Meeting Rooms: Four Areas You are Focusing On; Are You?
Earlier this week, the results of a September, study conducted by BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Information Neurotechnologies) were published in an article from SuccessfulMeetings.com. The article focused on how this research can help design meeting rooms that are optimized to harness ‘brain power’. This study is part of President Obama’s $100 million initiative to better understand how the brain works and how to effectively channel that understanding into technology.
The article is detailed and runs over three pages, so we’ve summarized the salient points below. We do urge you to read it in its entirety , however. Why? Because it details what some of the major hospitality brands are doing with this data. So if you are renting out meeting room, read and take notes.
1.- Lighting: Considered very important to ‘state of mind’ according to Sally Augustin, Ph.D and practicing environmental psychologist. “Warm color boosts our mood and lets us get along better with others,” says Augustin. Apparently it’s also a good way of calming down and evening out high energy individuals for a more productive meeting. Lighting that is too dark may make meeting participants sleepy; too bright can put people on edge.
2.- Acoustics: More specifically, noise reduction. While your meeting room is not a sound stage, how sound travels is a key component of overall experience. Designing your space in ways that blocks unwanted noise will have a positive impact on the meeting. According to Holly Meadows Baird, a registered interior designer, “Audiovisual equipment and sound systems help, but frequently cannot compensate for a poorly designed room.”
3.- Ergonomics: According to research, rigid chairs will make meeting attendees less flexible in negotiations. If this sounds spurious to you, note that Westin has created what they call the ‘Performance Meeting Chair’, a comfortable and functional chair that is getting good reviews from their meeting participants. According to the study, the way a participant feels when he or she sits down can make or break the meeting. So it may be time to stop dumping all the office ‘reject’ chairs in the meeting room
4.- Biophilia: Or, better known as ‘plants’. According to Harvard biologist, Edward O. Wilson, interactions with nature in an office result in positive gains in productivity and learning comprehension. Many hospitality suites are installing vertical gardens, which are not only pleasing to the eye, but also serve to improve indoor air quality.
This may be a good time to sit down and do a personal spot-check on your next meeting booking.
Posted by VenturePoint on 1st February, 2015
Updated March 2022