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You have 24 hours to transform an empty office into a fully functional conference room. Where do you start?
Perhaps a better question to ask is: Is it even possible? If it takes AV system integrators multiple days to set up a conference room, how are you, a mere amateur, going to manage it in a single day?
It may be a challenge, but when you look at some of the other things that people have been able to accomplish in just 24 hours (planting 6 million trees, moving 60 canons up a hill, building a city), setting up a meeting room certainly seems within the realm of possibility.
You will require the following items: A TV or projector, a large table, and 8 or more chairs.
Sounds pretty simple, right? How could it take more than a day when all you have to do is swing by two stores? (Or, if you can find a place that sells both furniture and electronics, one store?)
Short answer: Cables.
In order to hide cables, you’ll need a desk that’s crammed with connectivity boxes and hidden compartments. These are bulky and difficult to setup. They’re also huge eyesores. Here’s what a typical example looks like:
folding-boardroom-table-in-oak
In case you can’t see how massive and unwieldy that table’s support structure is, here’s a close-up:
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No, that isn’t a Hobbit-hole. That secret compartment is strictly for your cable stash. You’re going to need a lot of cables.
How many is a lot? 3? 5? 7? Well, do you know which video outputs your end users have on their laptops? HDMI? VGA? mini DisplayPort? If they bring their own laptops, you’ll have no way of predicting what their video output requirements will be, so you’ll want to prepare for every possible contingency. You’ll also want to give your end users access to a power supply cord, USB cord, and, in case they want to charge their iPhones, a lightning cord.
To run all these cables from the connectivity box to the TV in a way that’s pleasing to the eye, you’ll want to hide the cables under the carpet, behind the baseboards, and behind the wall. Doing all that in less than 24 hours is perhaps possible in theory, but you’ll be cutting it close.
Luckily, there’s an easier alternative.
As soon as cables leave the picture, you don’t have to worry about connectivity boxes or secret compartments, and can purchase a desk that looks like this:
Conti-Boardroom-Table
Not only are these desks more elegant, they’re also super easy to install. If it takes you more than 20 minutes, you may want to contact your local authorities because whoever hired you is clearly violating child labor laws.
So how do your end users connect their laptops to the TV or projector without wires?
Short answer: Use a wireless presentation system.
A wireless presentation system takes your IT department 10 minutes to setup. If you combine it with the above table, you’re looking at a 30-minute-long setup. That should leave you with about 23 1/2 hours to install your TV/projector and to place the chairs around the table.
A wireless presentation system will also save your end users time as well. When you give them 8 different cables to pick from, it’s going to take them a minute or two to find the right cable. Non-tech-savvy users may find the task so imposing that they’ll call IT to help them out, which will add an additional 10 minutes to the amount of time it takes them to get their presentation going. But with a wireless presentation system, end users can connect their laptops to the screen in just 1 second.
For more information on wireless presentation systems, click here.
ADDITIONAL READING
Top 10 Conference Room Cable Management Fails of 2016
Conference Room Design: A Guide For the Perplexed
Conference Room Schedule Display Solutions: 3 Suggestions

Want to set up a wireless Conference Room?Try Now

A boring meeting in a boring conference room can be intolerable. But a boring meeting in an elegantly designed, state of the art conference room can be very tolerable indeed. As long as you’re sitting in a nice chair, have a smooth mahogany table in front of you, and are surrounded by striking interior design, no amount of discussion concerning budgets, marketing strategies, or team training can fully put you to sleep. Next to caffeine, strong conference room design is arguably the most powerful stimulant that’s legally available.
So for those of you seeking to nap-proof their conference rooms through bold, attention-grabbing design choices, here are 10 examples that you may want to turn to for inspiration.

1. Gore’s Group

meeting room design ideas
The first thing you’re likely to notice about this conference room is that there are giant spikes sticking out of the ceiling Mortal Kombat-style. But if you look more closely, you’ll notice some other design elements that are just as interesting, such as the circular LED light covered by a wooden lattice, the row of tiny spotlights, and the two TVs conveniently arranged on the wall so that no one has to strain their neck. Note that neither TV is connected to the table via unsightly HDMI, VGA, or mini DisplayPort cables.

