Planning and organizing a conference is hard work. You have phone calls to make, vendors to book, food to order, and more. It can be tempting to not give too much thought to the layout of the conference room. For example, you may think that any tables and chairs will do, as long as there are enough of them. However, the surroundings can have a profound effect on your conference attendees' ability to focus, collaborate, and form creative ideas. Take a look at some ideas for ensuring that your conference room is an environment that encourages productivity in your conference guests.
Find A Room With A View
Start your conference room design by choosing a venue with a conference room well-suited to creativity and productivity. That means looking for a conference room with windows. A great view would be nice, but the most important thing that you need is natural light. Studies have shown that exposure to natural light helps to increase workplace productivity, and the same should hold true for conferences – especially if it's a multi-day conference. You don't want the participants feeling like they've been locked away from daylight for days.
If natural light isn't an option, at least choose a room without fluorescent lights, or a room with enough standard light bulbs that the fluorescent lights can safely be turned off. Fluorescents can trigger headaches in some people.
Use Round Tables
Round tables are a good choice at a conference because they allow everyone at the table to see each other, and since there is no head of the table, everyone seated around a round table is on equal footing. This promotes a sense of connection that encourages the guests at the table to share ideas freely and cooperate with each other during the conference.
Make sure that the room isn't too crowded. Your conference attendees should have plenty of room to move between the tables when they need to. Besides, no one likes to be wedged in like sardines in a can. You'll also need to be sure that everyone can see the speakers and presentations equally well. Try arranging the tables in a circular shape and leaving the middle of the circle open for speakers.
Remove Any Distractions
It's easy for the mind to wander, especially during long speeches or lulls in the activity. It's even easier for people to stop paying attention when there is something in the room that's distracting them. That means that you need to look over the conference room at your venue thoroughly before you start setting up.
Check for lights that flicker on and off and have them replaced before your conference is scheduled to start. Noisy air vents, squeaky fans, and wobbly tables are all things that you should be looking for. Your venue should be happy to take care of any issues that may interfere with a successful conference.
Name Your Conference Room
If your conference members are coming from a variety of places and don't know each other, it can help to have some gimmick that will help them all bond as a group. An easy way to do that is to give the conference a theme and the conference room a name. For example, if your theme is outer space, you might call your conference room The Space Shuttle.
Put up a sign with the name, and make sure that decorations that fit the theme are displayed throughout the room. Telling your conference attendees that you'll see them tomorrow in the Space Shuttle is a lot more fun than telling them you'll meet them in the conference room, and the theme makes for a handy icebreaker. The more comfortable and friendly the conference attendees are with each other, the better they'll work together during the event.
When you spend your time and attention on the details that promote productivity, creativity, and collaboration, you get the results that you're looking for. For more information about conference facilities, contact a company like National 4-H Conference Center.