Create the ultimate meeting room experience
Some scary numbers: The average employee spends 5.4 hours a week in meeting rooms. Most meetings are regarded as unproductive. In fact, executives consider more than 67% of meetings to be failures.
This guide is for anyone who’s responsible for designing or operating company meeting facilities. As the world’s leading manufacturer of optical projection screens, we’ve seen hundreds of meeting rooms and acquired immeasurable experience. On this page you’ll be guided through the essentials of building the perfect conference room.
To back this guide, we commissioned Lindberg International to conduct a study on meeting rooms. They surveyed over 500 presenters and participants in the UK, Germany and Denmark, and came up with some useful insights.
Why good meetings matter
- Time is our most valuable resource
- Meetings cost money
- Better meetings mean better decisions
- The right meeting increases productivity
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5 steps to make a great meeting room
Click on the icons below and read about the 5 steps.
1. Consider the room
This is basic, but it is still somewhat of a puzzle to make the optimal space for a specific meeting room. It is counterprodutive if the users of the meeting room feel hot, are almost su oca ng in bad air, can’t hear each other or are seated awkwardly in the room. So here are the factors to consider:
Optimal table and seating layouts vary greatly depending on room and audience size – ranging from the classic long table to the U shaped horseshoe formation. Common for all of them is that everyone should have a clear view to the display or presentation area.
Today, you can easily buy acoustic panels to absorb sound. About 15% of the wall surface should be covered with panels – preferably placed on at least 2 of 4 walls to prevent echoes from bouncing around.
When lots of people are breathing the same air for hours at a time it does not feel healthy. And it isn’t. Make sure your meeting room has a good ventilation system. In the absence of such a system, there is always the low-tech option - opening the window.
A publication between Berkeley and Helsinki Universities based on more than 20 studies show that office performance increases with temperatures up to 21-22° C and decreases with temperatures above 23-24° C. Investing in reliable climate control is crucial.
2. Pick the right furniture
When so many hours are spent in meetings, it’s only reasonable to expect a certain level of comfort in the meeting room.
In Lindberg International’s research "Road to becoming Meeting Room Specialists", Lindberg International, 2017, “comfort of chairs” ranked high in importance, but low in satisfaction. Conclusion? Choose your meeting room furniture with comfort in mind!
In fact, it comes top on their list of meeting room criteria, and currently gets the lowest score of valued importance versus actual conditions.
- A good backrest with arm lumbar support and an adjustable position
- The height and depth of the seat should fit the leg length of the user.
- Stability – wobbly chairs are uncomfortable and annoying. Choose a nice, stable model.
‘How complicated can it be?’ you may wonder. Fortunately, the answer is not complicated at all. In fact, there are only really four things to think about when it comes to meeting room tables.
- The table height should match the chair height, so an average person can sit comfortably and take notes without having to reach up or hunch over
- The table legs should not get in the way of the participants’ legs
- The surface should be easily wipeable and smooth to write on
- The table should keep wires and cabling organized so you don’t have team members ba le over a handful of out-of-reach power outlets
3. The importance of lighting
When it comes to meeting room lighting, Lindberg International’s research shows that the two things people value most are:
- Natural lighting
- The ability to control the light. If artificial, that means dimmers and switches. If natural, it means blinds or curtains to prevent excessive glare or heat
Natural is best
Natural lighting is always preferred. Of course, daylight needs to be complemented by electric lighting, especially on grey and cloudy days. The only exception to this is meeting rooms that don’t have any windows, since these are necessarily dependent on artificial light all year round.
What kind of lights?
Lighting should illuminate the meeting room in a pleasant way. If done wrong the lighting can give rise to glare. This could be due to sun through windows or poorly shielded light sources that gives reflections e.g. in computer screens or displays. Glare happens because the eye is adapted to a high illumination intensity, while what should be seen has a different illuminance (typically a low). It may be difficult or even impossible to see what you should see if the difference is too big. Design the artificial lighting so that the illumination intensity is even and easy to work in.
Lighting and displays
Of course, the lighting in your meeting room affects the image on your display. Unlike conventional white screens, dnp displays perform superbly, even in a bright, sunny meeting room. This unique feature is what makes dnp displays the best choice for today’s meeting rooms – which often have large windows or glass walls designed to maximise the natural light. For a direct comparison, try the brightness demo on our web site.
4. Choosing the right display
Size of screen
Is bigger always better? Actually no. It’s more important that the size of the display matches the size of the room and the content on the screen, in order to give everyone the best possible viewing experience.
- Small meeting rooms (2-6 people): 60-70” display size
- Medium meeting rooms (7-15 people): 100-120” dnp LaserPanel or dnp Supernova displays
- Large meeting rooms (16-50 people): 150-220” dnp Supernova In nity, dnp Supernova XL or dnp rear projection displays
Screen size in relation to viewing distance
As a general guideline, a viewing distance of 3 times the height of the image provides the best experience. It should not be less than 1.5 times the image height and not more than 4.5 times the image height.
For small meeting rooms the obvious choice is a LCD/LED display and the natural light is rarely an issue. But for larger meeting rooms, conventional front projection screens reject all the light in the room, not just the light from the projector. As a result, images appear washed out and can cause eye-strain, making it hard for the audience to concentrate. Be sure to choose a display that performs perfectly in any ambient condition.
Contrast and optical display technology
dnp optical displays feature advanced contrast-enhancement technologies, which dramatically boost the perceived quality of your image. In fact, tests show that dnp optical displays can enhance the contrast level of a projected image by seven times when compared to a similar image on a standard white front projection screen.
Nobody wants to look at washed out colours and see pink when they should be seeing red. Accurate and vivid colours that show up perfectly even in a bright meeting room are a must. Choose displays that give you blacker blacks, richer colours and brighter, sharper images.
To touch or not touch?
Depending on your business and corporate culture, a touch display might make perfect sense for your meeting room users. A touch display invites even more collaboration and interaction between the meeting attendees, than an ordinary display would be able to offer.
5. AV equipment and connectivity
Our research shows that in about a third of meetings, multiple presenters share content on some kind of display and usually this means cluttered cables everywhere. They need wireless presentation solutions and displays that support them. ‘Strength of Internet connection’ scored very high in the Lindberg International survey, placing it firmly in the top ten most important meeting room criteria.
Since meetings are increasingly being held remotely, today’s AV systems also need to support conferencing platforms. You want to avoid a situation where there are 20 people in the room and your laptop is the only audio source. Likewise, you need video conference tools that can adequately fulfill your needs.
Set-up a reliable and easy to use booking system that all employees can access. It might also be a good idea to incorporate screens at every meeting room with information on availability.
Advice and support
If you need help calculating screen size, viewing angles, projector brightness or any other general advice, we recommend you talk to a certified dnp reseller. They all know how to make the necessary calculations and can help you find the optimal AV solution for your meeting room. In addition, our resellers will ensure you have access to the best and latest technology, and that your chosen solution is compatible with existing equipment.
The display solution and the AV equipment are important parts of your set-up, but there are also other factors to consider. You need a projector, presentation source (typically a laptop), control equipment and more. Running out of batterypower in the middle of a presentation doesn’t look too good - there is a power socket nearby, right?
As a professional AV buyer, you understand the importance of providing your organization with the best possible conference solution. One that reliably meets and preferably exceeds expectations. Find one of our qualified partners and they will be happy to help you!Find reseller