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Getting the Most from Meetings: Setting up the Meeting Space

By Garrett Spence   |    November 3, 2014   |    12:48 PM

How to Effectively Use Your Meeting Facility

Meetings are a necessity. Yet often times t hese gatherings are held anywhere where there’s “space”. This often means that meetings are held in cramped offices or in meeting spaces that don’t have all the necessary technology.

To ensure that meetings are successful, businesses need to invest in a proper place for discussions and brainstorming. Here are some tips to finding and effectively using meeting spaces.

1. Ensure that it’s big enough: One of the biggest problems many businesses run into is that on-site meeting spaces are too small. This means that people are pretty much on top of each other, and oftentimes someone needs to stand. Uncomfortable staffers aren’t usually very productive or even interested in what’s being discussed.

2. Adjust Room Temperature: A meeting space may be perfectly fine at 72 degrees with only two to three people in it. Get five plus people in there, and it’s sweltering. Lower the air conditioning down a few degrees to make sure that it’s bearable when you've got a large number of attendees and lighten up on the air conditioning when it's a small group. 

3. Have the right technology: Generally, meetings are times for discussing important matters, brainstorming, giving presentations, etc. When sharing information, people shouldn’t have to huddle around a computer screen. Verify that the space has all the important technology: projectors, whiteboards (either the traditional or interactive kind), TVs or display panels, conference phones, DVD players, etc. Nothing wastes more time than running around to other meeting spaces or even offices to gather up the needed presentation technology. Have it in the room ahead of time. Also, meeting rooms should have WiFi available. Display the password in a prominent place, such as on the whiteboard, for easy participant access. 

4. Use the right room setup: Depending on the type of meeting, certain room arrangements may work better than others. The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, which hosts many different meetings throughout the year, offers a breakdown of the major meeting room setups. It provides recommendations on what types of setups work best for which types of meetings. For example, it advises using the Conference Style for “Board of Directors meetings, committee meetings, or discussion groups”.

5. Have refreshments available: This is extremely important for meetings that are going to run for a while. Guarantee that water, coffee, soft drinks, tea, etc. are available for participants and are located in a convenient location.

6. Invest in a virtual meeting space: Many small offices simply don’t have enough room for a large enough conference room to accommodate all employees and guests. In this case, a virtual meeting space is a good alternative. These spaces can be rented on an as-needed basis. Generally, they include amenities like:

a. Video conferencing

b. WiFi

c. White boards

d. Coffee

e. Conference phones

f. Kitchen access

Successful meetings require adequate space and comfort. Make situating and stocking the meeting room a part of the meeting planning.

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