2. Atlas Holdings

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For most businesses, having a smaller huddle space that floats over your meeting room may not be feasible. But if you just crop out the top portion of the above picture, then recreating this conference room becomes quite a bit easier: All you need are some cylindrical lights, a dozen stools, and a narrow, minimalistic table. It may not look as cool without the floating huddle room, but it should still look pretty cool.

3. Zendesk

zendesk-meeting-area-design-room

A great way to jazz up a meeting room is to encase it in glass. The above meeting room layout, for instance, is about as dull as it gets: boring chairs, generic desk, plain, colorless walls. But encase it all in glass and suddenly you feel as though you’ve just teleported to the year 2029.

4. Red Bull Toronto

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The left side of the room looks like the alien spaceship from the movie Arrival, the right side looks like the workshop of a carpenter with extremely poor hand-eye coordination, and yet somehow it all fits together in a way that seems perfectly natural.

5. Önen Holding Head Office Building

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If it weren’t for the giant glass ceiling revealing the forest in the background, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this conference room was located on the Internation Space Station.

6. Airbnb Dublin

airbnb-dublin-heneghan-meeting-room
Encasing a conference room with just two panes of glass is one thing; encasing it on all sides and then installing privacy curtains is taking it to the next level.

7. Adidas Shanghai

 
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Although not all businesses have windows that overlook the Shanghai skyline, the other things that make this conference room design stand out are easier to emulate, namely giant overhead LED lights, an enormous conference room sign, and a projector that’s been mounted to the ceiling. (Note: Due to the lack of wires dangling from the ceiling, it’s probably a safe bet that they use a wireless presentation solution for meetings that involve screen sharing).

8. Grupo CP

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Credit where credit is due: Whoever designed this conference room came very close to achieving the impossible—creating a cabled conference room that looks presentable.
At first glance, it may appear as though the TV’s aren’t connected to the table. But take a closer look and you’ll notice what appear to be connectivity boxes in front of every other seat. You’ll also notice that the table is significantly bulkier than any of the others on this list. This is likely because the table is housing a couple dozen HDMI, VGA, mini DisplayPort, USB, and whatever other cables end users may need to connect their laptops to the screen.

9. Google Budapest

googleconferenceroomdesign

Google’s trademark use of bright primary colors in their meeting rooms has been widely imitated by companies all over the world for many years now. But less widely imitated is the floor of Google’s Budapest conference room, which creates the illusion that the table is floating in the middle of a swimming pool.

10. Horse-Head Conference Room

conference room design ideas
Frank Gehry’s 1997 conference room design exists only in a Princeton museum, and it’s easy to see why it hasn’t seen any real-world use: Mounting a flat TV to those walls could be a challenge. But if you want an innovative, attention-grabbing design and have access to a lumberyard full of curved wood, conference rooms don’t come much more attention-grabbing than this.

Conference Room Design & Cables

No article on conference room design is complete without a note on the restrictive nature of cables, which are to interior designers what handcuffs are to convicts.
As soon as cables are introduced into the conference room, the number of design possibilities is immediately reduced. Conference room tables, for instance, come in all shapes and sizes, but if you’re going to rely on wires, your table options are limited to extremely large clunkers that come with built-in connectivity boxes and cable management boxes. Likewise, the number of tiles that you can put on your floor is just about infinite, but if you rely on cables, you basically have no choice but to bury them under a carpet. And that’s not to mention all the problems
Luckily, there’s an easy way to avoid cables. By implementing a wireless presentation system in your conference room, you can allow your end users to share their screens with just 1 click of a button. No cables, no headaches, no hassles.
ADDITIONAL READING
Conference Room Design: A Guide For the Perplexed
Top 10 Conference Room Projectors of 2017
Conference Room Schedule Display Solutions: 3 Suggestions
 

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The era of working in an isolated office cubicle all day may soon be over. More and more companies are knocking down their cubicles in favor of open or collaborative working spaces. But where we spend our time in the office isn’t the only thing that is changing either. How we work has transformed substantially in the last decade. Team projects, giving and receiving feedback, peer-editing, and other collaborative trends are becoming the norm for most workplaces. The importance of collaboration tools in the workplace is growing, and in 2017, their implementation will be one of the top priorities for companies. Here’s why:

Work is completed faster

According to the Harvard Business Review, 82% of professionals report that they need to partner with others throughout the day to complete their work. However, finding meeting space or planning in advance is difficult. In a typical workday, over 70 percent report wasting at least 15 minutes searching for space.
Online collaboration tools have helped to solve this problem by making working together on tasks easier than ever before. Individuals don’t need to be in the same room or even in the same country to collaborate on and edit projects. With video conferencing, meeting room software, and wireless presentation systems, team members can create, edit, and lead presentations without needing to meet face-to-face, and collaborate more efficiently during meetings where they do need to meet face to face.

