When you think of a corporate boardroom, you probably envision a large space dominated by a mahogany table and leather chairs. There may be a speakerphone and old gooseneck microphones along with a projector for PowerPoint presentations.
Boardrooms are typically used just four days a year, so few organizations give much thought to updating them. That’s unfortunate because the boardroom can and should be one of the most dynamic rooms in the building. Modern technology can create an integrated, collaborative space that will impress clients and investors and facilitate executive decision-making.
It all starts with an integrated approach to boardroom design. Consider all the technology tools that are available in many offices today — an IP phone, video conferencing capabilities, a large-format display, and a docking station for mobile devices. Any huddle room, conference room or meeting facility should replicate that user experience, and the boardroom is no exception.
Boardrooms are also unique in that they must keep the needs and preferences of executives in mind. The technology needs to be simple to use, yet project a sleek, state-of-the-art look that enhances the organization’s image.
Acoustics are extremely important. Many executive management teams are scattered across the country and around the globe. Meetings aren’t going to be very productive if remote participants can’t hear what’s being said. In order for voice and video conferences to be crystal clear, you need the right communication platform and intelligent microphones and speakers.
Here are some things to consider when planning your boardroom makeover:
- High-definition video. Many organizations are replacing projectors and screens with large-format HD video displays, or even tiled videowalls that can be used to display one large image or multiple windows of content. Tiled videowalls can be integrated with video conferencing systems to give each remote participant his or her own screen.
- High-fidelity audio. A high-end sound system will provide crisp audio no matter where you are seated in the room. Audio/visual (A/V) professionals will know how to position speakers to optimize audio quality.
- Lighting control. The boardroom should be well lit, but should include easy-to-use controls for dimming lights and closing windows shades during video conferences and presentations. Energy management tools can turn off lights when the room is not in use and even adjust the thermostat based upon the meeting calendar.
- Networking. Do you have adequate network bandwidth to support video conferences and high-definition video streaming? Are there sufficient wireless access points in the boardroom to provide connectivity to mobile devices and A/V equipment? A network upgrade may be required to ensure that everything works seamlessly.
- Control panel. Legacy control panels are clunky and hard to use. The latest solutions feature touchscreen technology with a simple, intuitive interface. Ideally, a consistent control panel design will be used across every meeting space in the building.
A boardroom makeover will require a lot of planning and the coordination of multiple vendors. IT and facilities teams can benefit from the expertise of A/V professionals who understand the latest technologies and effective boardroom design. Rahi’s dedicated A/V team has extensive experience in the design, implementation and support of state-of-the-art A/V equipment and can develop a solution that meets your needs and goals.