If you’ve ever seen that show “The Office” then you will remember that the boss is often getting hair-brained ideas and shouting out, “Everyone! Conference room! Five minutes!”  If you’ve ever worked in an office, then you know how legitimate that scenario can be.  If you’ve ever been in a conference room at all, for any reason, then you know that they usually aren’t the most exciting and relaxing of places.

Conference rooms are fast becoming a part of everyday life for a vast majority of the population, and it would behoove business owners and office managers to make a worthwhile investment and transform their conference room into a more comfortable, and over-all brighter, space for their employees and clients.

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Lighting –  perhaps the most crucial player in achieving comfort.  Dimmers are an absolute must.  These are necessary for presentations so that the participants can continue taking notes, and also to help them maintain a certain level of alertness (which is a nice way of saying: so they don’t fall asleep!).  Avoiding reflective surfaces goes hand in hand with lighting.

Interior – probably second to lighting.  Incorporating outside elements into a conference room offers peace to anyone present.  Faux brick panels have become a real asset in this department.  If there are a lot of windows, consider bringing out the wall spaces in between them to look like stanchions or pillars and cover them with the faux brick panels.  Add plants to help keep the air clean and contribute to the overall atmosphere.  Choose colors that are simultaneously natural and neutral.

Decoration – It turns out that a conference doesn’t really have to be decorated.  Incorporating subtle changes into the interior of the room will inadvertently take care of the decorating.  After all, if you’re using the faux brick panels, there is no need to try and cover that space like you would have if it had remained a plain boring wall.  One or two small paintings in strategic locations are acceptable, but using the working parts of the room to it’s advantage is recommended.  A coffee bar would be a great way to take up one, unused corner of the room.  You should be offering beverages to your clients anyway, so installing a few classy cupboards shouldn’t be a problem.

Furniture – the final step.  A room can be decorated nicely, properly lit, and over-all perceived as comfortable, but the wrong furniture can completely take away from all of that.  Whatever you may have saved on economical lighting, subtle interior, and minimal decoration should absolutely be funneled into the furniture fund.  Everybody always notices if a chair is uncomfortable to sit in!  Say “no” to having that kind of conference room.  Try to find a table that isn’t too reflective.  Perhaps add tall cupboards on either side of the projection screen, but otherwise try to keep storage to a minimum.  The conference room is meant for conferences, so there shouldn’t be that much need for available storage in there, which will make the space feel smaller and more cluttered.