With more teams embracing hybrid work, meeting rooms must keep up with evolving needs. After all, there’s nothing more frustrating than spending more time battling with ineffective tech setups or arranging chairs than on the meeting itself.

As meetings are a key way for teams to make crucial decisions, it is important that modern meeting rooms are set up for maximum productivity. With constantly evolving legislation around accessibility and security, facility managers must also ensure their spaces comply with legal requirements.

Read on if your meeting rooms no longer adequately support your hybrid dynamics. This article will cover how to set up a meeting room in the most effective, practical, and compliant way possible.


Quick Summary:

  • Factors to consider before setting up a meeting room include the room’s equipment, layout, and accessibility.
  • Using booking tools, setting rules, and personalizing the space are just some ways you can set up a meeting room for success.
  • Popular meeting room configurations include U-shape, boardroom, and classroom style.

Things to Consider Before Setting up a Meeting Room

Workplace managers should consider several key factors when setting up a meeting room to ensure that the space is functional.

meeting room considerations

Physical Space

An effective meeting room should be spacious enough to accommodate the expected headcount while allowing for easy movement.

Acoustics also play a vital role in the success of meetings, as the room requires enough insulation or soundproofing to prevent external noise from being disruptive.

Consider the space’s light source, too. Studies show that natural light increases well-being, productivity, and creativity. So, if possible, choose a space that has a window.

Headcount

Consider the average number of meeting attendees in both physical and virtual meetings to ensure that the room can handle peak usage without making the participants feel cramped.

Technology

A well-equipped meeting room is pivotal for seamless hybrid meetings. Essential technologies for meeting rooms include:

  • A sufficient number of power sockets
  • High-quality projectors or TV screens
  • Smart screens
  • Strong Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Webcams
  • Clear audio systems with microphones

Hybrid work solutions like OfficeRnD Hybrid can also enhance the functionality of your meeting spaces with simple communication and meeting room booking functions that integrate with your tech stack.

Safety

Privacy and compliance with local safety regulations and laws are non-negotiable when it comes to meeting rooms. Ensure the space you choose meets all necessary standards for heating, cooling, and ventilation to maintain a comfortable environment.

Here are a few more tips:

  • Install fire extinguishers in the room
  • Know where the closest first aid kit is located
  • Understand company procedure in case of slips, trips, falls, or medical emergencies

Furniture Configuration

Choose furniture that facilitates visibility and comfort. Tables and chairs should be arranged so that all participants, including those joining remotely, have clear views of the screens being used and each other.

Accessibility

It is important that your meeting room caters to individuals with disabilities, including those with visual and hearing impairments.

Make sure that signage is clear, equipment placement is within reach for all, and entrances are wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs per ADA Accessible Design Standards for relevant businesses with more than 15 employees.

How to Set Up a Meeting Room Effectively: 4 Tips

Try these four essential tips to create an efficient and welcoming environment that meets the needs of remote participants and in-person team members.

1. Utilize Booking and Tracking Tools

Robust booking software can simplify the process of scheduling meetings and provide valuable data on room utilization. OfficeRnD Hybrid, for instance, can help you manage your resources and ensure that every team member can book a meeting space without hassle. It can also tell you how your meeting rooms are being used, allowing you to make adjustments as needed.

2. Invest in the Right Equipment for Hybrid Teams

To accommodate remote and local participants, ensure your meeting room is equipped with high-quality video conferencing technology. Confirm that the software is mobile-friendly and supported by strong customer support — features that are crucial for maintaining seamless communication.

people in a hybrid meeting

Spotify, for example, uses smart monitors in various configurations (for 2, 4, or 10+ participants) to ensure everyone, regardless of location, can participate fully in meetings.

For further reading on the topic, don’t miss this guide on the best hybrid meeting equipment.

And here’s a great guide on how to conduct a successful hybrid meeting.

3. Establish Clear Room Usage Rules

Create and display guidelines on using the meeting room — for instance:

  • How to use the equipment and digital displays
  • Access instructions for the Wi-Fi
  • How to adhere to health and safety standards

This helps to maintain order in the space and ensures all team members are on the same page.

4. Personalize your Space

Make the meeting room inviting and comfortable by infusing it with elements that reflect your company culture.

Adding plants, for example, boosts productivity and enhances employee well-being. Fun colors or unique furniture, like bean bag chairs, can make the space more relaxed and engaging.

To further personalize your meeting room and transform it into a hub of collaboration and productivity, you can use meeting services.

