and documents
- Record meetings
- Save and display files in various formats
- Collaborate with team members through a range of devices
And naturally, all those elements make your meetings more efficient and productive.
Interactive whiteboards are also fantastic for brainstorming and holding discussion-based meetings (they’re common during Zoom conferences).
[Related: What To Look for in AV Installation Companies]
4. Collaborative Videos
Using digital media and presentation technology in your meetings is vital for companies embracing hybrid work setups.
Standard audio conference calls work in some scenarios, but if the tech exists to give high-quality presentations, why not use it?
Presentation technology should have digital media capabilities that allow you to easily share high-resolution content — regardless of the source.
If you’re unsure where to start, we offer presentation technology that lets you automate your presentations and even stream content through a mobile device.
5. Zoom Rooms
Since COVID-19 began upending business processes across the globe, Zoom use in the office has skyrocketed. Plus, the platform’s capabilities are constantly updating thanks to enhancements in Zoom Room software — and much more.
For example, Zoom Rooms help make your meetings pop and encourage attendees to interact:
- In-chat messaging
- Attendance counting
- Screen sharing
- Various display options, such as grid and linear views
Today’s conference rooms benefit from Zoom Rooms with additional features, such as the ability to automatically start and end meetings with set time monitors.
[Related: What Is an Audiovisual Consultant?]
6. Premium Acoustics
Debatably, acoustic ability is the most important aspect of virtual conferences. Sure, seeing attendees and relevant images is important, but discussing topics and ideas without premium sound management is a true struggle.
Some conference rooms are also using sound absorption techniques when presenters need a meeting to be private and discreet.
Are you interested? We provide high-quality sound, even when a screen or visual display is flush to a wall. Plus, we offer sound bar options for those wanting surround-sound capabilities for quality audio throughout the room.
[Related: TV in Your Mirror: What It Is and How It Works]
7. Room Layout
Your conference room layout depends on the size of your office and how many employees routinely attend in-person meetings. And your industry plays a role, too! For example, some industries benefit from café-style setups, while others need classroom-style setups.
You also want to consider your clients’ needs when mulling over conference room ideas.
Do they prefer roundtable discussions? How many and what type of meetings do you hold with them? For example, U-shape layouts work better for presentations than huddle group setups.
[Related: 8 Restaurant Tech Trends on the Rise]
8. Themed Rooms
Many think conference rooms require a uniform, clean-cut design. But there’s no reason conference rooms can’t be more experimental.
Using themes is a fun way to make conference rooms more interesting while fostering greater engagement. Think about it. It’s much more enjoyable to be in a room that sparks inspiration than to sit in a gray or whitewashed room where visuals grow stale.
Consider a unique theme, such as outer space or underwater, so you can create excitement around scheduled meetings. This also gives you the opportunity to use catchphrases, like “Meet in the tropics at noon.”
Of course, the theme you choose should reflect your office’s culture and your team’s general interests. In other words, conference room ideas don’t have to be dull.
9. Colored Paint
This might seem straightforward. That said, most offices have standard matte-white paint throughout the space. Changing the color of your conference room walls can make a world of difference because colors provoke certain moods.
Granted, white paint makes small rooms appear larger. However, saturated colors have a more positive impact on how we think in an office environment. For example, blue represents communication, logic and efficiency, while yellow embodies energy, confidence and creativity.
[Related: Design Considerations for Incorporating AV Into Your Home]
10. Murals and Artwork
Adding a mural wall or several art pieces to your conference room can make a space feel far less drab.
Of course, be careful not to add too much distraction. Too many visuals may defeat the purpose because you need conference rooms for meetings and important discussions … usually.
Here’s a safe bet for better conference room ideas. Consider adding a landscape mural, such as a mountain range or river. Alternatively, place artwork that gives team members a spot to focus on while not breaking concentration.
[Related: Digital Wayfinding Signage: Everything You Need To Know]
11. Nature Effects
Creating a naturalistic conference room has a positive effect on teams — and who couldn’t use a little all-natural boost?
Plants are mood-boosting and help air quality. Plus, letting in natural light by opening motorized window treatments and leaving artificial lights off can induce positive moods.
You can opt for LED lights if your conference room lacks windows because they’re closer to natural light than regular incandescent bulbs. If you can, take advantage of natural ventilation so the room stays fresh and airy.
12. Inclusive Furniture
Having ergonomic office furniture is a great way to make a room more accessible for older adults, people with disabilities and anyone who hates a stiff back from rigid office furniture. Wheelchair-accessible tables are vital for inclusion, and they help create a modern workplace that benefits everyone.
