How to plan a conference room?
There are three areas in a company that make a distinct impression: Reception Area, Conference Room and CEO/President’s office. The conference room can make a statement about the company in many ways. There are many alternatives available for fitting out a conference room. By working with an authorized office furniture dealer, the purchasing process can be simplified dramatically. The three key factors in determining how to fit out a conference room are: budget, style preference and room size. Conference room fit outs can take up a big part of the overall office furniture budget. In general laminate product is less expensive than wood veneer. Laminate may lack the beauty of wood veneer but it is a much more durable product plus it is easier to maintain and keep clean. The size of the room is critical in terms of the size of the table to put in the room. Over or under estimating the size of the appropriate conference table is a common mistake. The size of the table is the rule of thumb on how many people it will accommodate. A 6’ table will comfortably accommodate 6 people, 8’ for 8, 10’ for 10, etc. Most tables 8’ long or more are generally 42” or 48” wide. Other things that go into a conference room that are critical in determining the appropriate table size are a Wall Conference Board and Storage/Serving Credenza. Without a Wall Conference Board, it is best to allow approximately 3’ at each end and on both sides for chairs and traffic flow. A chair by itself takes up approximately 2 sf. With a Wall Conference Board and/or Storage Credenza, an additional 3’ at the Wall Conference Board is recommended. Once you determine the appropriate size, the next question to be answered is styling. There is no right or wrong in terms of style, it is a personal taste issue. The three main styles are contemporary, transitional and traditional. Due to trim and hardware, traditional in general is the most expensive option. The seating chosen should be consistent with the style of table and can be in either leather or fabric. The other decision in terms of seating is whether or not to have wheels or a sled base. The trend today tends to be more conference seating with a 5 star base and wheels. The downside of chairs with wheels or casters on a 5 star base, is that the height of the chair is typically adjusted by a pneumatic gas cylinder. Chair seats that are adjusted too high can bang into the conference table top and nick it up or cause serious damage. Sled base chairs, typically less expensive than swivel chairs with casters, are less prone to damage since the height is not adjustable. Another factor to explore today when planning a conference room is computer/data/electric capability. Many manufacturers today offer ready to go Power Modules for data and phone capability.
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