The meeting room could either be the stepping stone for launching a successful convention, or for sending it to its grave.
A lot depends on its architecture and few other key features. Here are some easy rules on choosing the perfect meeting room. A meeting that starts well can already be considered as halfway successful. A good start is also a matter of numbers: the size of the room, the distance from the stage, screen visibility, seating spaces and space for moving around. Those who feel uncomfortable become impatient, miserable and tend to be unhappy with everything else.
Large congress centers already have many perfectly equipped and “measured” meeting rooms, but hotels, residences etc. usually have multipurpose meeting rooms that are furnished or arranged according to each customer’s need. In this case you should pay attention to proportion and measurements!
Here are some magic measurements that, when followed correctly, solve most of your problems. As a result of this planning, speakers will have a better relationship with the audience and participants will feel comfortable and at ease, ready to listen.
Bear in mind that when a room is too full it becomes suffocating and makes people uneasy while an almost empty room indicates poor organization which translates to sadness.
Size of the meeting room: calculate 1.5 sqm per person including the corridors and steps in front and behind, excluding the stage. For 100 people it takes 150 sqm (unless the use of special props is required).
Height of room: no less than 3 meters for a 10 meters long room. Only then we can have a screen 1.80 meters high (which is the minimum) starting from 1.20 m (the height of a seated person) up to the ceiling. For longer meeting rooms calculate at least an additional 60 cm every 10 meters. These are minimum required measurements.
Proportions: the ideal meeting room is a rectangle long twice its width. If the room is short and large the listeners sat at sides will be very uncomfortable, while if it’s long and narrow the ones sitting in the back will have trouble seeing the stage. In this case you should equip the room with additional monitors. People poorly seeing will listen poorly and they will go home disappointed.
Corridors and passages: keep at least 150 cm of corridor (between center and sides) for a row of 10 chairs and add 15 cm for each additional chair. If a row has more than 12 chairs a central corridor is required. It will shorten the time of entry and exit and the listeners will not feel “caged”. Usually in hotels chairs and rows are already arranged but believe me: check and try not to get under the measures I mentioned.
Distance between chairs: calculate at least 70 cm in width for every place and about 60 cm deep for each chair + 30-40 cm for passing. Each row will then take about 90-100 cm. To make it simple: 10 rows = 10 meters!
Field of vision: perpendicularly to the center of the screen trace a 90° corner (45° per side) . Who’s inside will see well, who is out will not. If the room is very large you can make shorter lines in front and gradually longer ones on the back. This simple trick will create free space and avoid discontent.
With these magic measures everything becomes much easier than you feared, but from experience I can tell that making mistakes is easier than you think as well!
Good measures and good work.
- Room Surface: 1.5 sqm per person
- Minimum height of the room: 3 x 10 + 60 cm every additional 10 m
- Ideal proportion of the room: 2 x 1
- Corridors: 150 cm every 10 seats in each row
- Chair Dimensions: 70 cm wide, 100 cm depth
- Field of vision: less than 90° from the center of the screen