Employees are more engaged and happy

Collaboration helps to foster teamwork and brings employees together, which makes a huge impact on their overall happiness. For many, the time spent in the office exceeds the typical 40 hour work week. It could even exceed the hours outside of the office. With so much time at work, employee satisfaction is crucial.
Several studies have shown that having work friends makes individuals more engaged and happy. One study claims that connecting with colleagues could bring more happiness than earning an extra $100,000 a year. Furthermore, when employees are happy and engaged, they are less likely to leave their current positions and more likely to be high performing, valuable members of your team.

Knowledge sharing creates higher quality end products

Two heads are better than one is more than just a saying. When two or more people work together on a project, they are more likely to reach or surpass their goals. According to ClearCompany, 86 percent of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration as the number one cause of business failures.
On the other hand, when teams collaborate and communicate effectively it can boost morale and motivation, as well as produce higher quality end products. Over 26% of individuals in a global study said that discussing success with co-workers motivates them. Collaborative environments, open meeting room setups, and new conference room technology allow individuals to share knowledge and give feedback in real-time. They can improve upon projects as they work on them, instead of at the end, when it is too late to revise.
It is becoming common for people to share ideas and complete projects and other work-related tasks in teams rather than alone. Those that still isolate themselves in cubicles and private offices are missing out on opportunities to exchange knowledge and expertise with colleagues. Whereas organizations that provide employees with collaboration tools and opportunities are gaining the competitive edge that they need to succeed in the future.
 

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It may have been considered the norm to have wires and cables installed throughout company meeting spaces a few years ago. Now, however, cables are more often viewed as an unnecessary clutter. When upgrading working spaces and conference room technology, businesses are thinking wirelessly.
If your organization is upgrading its facilities in the near future, here are some of the top reasons why you should think wirelessly too.

Cables are eyesores.

One of the top considerations when re-thinking a meeting room setup is appearance. When it comes to office aesthetics, cables are eyesores, especially when they are hanging everywhere. In time, they’ll likely get tangled or risk becoming a tripping hazard. Meeting spaces without cables are more visually appealing and secure.

Mobile eliminates installation and maintenance costs.

Cables also come with cost installation and maintenance fees. Adding cables to a meeting room usually means hiring professionals to install them. They often break or simply wear down over time too, which means you’ll need to repair or replace them eventually. Wireless solutions like wireless presentation systems save businesses from the burden and costs associated with maintaining cables and equipment.

Mobility creates more flexibility.

With wireless technology, businesses free themselves from being locked in one place. Should your organization ever decide to relocate, it will not have to unhook the cables or reinstall them in a new location. Instead, with wireless solutions, it can be as easy as moving a mobile device from one room to another.

Wireless is the future.

Companies no longer need to be tied down by cables because of poor wireless performance. Wireless technologies and mobile performance has greatly advanced in the last decade. Cables simply are not as necessary as they may have been in the past. Instead, wireless solutions have become more vital.
According to a recent study by Constant Contact, over 66 percent of small business owners use mobile solutions as part of their daily business processes. Another two-thirds of SMBs say that they would struggle to survive without wireless tech. Collaboration tools, software and other business technology has evolved to meet the demands of an increasingly mobile workforce and population. Renovated meeting spaces should be equipped with cutting-edge technology, which means that they should be designed with mobility in mind.
It is important to be forward-thinking when renovating office space. Cables are a thing of the past. If organizations want their meeting room to remain relevant and useful for years to come, wireless is the way to go.

