Picking The Right Meeting Room Layout

By: MicroTek Team
07/03/2019

A meeting space isn't just a room with a big table and a few chairs around the perimeter. Well, it can be. But depending on your goals and activities you've got planned for the session, that might not necessarily be the best way to arrange your space. We've outlined a few of the most popular room setups at dedicated meeting facilities.


Classroom

Classroom Style

This meeting room setup is perfect for any event where the presenter at the front of the room is the primary focus. It allows the session host to easily engage with anyone in the audience. This layout is also great for collaboration sessions that require individual work spaces to interact with desktop or laptop computers, materials on desks. This layout makes it a breeze to accommodate remote attendees too! Some of the most common events that utilize this room configuration are:

  • HR events
  • Informational Meetings
  • Lectures
  • Hack-a-thons
  • Educational presentations

 

READ: 12 Meeting Room Essentials That Will Make or Break Your Collab Session

 

Pods

Team Pods

This meeting room layout is designed to make it easier for attendees to engage with one another. Team pods are great for events that require your team to work together and collaborate in smaller groups.  It's important to keep in mind that this layout might not be as conducive to presentations given to the entire room, as participants will be facing one another and all different directions; they may not necessarily have their attention directed towards the front of the room. The most common applications for this room configuration are:

  • Workshops
  • Group work
  • Team-building sessions
  • Problem solving and brainstorming sessions
  • Hands-on activities

 

U-Shape

U-Shape Style

The U-shape room configuration is perhaps one of the most versatile of the bunch. Setting up your meeting room in this arrangement provides a great balance between inter-participant collaboration and presentation capability. Positioning a projector screen at the front of the room (at the open end of the "U") allows everyone seated to easily view the presentation. The arrangement of seats allows participants to easily engage with participants on opposite and adjacent sides of the shape while working with individual notes or materials. However, communicating with participants on the same side of the room is slightly more difficult due to more limited lines of sight. If you don't need to have a dedicated area for a main speaker or presentation, you may want to opt for a layout that caters exclusively to collaboration. This layout is most often used for:

  • Committee hearings
  • Presentations that require lots of feedback and discourse
  • Internal and partner product pitches
  • Academic panel discussions

 

READ: Measuring Meeting Success: 6 Key Meeting KPIs You Should Be Tracking

 

Boardroom-1

Boardroom

Boardrooms are the best layout for creating an even playing field for all participants. This room configuration is ideal for smaller, more intimate meetings and collaboration sessions, allowing all participants to make eye contact and communicate without having to shout across the room. Utilizing a round or oval shaped table in this configuration is a great way to improve lines of sight. This layout is commonly used for:

  • Executive presentations
  • Small group discussions
  • Interdepartmental leadership meetings
  • Partner and client meetings

 

theater

Theater Style

Commonly used for larger events, theater style rooms are best suited for events where the communication is largely unidirectional, coming from a keynote speaker or presenter. Without tables or desks, this layout allows event hosts to maximize the real estate in a space, fitting the most attendees possible. However, it also means that attendees don't have much room for individual work, computers, or note-taking. If those are things your attendees may need to do, you may want to consider a classroom or U-shape layout instead. Some typical theater style room layouts include:

  • Product launches and announcements
  • Seminars
  • Symposiums
  • Informational lectures


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