The majority of companies, regardless of type and size, have a mix of fixed in-office employees, remote employees, and freelancers. Such a mix of working conditions places many demands on a company's workplace design, AV equipment, and digital infrastructure. In this guide, we discuss the importance of investing in ‘good’ meeting rooms (and what means), the must-haves and the nice-to-haves in a meeting room.
An essential space in every office is the meeting room or conference room. With meetings taking more than 30% of middle managers' working week, these types of rooms are of strategic importance for many companies. The available furnishing and tools need to support employees' goals, be reliable, secure, and foster productivity.
The alternative would have several negative consequences for a company. Meeting room utilization would plummet if employees don't trust that the meeting room AV equipment works. The total cost of ownership for the installed AV systems would increase exponentially. Furthermore, people would have meetings in other places, such as at their desks, causing noise and other distractions in the office. Such a situation would have detrimental effects on employees' productivity, the general work environment, and, ultimately, a company's bottom line.
The relationship between the meeting room interior and the quality of meetings
Now we have established that having dedicated meeting spaces with functioning AV equipment is a good idea. Let us look at the relationship between the meeting room interior and the quality of meetings. Yes, the type of space, the furnishings, and the equipment have a significant impact on how successful a meeting is!
Comfortable meeting room furniture - why is it important?
As mentioned previously, statistics show that the employees can spend anything between 12-30% of their working week having meetings. Most of these meetings last more than 1 hour.
A well-designed meeting room is comfortable, pleasant to be in, clean, tidy, and with no distracting elements. Some factors to keep in mind when designing a meeting room are:
Technology issues are the number 1 cause of disruption and delay in meetings. Employees waste several minutes before and during meetings struggling to connect to AV systems, make content appear onscreen, or establishing audio/video connections. Aside from causing frustrations, delaying meetings, extending the time spent in meetings, and decreasing productivity, time wasted by tech inefficiencies can impact a company's bottom line.
By investing in a professional, high-quality, user-friendly AV system with the right equipment, a company can significantly improve these conditions, give employees their time back and enable them to have efficient and productive meetings.
Comparing Pro AV with Consumer-grade equipment for meeting rooms
In this whitepaper, we compare Pro AV equipment with similar consumer-grade products across several factors and specifications - not only price, as many are guilty of doing. These factors are definitely what you should be taking into consideration when purchasing new equipment for your meeting spaces. Download the whitepaper for the detailed comparisons, get informed and make a better decision when selecting equipment for your meeting rooms.
Sneakpeak from "Comparing Consumer. vs. Pro AV equipment"
Pro AV equipment
High compatibility with other equipment
Not very compatible with other products
Not very durable
Questions to ask yourself before designing and equipping a meeting room.
Here is a handy list of questions you should ask and answer before planning a meeting room design. The information you gather should help you ask the right questions to a designer or AV System Integrator and help you make the right decisions.
1. How many meeting rooms do we have? 2. How many meeting rooms are we planning to have? 3. What is the size of the meeting room? 4. How many people are present at a typical meeting? 5. What is the average length of a meeting? 6. Will the meeting room be used for a specific type of meeting? 7. Must the room support different types of meetings? 8. Do external visitors use our meeting rooms? 9. Do the employees require video conferencing technology? 10. What is the current quality of the internet connection in the meeting room? 11. What is the quality of the acoustics in the meeting room? 12. How are the lighting conditions in the meeting room? 13. Do all meeting participants bring and use laptops/other devices in their meeting rooms? 14. How many electrical outlets does the room have and need?
Must-have items in a meeting room
Designing and equipping a meeting room can be tricky. Depending on the type and size of the company, meeting rooms can have dedicated purposes or be more flexible and generic. Determining the purpose of the meeting room is an essential first step that influences the size, furnishing, available equipment, and more.
For example, large enterprises may have meeting rooms dedicated to video conferencing, creative collaboration, or external visitors. Such rooms would have different requirements. A meeting room where external visitors can connect and make presentations would require the room to be BYOD-friendly. In this scenario, Solvo by Neets is an ideal solution, as users simply connect to the AV system with one USB cable that transfers audio, video, and network.
A creative collaboration space would have space for people to walk around and have several whiteboards available. A video conferencing room is typically equipped with microphones, speakers/soundbars, and cameras or an all-in video conferencing solution such as Collabo 2.0 by Neets.
Regardless of the type of room, there are some must-have items that should be a standard issue in meeting rooms. Examples are:
Table and chairs (the size of the table and the number of chairs depends on the type of room)
Extra laptop chargers
Coffee/tea making facilities
Inspiration - other types of meeting room equipment
The meeting room equipment mentioned in the previous section is what we would consider being the essentials in a room. Depending on the type, the size of the room, and the company budget, a meeting room can be upgraded with more advanced AV solutions. You can get much inspiration from the Neets Solution Guide. This interactive tool helps you find the right AV solution for your meeting room and your equipment needs.
AV equipment for a video conferencing solution
If you’re an enterprise with several locations, have remote employees, or work with agencies and freelancers, you require a video conferencing solution. Meeting participants must be seen and heard clearly in a video conference. Suitable AV equipment would, therefore, be:
Webcams – Ultra HD PTZ cams or AI cams that can zoom in and isolate the speaker
Microphones – these can be placed on the meeting room table or hang from the ceiling
Collabo 2.0 by Neets – an all-in-one video conferencing solution that integrates a speaker, microphone, and camera in one unit and connects to the TV and users’ laptop with one cable.
AV control systems for the ultimate meeting room experience
If you are looking for more advanced meeting room solutions, you can benefit from an AV solution with an integrated AV control system. This is a smart device that connects with any AV equipment in the room and provides one interface from which users can control all the equipment.
The benefits of an AV control system installation are that they:
• eliminate the need for a remote control for every device • eliminate excess cables • provide a streamlined and user-friendly way of interacting with meeting room equipment.
AV control systems can be in the form of a keypad or a touch panel. Keypad control systems, such as the Neets Control – UniForm, are suitable for meeting rooms with fewer devices or lower technological requirements. They have four to 8 buttons that can be configured to perform several functions such as controlling lights, volume, switching between input sources, and turning devices on and off. Keypads are generally wall-mounted but can also be integrated into table wells, such as the Neets Easy Connect - Control series.
A touch panel and control system is suitable for larger rooms or more complex AV systems. For example, in a video conferencing room, a touch panel could be used to control the levels of individual speakers or microphones, and turn individual cameras on and off. The touch panels can be wall-mounted or placed on a meeting room table with a table stand.
AV control systems from Neets
Neets Control - OsCar
Neets Control - UniForm
Neets 4" Touch Panel
Request a demo of AV equipment and solutions from Neets
Are you interested in learning more about the AV equipment Neets provides and how you can benefit from a Neets installation in your meeting room?
Submit your information using our 'Request a Demo' form and we will get in touch with you to hear more about your needs. We will then put you in touch with your nearest Neets reseller.