Meeting Room Setup Styles

Modern companies have started experimenting with new meeting room setup styles. The reason behind this is the new thoughts businesses have on meetings, the latest technology and systems used to support hybrid workspaces, and more.

In this article, we take a look at the latest meeting setup styles and more. Let’s get started!


Each Office and Meeting Room is Unique

Conference room layouts were once traditional and dictated by the number of people who needed to use them at one meeting. However, with the advent of hybrid work and videoconferencing, the number of people who use a meeting room can vary greatly at any one time. With the development of the hybrid work model, some meetings may need to accommodate team members who will not be physically present.


The Meeting’s Purpose Determines the Setup Style

No matter how modern meetings have become, there are still those “must-haves” that are integral to a successful meeting. Along with comfortable seating and the right acoustics, there are also other essentials to consider.

The main idea is to ensure that the meeting space is set up properly for the purpose of the meeting. For instance, meeting with clients or stakeholders will require a different setup compared to collaborative meetings for team members.


The Different Conference Room Setup Styles

While it’s possible to experiment with your meeting room setup, there are default styles that are still useful. These are usually determined by the number of attendees, with most meeting rooms using one or more of the following basic meeting room styles:


Auditorium Layout

The auditorium layout, also called the theatre-style layout, is best for large meetings. The style can be beneficial for meetings such as guest speakers, town halls, and online presentations.

For this style, rows of chairs are lined up facing the speaker/presenter. Since this style uses seats without desks or tables, this is not a good setup for note taking.


Banquet Layout

This layout is similar to a banquet hall and features several tables (usually round) in a large, open space. Each table may accommodate up to eight seats. The style is beneficial for networking, group interactions, and more. Businesses may use this style for meals and refreshments, too.


Boardroom Layout

The boardroom layout is also sometimes called the conference layout. This is the traditional style used for meeting rooms. It usually includes one large table (rectangular or oval-shaped) with seats along all sides. The style can accommodate up to 25 people (depending on the size of the meeting venue), and is a great option for brainstorming and focused discussions.


Chevron Layout

The chevron layout uses multiple rows of tables and chairs arranged in a V-shape, fanning out from a centre aisle. The layout is sometimes used for single-screen presentations that are at the front of the room.


Circle & Semicircle Layout

The circle or semicircle layout is a simple layout where chairs form a circle or semicircle. This layout is often used for small to medium groups, where participation is encouraged, and it’s not necessary to take notes.


Classroom Layout

The classroom layout is similar to the layout used in education. The setup uses desks arranged in small rows facing a focal point at the front of the conference room. This style is especially geared toward note taking, learning, and audience participation. However, it’s not a good design for collaboration or brainstorming.


Hollow Square Layout

The hollow square layout is also called the closed U layout. This setup arranges tables into a square or rectangular shape. Chairs are arranged along the outside edges so attendees are facing one another. This layout is good for notetaking.


Team Tables Layout

The team tables layout is sometimes referred to as the cluster style. This setup involves clusters of people around several tables, all in one room. The layout works well for small groups working on separate but related projects.


U-Shape Layout

The U-shape layout arranges tables into a square U-shape. Square and rectangular tables are arranged to form a three-sided rectangle (like the letter U).

This style is similar to the hollow square layout, with attendees sitting around the outside table edges. It’s helpful for note taking, with a presenter who can walk into the middle of the U-shape to talk more directly with participants.


Three Elements to Include in Every Meeting Room Setup Style

Designing the right meeting space for a hybrid workforce can be challenging. However, the meeting setup is still essential to the success or failure of the meeting.

All meeting room setup styles should include the following three elements to ensure all participants have an uplifting, inspiring, and productive experience:


1. Technology

The hybrid workplace requires the right technology to run the company and to ensure a successful meeting. Meeting rooms need to include hardware and software that make for a better hybrid experience. The hardware and software also need to be integrated into the meeting room design.

It’s essential to ensure your meeting room setup includes the following:

  • Video conferencing capabilities need to be integrated, such as Zoom or Microsoft and other collaboration tools
  • High-quality hardware is necessary, such as display screens, good speakers, and microphones, along with a monitor/TV with hybrid options
  • IoT sensors and other data sources to collect information on actual room use


2. Comfort

Meeting setups also need to be comfortable. Nothing is worse than attending a meeting that has bad, uncomfortable seats. Seats should be ergonomic. Acoustics are also essential, as is a stable, strong WiFi connection. Whiteboards and other tech, such as projectors and laptop-sharing capabilities, can also be beneficial. Climate control is another essential when it comes to comfort.


3. Accessibility

Meeting rooms also need to be easily accessible, too. For instance, room booking software can let everyone see when meeting rooms are available, allow employees to book, check-in, and cancel use of the space as needed.

It’s also a good idea to ensure the room booking software is available via a mobile app, too. That way, employees can book a meeting room from almost anywhere.


Summing It Up

There are several ways a meeting room can be set up, but no matter how the room is set up, it’s essential to ensure that the space is flexible. It needs to be comfortable, have the required tech, and be accessible for employees who are working remotely.

Most meetings today are mixed in our new hybrid workspaces. The key is to choose a meeting setup that includes everyone for improved collaboration and more.

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