How To Set Up Conference and Training Rooms
This Workstation Guide provides general information on planning and design of conference and training rooms. We recommend contacting our furniture design consultants to receive specific assistance during all phases of planning your
General Conference Room Design
Conference room layouts and components have transformed from the rectangular one piece boardroom table concepts to shapes and components that support technology, video-conferencing and the flexibility to reconfigure into training and collaboration applications. Consider the possible uses for each conference area. For example, a boardroom table may be assembled by combining smaller tables that enables the room to be used for both formal traditional conferencing as well as for classroom or training applications.
Conference Room Flexible Design
• Evaluate each conference room area and evaluate its functionality. How can it best be utilized for the meetings with both clients and for internal company functions?
• Consider how private offices and workstations may incorporate areas for smaller informal conferencing. This could include smaller tables in private offices, teaming tables in workstation areas and smaller tables and chairs spotted around the office. This will also encourage collaboration throughout the office.
• In the lunchroom, consider square or rectangular shaped tables that may be moved together to create a single larger conference table. This would be ideal for company meetings.
• Consider where the conference rooms are best located in your office space. Conference rooms used for client meeting may best be located near the reception area. Meetings with venders should be also located near the entrance for convenience and for separation from your general office area.
Conference Room Sizing
Conference rooms should be designed to allow enough room for participants to easily move around the room. A general rule of thumb is that there should be a minimum of 42″of space from the table and other components to the adjacent walls. More space should be provided near the room’s entry at the front of the room to allow for podiums or for space for presentations.
• Plan your space as soon as you can. A well designed conference room is critical for meetings and presentations. Plan for all the furniture and equipment that will be required in each conference room.
• Plan for components and equipment that may be purchased in the future.
Conference Room Components
Conference room components have increased to adapt to today’s conferencing needs. Table shapes include round, square, rectangular, boat shape and rectangular designs. Evaluate each shape and size to the shape of the room and seating positions.
Table Shapes and Sizes
Helpful for locating phones, food and beverage service, and for storing commonly used presentation equipment and
Wall Mounted or floor supported whiteboard units are a necessary component for both conference and training rooms. Wall mounted presentation cabinet allow the unit to be closed when not in use and opens to view a whiteboard, writing paper or a pull down video screen. Mobile whiteboards provides offers whiteboards and writing paper and are available in different sizes.
TV or Monitor Stands
Units are available in mobile open stands or more formal cabinets. Most stands provide space for VCR , DVD and other TV components. Many manufacturers have stands that works together in design and finish options.
• Locate the credenza near the entry of the conference room. This would allow items to be delivered to the room with minimal interruption.
• If the conference room is located on an outer wall with windows, make sure that screens are located to minimize glare. Consider electric sun shade units or blinds to darken the room during visual presentations.
Conference room designs have evolved to accommodate the advances in technology and presentation methods. Many manufacturers offer tables with various levels of voice, data, and electrical integration. Teleconferencing equipment is becoming more common and requires tables that are “V” shaped, providing better sight lines than traditional shaped tables.
• During the design phase of your project, locate voice / data and electrical access locations. Locations include in the floor under the conference table, and above counter surfaces for easy access.
• Determine the use of the conference room and select the furniture that provides easy access to voice / data and electrical hookups.
• Many meetings involve laptop computers to be used by participants and require multiple hook-ups. Design the table’s access points to allow for easy hookups.
• For companies considering teleconferencing applications, consider a manufacturer that provides a table that is easily repositioned from a traditional shape to a “V ” shape more suitable for teleconferencing or for a more open conferencing application.
• For conference rooms that are being planned to be reconfigured into training or classroom layouts, locate electrical and network connections at the locations consistent to the various table layouts.
• Wire management modesty panels are available for training tables.
Training or Classroom Style Conference Rooms
Training rooms should be designed to accommodate the primary layout as well as to have the flexibility to be reconfigured to allow alternate configurations. Top sizes range from 36″to 72″ and most are available in 24″or 30″depths. Training tables may be specified with fixed, folding and flip-top base designs. Select the link below to view some typical layouts:
Common Training Table Layouts
• If tables and seating need to be stored, consider folding or flip-top base designs as well as stack chairs.
• Locate all your presentation components in ensure that sight lines are maintained various possible table configurations.
Training Table Technology
Training rooms have developed with the sophistication level common with today’s corporate conference rooms. With computer integration with many training rooms, training tables are required to provide access to electrical, voice and data services. Today’s training tables provide integrated modular electrical components and voice and data wire management and access points. Split level adjustable tables provide surfaces that may raise or lowered to provide a more ergonomic design.
• During the design phase of your project, consider all layout possibilities and how you will require electrical and voice / data hook-ups for each design.
• Many table manufacturers have modular electrical components that are incorporated within the table. This allows for a flexible electrical system that allows for easy reconfiguration. These systems usually include wire management for voice / data wiring.
• Above desk surface mounted electrical and network connection boxes allow for easy access, especially when laptops are brought in by the attendees.