How to Choose the Best Room Setup for your Meeting

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Meeting room setup styles: here’s another aspect of your meeting that needs to be planned. Now, there are several go-tos: the U-shape, the Boardroom, and the Classroom style. Although each of these setups can be functional in the right setting and with the right amount of people, they aren’t always the most productive setups.

 

sparkspace observation:

I love helping our guests. It’s what I do. After all, I am the director of guest happiness. Recommending the best possible setup option comes along with the territory, but all too often I find myself typing in: “U-shape for a group of 25” into my setup notes.

Taking into account the layout, shape, and size of your meeting space is crucial. The U-shape setup may work perfectly fine in a different facility, or with a smaller number of guests, but in our case, our larger rooms are very long and narrow, which does not bode well with U-shape or Block-O setups, especially for large groups. The majority of the chairs are setup length-wise to the room, leaving a very long line of guests who cannot see each other or engage with the majority of the team, unless they are standing.

The classroom style setup is difficult in any type of setting because it limits the participation between team members, and you end up staring into the back of someone’s head the entire day.

I have a love-hate relationship with the boardroom style setup. They work well in most spaces, and can be great for hashing out issues and group discussions. This layout also provides great working space and is conducive to participation.  Although there are pros to the Boardroom style setup, it is not always great for presenting, audio-visual, or large groups.

 

Tip #6: Re-Think Your Room Setup 

Review the purpose and objective of your meeting, then determine the most functional setup for your situation. Whether it’s a brainstorming session with 15 people, a small workshop with lots of writing and participation, or a group of 100 for a fifty-minute lecture, there are some setups that will work great and some that would be horribly ineffective.

For instance, next time you’re in a brainstorming session try using “comfy” seating instead of the standard “boardroom” style table and chairs, or instead of a U-shape, use the “starburst” setup, which is more conducive to team participation and presenter engagement. Here’s a peak at our starburst setup to show you what I mean.

Re-thinking your room setup may be a little out of your comfort zone, but it also could be the best thing that happens to your meeting!

Read more: How to Improve a Meeting Atmosphere

 

Useful Tip:

You’ve heard me say this before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again, use your facility! Your meeting facility has the best knowledge when it comes to room setups in their own space, and can provide you with conference room setup ideas that you might not know existed. If they’re on the ball the facility should listen to your needs and suggest the most functional setup, provided the number of guests and desired outcome.

 

At sparkspace, we always work with you to ensure the absolute best setup for your meeting, and we are constantly testing and evaluating our rooms and setups to discover solutions that work even better for your team. Book a meeting today or schedule a tour to experience your best meeting ever.

 

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Here you'll find ideas, tips, and techniques to help make your next offsite your best meeting yet.We've learned a lot during the 15,000+ meetings we've hosted, and we never stop learning (and sharing) because meetings and teams are always evolving. Be sure to leave comments and join the conversation!