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The type, style and number of office furniture items you will need for your conference room of course depends on the number of people for which it needs to cater. So baring that in mind, let’s look less at the detail and more at the overall needs of a well-functioning conference room, and the furniture normally required.
The majority of conference rooms will of course require a table. What is going to best suit your needs? A round-table that prompts group-style interaction and somewhat of a level playing field? Or will you need a conference table that is more boardroom style and clearly has a head-of-table position for the person chairing the conference?
The duration of a conference is much like the length of a piece of string! Some can be relatively quick conferences whilst others might need to host major meetings that last a day, and if not sometimes go overtime as well. Regardless, it is wise to purchase conference chairs that are as comfortable as possible. Look for ergonomically designed chairs that will help sedentary bodies stay as comfortable as possible, whether it’s for an hour or eight. It may be practical to have conference chairs that can swivel, so those seated can move themselves to look at different aspects of the room (a speaker in one corner, a presentation board in another, someone seated further along the conference table, etc). It is imperative that conference chairs be purchased with the conference table in mind – allow for adequate space between the conference table and the conference chair height (an adjustable conference chair is ideal). Also ensure the seat is wide enough to cater for various body shapes, but not so wide that it makes it difficult for all conference chairs to fit into place alongside one another.
When it comes to conference rooms, sometimes it’s as much about keeping light out as it is keeping it in. For example, if your conference room will be hosting regular screen presentations, then you need to ensure lighting can be turned off and heavy blinds keep daylight out. Conversely, if the majority of your meetings are conversation based and you do not need to continually refer to screens, laptop presentations etc, then you will probably want a well-lit conference room. This can also play a role in maintaining people’s attention by keeping their visual sensors alert.
Conference technology and communication
The majority of conference rooms these days will need at minimum a phone that can be put on speaker as well as host multiple lines (for dial-in teleconferences) and an intercom so that attendees can communicate with, for example, the receptionist. Beyond this most conference rooms will also require adequate facilities for connecting laptops and other audio-visual equipment. For aesthetic purposes, it is often helpful to have a conference table with a centre hole, so that cords can run discreetly up from the ground. Although not furniture, most conference rooms will now days provide wifi facilities as well.
Conference rooms are usually associated with important meetings, discreet conversations etc, so consider flooring to help minimise acoustics and maximise privacy. Carpet is of course a great way to help achieve this.
At minimum, conference rooms will provide a carafe and glasses of water for attendees. However, conferences that are regularly held over breakfast or lunch will need to factor in appropriate catering furniture such as a ‘service station’. This is normally a discreet bench area that can house platters of food such as sandwiches, cheeses and crackers, sliced fruit etc, as well as crockery and cutlery. This is of course optional as some conference rooms will have all such items delivered at the same time as the meals themselves.
Conference rooms can sometimes need to be places of inspiration – just ask an advertising or marketing agency! As such, conference room artwork can be a terrific furniture addition to the room, giving it pop, freshness, personality and that something extra that might help get the creative juices flowing! Conference artwork might be in the form of paintings, sculptures, sketches, photographs, etc.
The addition of some pots of green plants throughout a conference room provides form and function. Not only do they add a bit of literal life and vitality to a room, but they literally help oxygen levels as well! We hope this helps you get an idea of the types of furniture your conference room needs. Happy conferencing!
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