Some hybrid work management software such as OfficeRnD Hybrid allows you to order catering, room layout reorganization, and technical setup when you book the meeting room. Learn more about that amazing feature here.

Meeting Room Setup Ideas

Fifty-two percent of people feel less connected to their coworkers since working remotely in the post-COVID-19 era. Optimal meeting room configurations are vital to encouraging collaboration among hybrid teams and ensuring effective communication in meetings.

Let’s take a look at some common meeting room layouts.

Hollow Square

Best for: Brainstorming sessions, training, presentations, workshops, video conference meetings.

The hollow square configuration features desks arranged in a rectangle with an empty center, allowing the attendees to face each other. This layout is particularly effective for promoting engagement and interaction among participants.

Rooms arranged in a hollow square configuration provide an environment where everyone can contribute equally, making it ideal for collaborative tasks such as brainstorming and workshops. The open center also provides a communal space that can be used for demonstrations or to display shared materials.

U-Shape

Best for: Brainstorming sessions, training, presentations, workshops, and video conference meetings.

u shaped room

Similar to the hollow square, the U-shape arrangement involves desks set in a “U” configuration with an open end. This setup is excellent for facilitating face-to-face interaction among participants while allowing clear visibility for remote attendees.

The open part of the “U” is perfect for positioning a smart screen or whiteboard, allowing presenters or speakers to effectively address and engage with the group.

The U shape is versatile, supporting collaborative activities and more focused presentations.

Boardroom

Best for: Formal meetings, executive sessions, and decision-making discussions.

The classic boardroom style setup includes a large, central table with chairs conducive to formal and executive meetings. This conference room layout encourages open discussions between in-person and remote meeting participants and is ideal for decision-making sessions where each participant’s input is valuable.

The boardroom style fosters a sense of equality and intimacy, making it suitable for high-stakes meetings and negotiations where every voice needs to be heard and considered.

Classroom

Best for: Training, presentations, workshops, large groups, events, and video conferences.

A classroom setup consists of multiple rows of chairs or tables, all facing in one direction toward a speaker or presentation area. This layout is optimal when the focus is on the presenter, making it ideal for training sessions, lectures, or meetings where information needs to be disseminated efficiently to a larger group or streamed to remote participants.

This conference room setup minimizes distractions and maximizes attention on the content being presented, which can be further enhanced with the use of multimedia tools.

Pods

Best for: One-on-one meetings, video meetings, private discussions, and performance reviews.

Pods are an innovative solution for more intimate or small-scale interactions, especially in offices with frequent one-on-one meetings or limited space. Plus, studies indicate they are more cost-effective and space-efficient than traditional meeting rooms.

These smaller, enclosed spaces are ideal for private discussions, performance reviews, or video calls, as they provide a quiet and contained environment for focused communication.

A Complete Meeting Room Setup Checklist

Use the checklist below to ensure your meeting room meets all the criteria for your meeting, whether in person, virtual, or hybrid.

meeting room setup checklist

Purpose

Knowing the purpose of your meeting helps you select the most suitable room layout and ensures the room is prepared to meet specific needs.

To make sure you can set up a meeting room that meets the meeting’s objectives, consider:

  • The number of participants: This affects the size of the room needed and how it will be arranged.
  • Whether the meeting is formal or informal: This determines the style and setting of the room.
  • Whether the meeting will be interactive or presentation-focused: This influences the seating and technology arrangement.
  • The meeting type: Will it be in-person, remote, or hybrid? Each requires a different setup for furniture, technology, and layout.

Booking and Management

Organizing logistics in advance helps ensure that everything runs smoothly on the day of the meeting. With new technologies, there are many innovative ways to effectively book and manage meeting rooms.

To ensure meeting room booking goes smoothly:

  • Set the date and time: Confirm that all participants are available.
  • Send invitations: Include all necessary details, like the time, venue, and agenda.
  • Book the meeting room: Use a reliable booking system to reserve your space.

Configuration

Tailor the room configuration to the meeting’s purpose and the number of attendees. To determine the appropriate configuration:

  • Pick a room with adequate capacity: Ensure enough chairs and desks are available for all the in-person participants.
  • Select the optimal layout: Arrange the room in advance to suit the meeting style, whether it’s a U-shape for interactive sessions or a classroom setup for presentations.

Accessibility

Ensure the meeting space is accessible and safe for all participants. Make sure you understand the unique needs of participants with physical disabilities or hearing or visual impairments and prepare appropriately.