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Executive conference rooms often serve as a window into your business. As the central meeting spot, it is the most likely place that you will hold important meetings with prospective clients and employees, current staff, board members, press, and other constituents. It is where organizations deliberate, collaborate, and come to important decisions that could have a lasting impact on their future. Therefore, the executive meeting room setup is important to consider.
A meeting room that could be mistaken for a college dorm will have a hard time attracting visitors; a meeting room that looks like it was designed in 2046 will have a hard time turning visitors away. More importantly, a more professional meeting room is often a more productive and more collaborative meeting room. Here are some critical reasons why:

Make positive first impressions.

Even though people often remind themselves not to judge a book by its cover, they still do–at least when it comes to first impressions. Several studies have shown that within seconds of meeting people decide a person’s wealth, trustworthiness, success and other characteristics solely based on appearance. Another study claimed that it is an unpreventable part of human nature to judge based on first impressions. A meeting room setup that is unprofessional could make a poor first impression which could impede companies from closing deals or recruiting the most talented workers.

Host visitors and special guests.

One of the most important necessities for organizations is a shared meeting space that can accommodate visitors and guests. Whether it is through video conferences or in-person meetings, visitors often find themselves in the conference room. Professional areas are more welcoming to an array of visitors and guests.

Establish a conducive work environment.

A more professional meeting room setup helps to eliminate non-work related distractions and boost productivity. It can also encourage the executive team and other employees to be more professional while influencing others to take them seriously.

Hold secure events and presentations.

Having a space to host events and presentations can open doors for organizations. It helps companies network with influencers and prospective business interests. A conference room that is equipped with meaningful and necessary technology like a wireless presentation system, collaboration tools, and other devices shows that your organization is prepared. It also protects company data from being leaked during private presentations and other confidential meetings.
A large portion of time spent in the office takes place in the conference room, so it is important that it reflects the type of business that you are and displays a sense of professionalism. Making your conference room more professional looking doesn’t mean that you need to stifle the creativity and unique character of your organization. It should, however, be more presentable to outsiders and comfortable for insiders.
 

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Meetings are often regarded as boring, unproductive wastes of time. In one study by Hubspot, 47 percent of respondents said that meetings were the top time waster in the office. However, that is largely due to how they are conducted. When conducted effectively, meetings disseminate valuable information, increase workplace communication, and boost morale and productivity.
One major contributor to meeting success is punctuality. Punctuality greatly affects the value of meetings. In some cultures, starting a meeting a little later than the scheduled time is completely normal or even expected. However, in general, there are several reasons why starting on time is crucial to its success.
It Fosters Productivity 
According to a recent study by Bain & Company, a meeting that starts five minutes late will be eight percent less productive. When given an exact time limit for completely meeting objectives, people are more likely to work harder to accomplish them.
Keeping the time limit for meetings below one hour can help increase the effectiveness by helping to maintain attention. Online collaboration tools and conference room technology have also helped to decrease the time we spend in unproductive meetings. Save small updates and information for emails, instant messengers or other collaboration tools. This way, you can more easily stay within your time limit and meet the objectives that you set.
It Makes a Good First Impression
Imagine that you are attending a meeting with two different presenters. When you walk into the first one, the speaker is already there. His or her equipment is not ready and not functional, they hand you an agenda with objectives, and they cannot start exactly on time. The second speaker arrives five minutes late and spends another 15 minutes setting up presentation technology.
Which presenter made the best impression? Most likely, none of them. When you are leading a meeting, attendees expect organization and promptness. If your meeting room setup relies on wires and cables and your end users spend the first 15 minutes of their presentation struggling with connectivity issues, they may as well be presenting to an empty room. Individuals can eliminate set up time and worries by using wireless presentation systems and by arriving a few minutes before the scheduled time.
It Shows You Value Attendee’s Time.
By starting a meeting on time, presenters are also showing that they value the time of their attendees. When meetings continuously start and end on time, presenters build a reputation of respect, professionalism, and competence. On the other hand, when the start time fluctuates, people are more likely to show up late, daydream during them, or stop attending them altogether.
Along with a number of other positive benefits, meetings can be an effective way to bring your team together, share updates, boost morale, and improve communications. However, when they start late, presenters already set them up to be less productive and effective. Starting meetings on time is one of the top ways to ensure that they are successful and engaging.
ADDITIONAL READING
5 Must-Have AV Products For Your Conference Room
Top 10 Conference Room Cable Management Fails
Wireless Screen Sharing vs. Conference Table Cable Management