Leading business consulting firm, Frost & Sullivan found that in 2016, 58% of companies were using video conferencing as part of their day-to-day business operations, which was up from 41% in 2013. These statistics go to show that conference spaces are still clearly an integral part of modern office interior design and should be carefully considered as a valuable asset to your workspace.
Although conference rooms are a classic office feature and are synonymous with traditional workspace configuration, that doesn’t mean their design can’t be brought up to date to meet modern-day requirements. There’s a whole host of commercial technology products now available which will allow you to refresh an existing space or create a cutting-edge conference room from scratch that will stimulate collaboration, streamline meeting processes and improve both internal and external communications.
Here are some of our most popular AV and office technology products:
Video conferencing technology
There are many benefits of video conferencing that can be reaped as long as you have the right space and technology to work with. Conference calls are still deemed effective, but with 90% of people surveyed by Lifesize agreeing that video makes it easier to get their point across. Here at Penketh Group, we supply Lifesize video conferencing products, including the Lifesize Phone HD which uses a touchscreen interface, integrated directory and screen-sharing technology to streamline video conference meetings.
According to further research carried out the designers of Lifesize, 85% of companies have seen an increase in productivity since implementing its technology into their conference room design. They also found that 89% of workers agree that video conferencing helps to reduce the time it takes to complete tasks and 98% believe it helps build relationships inside and outside the company.
Reserva: the interactive booking system
We are huge advocates of agile working and impromptu meetings but it is also important to understand that sometimes, a scheduling process is essential. This is particularly true when it comes to conference calls when overlapping of time and mid-meeting disruptions can be detrimental to communication and decision-making. Reserva is an interactive booking system which enables you to rule out these issues and manage time and space-sharing more efficiently.
Power-integrated office furniture
One of the biggest downfalls of a conference space is a lack of access to power and/or data. When there are multiple people in a meeting room, they all need to be able to plug in, power up and have access to internet connection or WiFi. Installing some modern office furniture with integrated sockets is a great way to do this seamlessly but if you’re working with a tighter budget, something like Mars will provide 360-degree access via 3 outlet points for improved connectivity and participation.
Clickshare: for collaborative connectivity
In traditional conference rooms of decades past, the meeting would be led by a senior member of staff who would operate the technology from the front of the room. These days, commercial product design has enabled processes to become much more collaborative with Clickshare being an excellent example of this. Multiple users can plug in without a network of cables or complicated software, operate the main screen and share information from their own devices more freely.
Interactive boards and touch screens
The interactive whiteboards, SMART boards, touch screens and media:scape family which you will find included in our Meet & Collaborate products have all been designed to boost collaboration and improve the functionality of meeting rooms and conference spaces. Information-sharing, multiple device configuration, HD camera recording, multi user access and wireless screen sharing are now all available at the touch of a button to streamline your conference space.
The Google Jamboard would be another great addition to any conference space as it seamlessly integrates with the G Suite to record, store and make sharing of data and information effortless via the Google Drive. See our review of the Google Jamboard for more details.
These are just a few examples of what our clients are using in their conference and meeting rooms, and you don’t need to have every tech product mentioned above integrated within your conference room design in order for it to be a successful conferencing space.
Start by investing in the one you feel would benefit your company the most – whether it’s increased participation, international communication or better organisation – then build on your repertoire of conference room technology in accordance to demands and requirements. If you install too many new features at once, you run the risk of wasting budget on surplus resources and over-complicating the space when what we’re trying to do here is keep things sophisticated, simple and most importantly of all – streamline.