Check the following:

  • Wheelchair access: Confirm the room and building are accessible and no obstructions block the entrance.
  • Cable management: Secure or remove loose cables to prevent trips and falls.
  • Furniture and space: If necessary, adjust desk and screen heights to accommodate all attendees comfortably and ensure there is space for wheelchairs, service animals, personal assistants, or interpreters.
  • Presentations: Ensure readable fonts are used. Provide printed text materials of any audio elements for people with hearing impairments. You could also make reports and slides available in different formats upon request.

office workers

Temperature and Lighting

The right environment can significantly enhance focus and productivity. Therefore, the ideal meeting space will take into account elements such as lighting and temperature.

Consider the following environmental factors for a successful meeting space:

  • Temperature: The peak temperature for focus is 71.6º Fahrenheit (22º Celsius), which is an ideal setting to maintain a comfortable environment.
  • Ventilation: Open windows or use air conditioning to keep air circulating.
  • Lighting: Adjust lighting levels as necessary to reduce glare on screens while ensuring the room is well-lit to reduce the risk of eye strain and headaches.

Equipment

Having the right technology in place is critical for all types of meetings, especially hybrid ones. Conference calls need clear video and sound, and a strong Internet connection is vital, particularly for those connecting on mobile devices.

Essential equipment includes the following:

  • A video conferencing camera: High-quality cameras are vital for hybrid meetings. Cisco even built a custom immersive collaboration room with a 360º camera.
  • Monitor or smart screen: Ensure visibility for all participants, especially those attending virtually.
  • Connectivity cables: Have HDMI, VGA, and USB cords available to connect various devices.
  • Wi-Fi connectivity: Reliable internet access is crucial for hybrid meetings to run smoothly.
  • Whiteboard and markers: These tools are useful for brainstorming sessions and visual demonstrations.

OfficeRnD Hybrid Can Help You Set Up a Meeting Room the Right Way

Effectively managing a hybrid workplace requires not only thoughtful planning but also the right tools. When deciding how to set up a meeting room for a successful hybrid meeting, consider using the right meeting room booking software.

Here’s where OfficeRnD Hybrid shines. With it you can: :

  • Seamlessly book meeting rooms (and desks) on a beautiful floor plan
  • Get insights into meeting space usage to optimize your space better
  • Order meeting services such as catering, room layout organization, technical setup, and more, to enjoy a more productive gathering.
  • Add displays at the door of each room
  • …and much more!

If you want to focus more on productivity and less on logistical challenges, book a live demo with OfficeRnD Hybrid today, or click here to start for free right now.

FAQ

How Do You Set Up a Meeting Room?

To set up a meeting room for success, consider the layout of the room, the furniture configuration, how many people will attend (both in person and online), the necessary equipment and technology, safety and accessibility, and the tools you’ll use.

What Are 4 Examples of Room Setup Styles?

Four top meeting room setups are hollow square, U-shape, boardroom, and classroom. The best one for you will depend on the objective of your meeting.

What Should Be in a Meeting Room?

To ensure your meeting is collaborative and productive, include the right tech (smart screens, video conferencing, microphones, etc.), sufficient chairs and tables, whiteboards if needed, and good lighting and ventilation.

How do I Set up a Room for a Business Meeting?

To set up a room for a business meeting, arrange seating to foster interaction and ensure all participants can see each other. Equip the space with necessary technology like a projector, screen, and reliable Wi-Fi. Providing materials such as pens, notepads, and refreshments can also enhance comfort and productivity during the meeting.

What is Meeting Room Layout?

A meeting room layout refers to the arrangement of furniture and equipment within a space to facilitate effective communication and interaction during meetings. Common layouts include boardroom style, which features a large central table with chairs around it; U-shaped, which arranges tables in a U formation open at one end; classroom style with rows of tables facing the front; and theater style, which is similar to classroom but typically without tables, maximizing seating for larger groups. Each layout is chosen based on the meeting’s purpose and the number of attendees.

Miro Miroslavov
CEO and Co-founder of OfficeRnD
Miro Miroslavov is a software engineer turned into a tech entrepreneur. In 2015 he co-founded OfficeRnD - a leading flex space and hybrid work management platform. As a CEO at OfficeRnD, he grew the company from inception to a leading software vendor that serves thousands of customers worldwide. He is a big fan of flexible working and is on a mission to "Making Flexible Working the Way of Working".