Around 11 million meetings take place every day, according to a recent report from Business Insider. At an average salary cost of $338 per meeting, over $3.7 billion dollars per day is spent on meetings.
With this much money at stake, it makes sense to make sure your meetings run as smoothly as possible. But there’s more to planning a meeting in a coworking office or conference room than just tables, chairs, and wifi.
Here’s our meeting room booking checklist with the 10 must-have amenities for any business meeting to help you get the most for your conference room investment.
Not every meeting needs a projector, but it’s always a good idea to have one just in case someone’s presentation changes due to a sudden surge of creativity the night before the meeting. Overhead projectors and computer-based displays are other types of audio-visual equipment perfect for presenting, screen sharing, or demonstrating a product or service.
2. Cables for Everything
Meeting rooms should have a variety of adaptors, connectors, and cables on hand for audio-visual equipment and the electronics devices of meeting participants. The best meeting rooms make it easy to connect to their systems. This includes cables for plugging into the internet in case someone’s computer wifi card suddenly stops working.
3. Electrical Outlets
Top-notch, state-of-the-art AV equipment won’t do you any good if there’s no place to plug in. That goes double for laptops and tablets for your meeting attendees, because – let’s face it – not everyone comes to a meeting fully charged. A great meeting room has plenty of electrical outlets so people can power up and contribute.
4. Whiteboards and Markers
People use whiteboards to brainstorm, outline new ideas, create workflows and diagrams, and capture ideas from the people attending the meeting. Whiteboards in a meeting room should be clean and ready to write on, with multi-colored markers and erasers at hand.
5. Conference Phone
With the rise of the remote, freelance worker not everybody can be in the same place at the same time. A meeting room should have a conference phone system that allows workers to dial in from anywhere in the world. Be sure there’s a user-friendly instruction card next to the phone so that valuable meeting time and money isn’t wasted figuring out how to answer an incoming call.
6. Monitors and Speakers
Large monitors for video conferences are a must-have, along with high-quality microphones and speakers to make contributing easy. Small, external speakers are better than speakers built into a computer, because oftentimes computer speakers won’t operate on the sound system or are too hard to hear if they do.
7. Chairs on Which People Actually Want to Sit
The average meeting length is between 30 and 60 minutes. That’s an awfully long time to be sitting on something that feels like a high school bleacher. Comfortable chairs keep your attendees comfortable and happy participating, and maybe even wishing your meeting would never end.
8. Wifi – and Wired Internet – that Works
Sometimes meeting rooms in coworking spaces, shared offices and conference facilities are located on the outer perimeter of the floor plan, for privacy. While privacy is important, a wifi network that works is even more so. Most people can’t go an entire day without internet access – imagine trying to run a meeting with poor wifi!
Make sure the wifi signal in your meeting room is strong and that the password is prominently posted to make logging in easy – just like your favorite coffee shop does. Meeting rooms should also offer wall outlets for the wired internet connection and cables to connect with for those. They’re perfect for attendees who need faster speeds or have spotty wifi reception.
Speaking of coffee, make sure that there’s plenty of it and that it’s easy to find, along with mugs, sugar and cream, and hot water for tea. For the people presenting at your meeting, water with a fresh slice of lemon makes it easier to speak longer and more powerfully without going hoarse in the middle of their presentation.
10. Peace, Quiet, and Privacy
Sometimes you want to keep noise out of a meeting room to make it easier for attendees to focus on the finer points of the presentation at hand. Other times you want a meeting room that keeps noise inside during those boisterous employee pep rallies or regional sales meetings. Make sure the meeting room you select for your event prevents noise leakage both ways and is conducive to getting the job done right.