We have come a long way moving away from analogue meetings, where minimal equipment and tools such as chalkboard, flip charts and overhead projectors are used. However, during meetings like such, it is not as efficient as a lot of time is wasted on doing things manually.
With the evolution of technology, the arrival of the internet and laptop brought about a new era of collaborative experience. In today’s meeting and conference rooms, the main equipment is a combination of laptop, projector system as well as an audio-visual equipment. This enables participants to save a lot of time to evaluate and modify the content of the subject matter as it is being discussed during brainstorming sessions. The introduction of technology has made meetings and conferences more fluid, flexible and time efficient.
With the evolution of technology, it is essential for conference and meeting rooms to have flexibility and configurability to have different set ups. Theatre style set up of a meeting room is a more popular set up when participants act as an audience.
However, if note taking is required, this set up is not recommended. This set up is flexible in a way the rows can be of any shape like circular, semi-circular, straight or angled. However one of the cons of this set up is that there is minimal group interaction.
U-shaped set up is also a popular choice among organizers these days. It is a row of meeting tables set in the shape of a letter U, with chairs with the respective table. This layout is often used for e board meetings and discussion group where there is a facilitator giving speeches at a focal point. U-shaped set up for meeting and conferences improves interaction between the participants. However it is not advisable to have a set up like this for larger capacity.
Classroom style set up is using rows of meeting tables along with chairs facing the front of the room. A facilitator will be usually standing in front of the room. This set up is ideal for taking notes, meeting that require handouts or reference materials or equipment such as laptop or electronic tablets. This set up is best for long sessions to concentrate on the facilitator. This set up is ideal as the facilitator has oversight of all the participants. It is ideal to accommodate a bigger capacity. However this set up does not allow much interaction amongst participants as they can only see each other’s backs.