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  • Writer's pictureBrian Trimble

Top Conference Room Trends in 2021

COVID has drastically changed how meetings are held. In-person meetings are now starting to give way to remote meetings, with 89% of businesses adopting a “work from anywhere” business model.

Right now, the trend appears to be leaning towards hybrid workplaces. Companies prefer offices and conference rooms that can cater to both face-to-face meetings and remote ones.

Conference rooms are now being redesigned to accommodate an increasing amount of technology. This allows them to maintain their efficiency despite everyone working remotely, and shows in the new changes that they prioritize coming into 2021.

This article looks at the latest conference room trends for 2021, with a particular emphasis on technology and remote communications.

1. Conference rooms are now designed around modern ways of communication

The conference rooms of old were designed with in-person meetings in mind. That’s why you have acoustics systems, projectors, and tables everywhere.

With a large percentage of the population working from home, conference rooms are now being redesigned to accommodate remote meetings without reducing productivity.

Large-scale video conferencing programs like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams are now integrated with the design approach to conference rooms.

The goal is now to have conference rooms pre-equipped with these tools so that businesses can instantly start meetings without having to worry about complicated setups.

2. More presentations are now using LED video walls

Despite a large amount of the population working from home, some people are still going to the office. Since hybrid workplaces are quickly becoming the modern trend, there is still a need to accommodate meetings with people present physically.

That starts with how we make presentations.

When it comes to presentations, the first thing we imagine is usually a large monitor or a projector that displays media on a wall.

The problem is that monitors can be clunky and space-inefficient. On the other hand, projecting presentations onto a wall doesn’t create the clearest image for everybody, especially those in the back.

Fortunately, LED video walls are now becoming affordable, and businesses are beginning to use them more and more.

LED walls combine the picture clarity of large monitors with the space efficiency of projectors. The images they create are clear, even for those at a distance and at any angle.

They’re also low maintenance and are incredibly efficient on energy. The best part is that they can also be shown to people who are attending the meeting remotely.

3. Interactive whiteboards are becoming the best way to give detailed presentations

There are plenty of workarounds to make markups on a presentation.

For instance, speakers could manually draw arrows and diagrams from their laptops. However, the markups are usually drawn awkwardly because of how hard it is to draw using a mouse or a touchpad.

You could try projecting onto an old-fashioned whiteboard and draw on the whiteboard too. However, whenever someone steps in front of a projector, part of the image is blocked, making it difficult for the speaker and distracting for the attendees.

And, of course, you can’t just draw on a monitor or an LED video wall.

Thankfully, interactive whiteboards solve all those problems by creating a space where presentations can be displayed, and markups can be made comfortably.

By using a digital pen, presenters can create more precise drawings than they could by using a mouse. And since the whiteboard itself is interactive, there is no actual ink being used on a surface.

This creates one of the best presentation surfaces that hybrid meetings are sure to benefit from.

4. Clear acoustics systems are getting the recognition they deserve

Gone are the days of regular speakers being placed all throughout the room. Sure, you can hear what the speaker is saying, but it’s not exactly the best audio quality available.

The further back an attendee is, the worse the sound quality gets. Eventually, people accept that they can’t participate as much as they want to, and they just zone out.

That’s why modern companies are looking into designing their conference room around the best acoustics possible.

Having the best acoustics setup for your conference room is not just about the quality of the speakers. It also considers the layout of the conference room, the number of attendees, the wall and corner angles, and even the surfaces of the conference room.

If you’re planning on designing or redesigning your meeting space to maximize the quality of your acoustics, it would be best to consult with a sound specialist to deliver the best sound quality possible for your conference room.

A clear acoustics system throughout the conference room also allows physical attendees to listen while observing the safety distancing protocols.

5. Say goodbye to dull, white conference rooms

If you’ve ever seen how modern offices like Google and Apple treat their office design, you’ll notice how much livelier they look.

The traditional image of a corporate setup involves harsh white lights and dull, empty walls that look as sterile as a hospital.

Not only does this look unengaging, but employees are also finding it hard to focus because of how empty everything is.

Conference rooms are now being redesigned to look more welcoming. Companies are experimenting with different art and color designs to make the rooms a little more personalized according to company philosophy.

After all, conference rooms usually involve a lot of brainstorming. There’s no better way to stimulate creativity than to put inspiring design pieces throughout the room.

The modern approach to conference rooms is all about having hybrid designs that allow maximum productivity despite everyone being in different regions of the country.

Now that the pandemic has forced many of us to stay home, clear communication with everyone on the team has become more critical than ever. That is why conference rooms are being redesigned with clarity of communication as the #1 priority.

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