If the conference room setup needs to change, then height-adjustable, wheeled tables and chairs are great for both comfort and flexibility. Additionally, try ensuring attendees have ample elbow room. Personal space is paramount, and too much close contact is distracting.
Plus, COVID-19 has taught us all that social distancing is crucial.
[Related: Smart Home Technologies Supporting Aging in Place]
13. Network Connection
Few things are worse than slogging through cruddy Wi-Fi during an important meeting. Going wireless is the best way to limit cluttered cords and ensure seamless connections.
And we all know both formal and informal meetings need some level of technology. Having a strong network and modern equipment that you can easily adjust and handle is key for smooth meetings. Plus, you avoid potentially embarrassing technical problems.
14. Adjustable Lighting
Adjustable lighting isn’t just fun to use (it is, of course). That said, it also allows you to create an ambience per the type of meeting you’re in.
If you’re playing a video and want attendees to take notes, you can use a lighting control system to manually dim lights so the room isn’t completely dark. Alternatively, you can quickly brighten lights for ample viewing of the room during speeches or demonstrations.
When you experiment with lighting control and motorized window treatments, you’ll find conference room ideas for better mood, comfort and viewing.
15. Reservation Integration
Some offices require departments or team members to book conference rooms before meetings. If those offices don’t have an organized way to handle scheduling, they run the risk of dreaded double-bookings.
Your office can put reservation solutions in place, like a digital placard that sits on the outer door or the wall beside a conference room. Moreover, reservation software can integrate with team members’ emails and calendar software to verify who’s booking the room, on what day and for how long.
16. Smart Cabling
No one likes to deal with piles of tangled, unhidden cabling. It’s not only unsightly but also a tripping hazard.
And please forget about taping cables to the floor — you can find a way to keep cables safe and accessible via centralized wiring setups.
Central distribution systems guarantee your equipment always connects to power sources to avoid technical problems. Meanwhile, it’s easy to arrange furniture around these systems and discreetly organize wires.
For example, we offer a centralized distribution system that makes your audiovisual control system(s) simple to manage. We install electronics in a single equipment hub with sufficient ventilation and easy access if you need upgrades or repairs.
[Related: Home AV Systems: Planning for Expansion]
17. Motorized Window Treatments
We mentioned this conference room idea before, but it’s worth its own slot.
While it’s nice to have control of a room’s artificial light, it’s even better to control its natural light as well.
You might need to pull the shades quickly if a day is particularly sunny. Or maybe you’re jumping on a last-minute call, but adjusting the shades or curtains manually is distracting.
Having motorized window treatments lets you adjust how much sunlight enters the room. As a result, you can create the ideal natural lighting for any scenario at any time.
18. Glass Walls
While translucent glass walls aren’t new, they’re becoming increasingly common in office environments. That’s especially true for offices with teams who regularly hold brainstorming sessions.
Some offices dislike glass walls because you can see passersby and all the goings-on outside the room. During meetings, this view might be particularly distracting. But having a wall you can draw on for notes promotes cross-team collaboration.
For example, attendees can have their own washable markers. Then, they can jot notes and diagrams on the walls without stealing screen time during virtual meetings. It’s a combination of conference room ideas: art and productivity!
19. Climate Control
Needless to say, comfort is paramount in a conference room.
Besides that, climate has a huge impact on comfort and focus during meetings. For example, women work better in warmer environments. And if clients regularly come in for meetings, you want to ensure they’re comfortable.
Having control over the room’s temperature with the touch of a finger is incredibly useful (and downright practical). Smart room tech usually includes a touch-panel screen or remote to monitor and adjust temperatures per the moment’s needs.
[Related: 8 Ways Climate Control Improves Your Home]
20. Virtual Reality (VR) Design Capabilities
Some offices use VR tech before making conference room design decisions. Why? Room configuration tools let users see how a space will look without actually buying anything.
You can build a room to a certain size, arrange furniture in a variety of ways and test sound before committing to the changes. This virtual “hands-on” experience allows workplaces to get creative with their rooms and be proactive with any necessary design or tech shifts.
[Related: Guide to Creating a High-Tech Home Office]
Contact AV Smart Solutions To Make Your Conference Room Ideas a Reality
Contact AV Smart Solutions if you’re looking to modernize your conference room.
We offer premium acoustics, high-quality visuals, reliable networking, lighting control, climate control and motorized window treatments to match your exact conference room setup.
Give us a call at (425) 655-5052 or complete our online inquiry form. One of our AV specialists will be in touch!