Meeting Tips – position Your Room the Right Way

Meeting Tips – position Your Room the Right Way




As any good business leader will know the meaningful to success is preparation and determination. These two basic traits should find themselves form the basis of much of your daily working life – however understanding how to make the most of opportunities is important to both preparation and determination. It is strange that when businesses get together to strategise via a business meeting that the meeting can rule not to progression but rule to frustration and anger. Preparation is not always the first thought when organising meetings and as such the goals of the meeting are sometimes missed.

So how exactly do you ensure that meetings will go smoothly? Firstly define the goals of the meeting and ensure each meeting room attendee knows exactly why the meeting has been called. Whilst this might seem a rather simple tip it is again surprising to see so many businesses fail at the first hurdle by going into meetings without knowing exactly why the meeting was being called in the first place. Secondly produce an agenda based on the goals – do not make it to ambitious and divided each agenda point into a time allocated section. What this enables you to do is state clearly how long you think the meeting will be which is basic for ensuring the meeting does not over run. Thirdly once you have the goals and timings you can decide layout of the room. Why is layout important? Depending on your goals, the layout of the room and seating arrangements could average the difference between an engaging committee and segregated groups of delegates. Below is a list of the most popular meeting room layouts:

  • kind: Class Room
  • Meeting style: Rows of tables with chairs grouped in sections with tables facing the front of the room.
  • Good For: Meetings that require observe taking. Police enforcement agencies use class room style meetings during briefing scenarios as it allows them to communicate with a large group of officers whilst giving officers desks for observe taking.
  • kind: Hallow Square Style
  • Meeting style: Tables are arranged in a square with all delegates seated on the outside of the square. All delegates will be able to see one another and have space for writing and observe taking. The meeting leader will be seated at the head of the main table.
  • Good For: The hallow square is useful for meetings that have multiple speakers and likely to instigate questions. This arrangement really works well with small groups of delegates instead of large groups as the bigger the group of people the wider the distance between opposite delegates and those sat perpendicular to the line of sight.
  • The Hallow Square Style is also a much more formal arrangement with the heads of tables clearly defined.
  • kind: Auditorium Style (also known as theatre style)
  • Meeting style: performance presentations, conference speaker, MD/CEO Company Performance Overviews
  • Good For: The U shape is extremely complimentary for presentation style meetings whereby the focus is visual communication. Board of Directors meeting, committee meetings and discussion groups are particularly applicable due to the requirement to not only convey information to a group of delegates but also to ease discussion between groups with a main reference point (i.e. the visual). This method is also useful in visual pitch presentations that require focus to be set on the presentation or product as you have a central point.
  • kind: U shape
  • Meeting style: Tables are arranged in a U shape with delegates seated on the outside of the U. A focal point is arranged at the join point of the U – either audio visual equipment or other visual document.
  • Good For: An effective method for lectures and meetings that require a lot of observe taking. This method is already popular for law enforcement agencies that require project briefings. The “class room” style is useful for project briefs that require a lot of observe taking and possible audience participation. However due to the school connotations they may have some negative associations..!
  • Not particularly good for…: large company meetings, informal meetings, morale boosting events, appraisals…
  • kind: Board Room
  • Meeting style: A rectangular (or oval) table is set up with chairs around all sides. Both ends of the table are reserved either for visual communication technology or for most important figureheads.
  • Good For: The most widely used ” meeting rooms ” arrangement which unsurprisingly is also the most easy to set up. This style is as easily applicable to creative brainstorms as to board meetings. Whilst the arrangement can be scaled up to 2-3 tables, generally delegate numbers are small and as such most appropriate for regular small meetings that requires observe taking, discussion and short presentations. It is not particularly useful for larger groups of people.
  • kind: Banquet Style (also known as Cabaret style)
  • Meeting style: already though we suggested that meetings aren’t really for taking people out for lunch in this case the whole point is to convey messages by a central presentation whilst the audience eats.
  • Good For: This method is particularly useful for conference style meetings and popular amongst charity fundraisers. Often the message of the meeting is less formal and intended to raise the morale of the audience or raise the emotional attachment between the audience and speaker. This method is especially useful when a business wishes to give positive news.
  • kind: Coffee Shop/Pub meeting
  • Meeting style: thoroughly dependent on the formation – often sofas and coffee tables or pub benches position in any manner.
  • Good For: Whilst these are quite difficult to plan the coffee shop/pub meeting is often seen by many freelancers and managers as a useful morale boosting/client relations tool. The informal character is useful for strengthening relations and more emotional goals instead of conveying business goals. Unfortunately a lot more people rely on these types of meetings as they find themselves away from their office desk or function a business that does not have a central base.

With careful planning you can ensure that your meeting goes pretty much without any hitches. Arrangements according to meeting goals can ensure your delegates have abundant observe taking space, optimal viewing conditions and, most importantly, are comfortable enough to take part in the meeting. If you do not have a central base of operations then consider using an external meeting rooms company. The assistance of an external meeting room is the fact that you simply tell the company your requirements and they will create a layout to suit you. in any case you do make sure you have a good meeting!

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