For IT managers, renovating conference rooms can be a mixed bag. On the one hand, few things in life are more satisfying than throwing out old AV equipment and replacing it with state of the art technology. On the other hand, IT managers are not interior designers, know nothing about conference room furniture, and are as out of place in an office furniture store as a sales rep in a server room.
So for all those IT managers out there who are installing high-end projectors, cameras, and speaker systems in their conference rooms and are thinking about adding some new furniture to go along with all that new technology, here are a few things you need to know.
The first thing you need to do is take measurements of the room. Knowing how big or small your conference room is will help you select the proper size of furniture to place in it. The two biggest mistakes you can make are cramming a tiny room with gigantic conference room furniture and sparsely furnishing a huge conference hall with a few tiny chairs. You need to utilize all available space in the best way possible.
The Conference Room Table
The first piece of conference room furniture you should purchase is the table. Once you have the conference room table in place, the task of picking the chairs, furniture, and appliances (such as a coffee machine, a display board, bookcases, shelves or a water dispenser, etc) becomes easier. When buying the table, think about the shape and the size of the room and the table which would be best suited in the room. You can select an oval, rectangle, and even a U-shaped conference table.
The Conference Room Chairs
The number of chairs that you can fit in the meeting room depends on the size of the conference table. One good way to determine the number of chairs you can have is by knowing that the table’s width in feet is the number of chairs that can be placed comfortably. This means that an 8-foot-wide table will seat eight individuals.
Another way to accommodate more people is to line some chairs against the back wall. This will be helpful during larger meetings where not everyone can be seated at the table due to space constraints.
There should be at least a space of 48 inches between the wall and the table. However, if you want a more comfortable space then you should increase the space to 56 inches.
If you want people to walk sideways between the wall and the chair, keep a space of 16 inches. However, if you don’t want the employees and the visitors to walk sideways then leave a space of 24 inches.
Per chair, allow 30 inches of space on each side. For rising from a chair, keep a space of 32 to 34 inches between the back of the chair and the table.
The ideal space between the visual display board and the table should be 56 inches and there should be at least a bending space of 36 inches for when you want to use the lower shelves of a bookcase.