Meeting Tips – Arrange Your Room the Right Way

As any good business leader will know the key to success is preparation and determination. These two essential 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 lead not to progression but lead 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 split 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 essential 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 mean the difference between an engaging committee and segregated groups of delegates. Below is a list of the most popular meeting room layouts:

  • Type: Class Room
  • Meeting style: Rows of tables with chairs grouped Meeting Room Equipment in sections with tables facing the front of the room.
  • Good For: Meetings that require note 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 note taking.
  • Type: 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 note 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 rather than 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.
  • Type: 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 facilitate 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.
  • Type: 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 note taking. This method is even popular for law enforcement agencies that require project briefings. The “class room” style is useful for project briefs that require a lot of note taking and potential 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…
  • Type: Board Room

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