43 Conference Design & Set up Ideas Every Conference Planner Should Have

Conferences design are huge events with many different moving parts. They require a lot of planning, coordination, and execution from professional event companies to have any hope of being successful. For smaller conferences, much of this fall on the shoulders of one or two people. Larger conferences will have committees that work for months to ensure that things run smoothly on event day.

One aspect that is often overlooked by conference planners is the room layout and design. There are so many other issues to consider like food, speakers, awards/recognition—that there isn’t time left over for figuring out how to make sure attendees stay engaged during sessions. Well-designed conference rooms can go a long way toward enhancing attendee engagement during presentations. They can also affect the professional and personal interactions that occur during down time between presentations. Using event technologies lately has also helped conference planners organise their events better.

Here is a list of 6 conference design room layout.

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42 Conference Design & Set up Ideas 3 42 Conference Design & Set up Ideas 3

1) Start with a Blank Canvas

Think outside the box and consider all of the possibilities. A blank canvas can be difficult for some to grasp; allow your physical space to inspire you as you plan your conference room setup. If your conference rooms are anything like those found in some companies, they may already have permanent structures such as windowed offices or pillars that must remain in place during the event. Working within those parameters will save you some headaches along the way; however, some flexibility needs to remain a top priority so that things don’t become too restrictive.

2) Add a Touch of Nature

What better way to generate some excitement for an event than by adding some greenery? Green plants can be added in creative ways such as lining the front edge of raised platforms where presenters will be speaking. Using potted plants will add color and warmth while also creating a more inviting presentation space. While you’re at it, consider adding flowers or herbs so that attendees can enjoy them after the conference ends. If your budget is extremely limited, there are plenty of low-cost options for adding greenery to any room including using silk plants, hanging vines from walls or ceilings ,and having bare branches draping over tabletops. The time and effort it takes to create these visual effects will pay off when professional and personal interactions between attendees increase because of the more inviting nature of the conference spaces.

3) Utilize Natural Light

Use sunlight to your advantage by opening up room lighting with large windows or wall-mounted skylights . Make sure that any window coverings don’t weigh down the walls they’re attached to, however. Keep in mind that a dark, enclosed space will probably not be suitable for most meetings unless you have dimmable lighting so that you can adjust brightness levels accordingly. If it isn’t possible to have large windows or skylights, consider using portable projectors instead to create a stunning skyline effect on conference room walls and ensure everyone can see your projected content from wherever they are sitting.

4) Think about Acoustics

Make sure you have the right number of microphones for presenters so that everyone can easily hear them. For optimal sound, speakers should be about 6 feet in front of the microphone stand and at least 2x the distance from the nearest person to the speaker. If your room is larger than it needs to be, circulate a sign-up sheet around break times so attendees who want to speak can reserve a slot during a presentation.

5) Add Creative Seating

Most conference rooms will come with a basic set of chairs or tables; consider putting some spin on these items by using multi-purpose pieces such as stacking chairs that can be used for impromptu seating arrangements when needed. Chairs with attached are also great for impromptu seating and can also be stacked when they are not in use.

6) Reflect on Lighting Choices

There are many types of light bulbs that come with different light temperatures, so consider having a mix of them for varied settings depending on which activity will take place. I f the room is used for presentations, you’ll typically want to have warm-toned lights for their flattering effects. If it’s being used for meetings, try using cool-toned lighting to enhance concentration while deliberating decisions if your meeting calls for brainstorming or any other creative contributions from attendees. Natural, overhead lighting tends to work the best because it provides equal lighting across the entire room without creating shadows that potentially hinder productivity during discussions or presentations . Keep in mind that you will need to use dimmable lighting if possible.

7) Add Comfortable Seating

Nothing kills productivity faster than hard, rigid chairs that make it difficult for attendees to sit for longer periods of time. Keep in mind that meeting spaces are where people have discussions, give presentations, hold brainstorming sessions, and possibly even award ceremonies so they need to be comfortable spaces free of distractions . Concerted efforts should also be made towards casualizing the environment by having attendees actually take their seats rather than standing or sitting on tables during meetings or other activities. This way, your space will feel more inviting because people are actually taking advantage of all the room has to offer.

8) Decorate with Care

Be sure to clean any conference table of all papers, notes, and other distracting objects that may be on it before you actually need to use the room. Also make sure there are no loose wires or cables jutting out of the walls or ceiling because they could be tripping hazards for attendees (no one wants anyone falling down during an important meeting). These little details matter more than you think so it’s worth taking the time to ensure your space is properly set up in advance.

9) Display ‘Do Not Disturb’ signs

If your conference room will double as a private meeting area, consider having some way for people to know when that is. Simply placing signs on doors reading “do not disturb” can have that effect while simultaneously making your space look nicer by preventing distractions.

10) Hire a Pro

If you don’t have anyone on your team experienced with conference room set-up , consider hiring a event planner who has done this before to help you create the perfect space for your next event. Remember, presentation spaces should be multipurpose rooms that are useful for more than just one activity so gather as much information as possible before booking anything to ensure everyone will be pleased with their experience .

11) Designate a Meeting Room Manager

If no one on your team has experience with conference room set-up, consider having someone who is willing to be in charge of managing all aspects of the space when you book it. This way, they can make sure the room is properly cleaned and prepped for use so that attendees won’t have to deal with any inconveniences before getting down to business during their stay .

12) Offer Refreshments

Another good way to entice people into utilizing the presentation space is by offering refreshments, such as water or coffee. Offering these things will not only keep people hydrated but also promote camaraderie between other attendees while they are using your meeting rooms . You can even provide snacks if you want to make the space more food service friendly if people are expected to be in meetings or presentations for prolonged periods of time.

13) Provide Artistic Accents

No matter what type of event you’re hosting , creating a relaxing atmosphere throughout your presentation room is essential for making guests feel welcome and at ease. You can do this by adding artistic accents like flower arrangements, wall, or even candles so long as you’re not hosting a fire hazard.

14) Implement Minimalistic Lighting

Keep your lights as dim as possible so people don’t need to squint during presentations or meetings. Keeping your presentation room well lit is always preferable , but it’s best to keep the light as low as you can without making it too difficult for attendees to see . Some use of soft lighting and shading on windows will help, especially if you’re keeping the blinds closed for privacy purposes.

15) Use Daylight Wisely

If you have shades that can be pulled down over your window and carry on into the next wall, then consider doing this before any event takes place because this reduces glare from direct sunlight and will make everyone more comfortable while giving presentations .

16) Keep Windows & Doors Closed

You should always keep your windows and doors closed when hosting private events because this reduces the amount of noise you hear in the space . Plus, it’s easier to control who can enter and exit if you do so by keeping these things shut.

17) Get Creative

Think of creative ways to make your presentation room stand out among the rest . This could mean anything from a fully stocked bar to a buffet table with an extravagant setting or even a chocolate fountain that everyone can use for dipping fruits and other snacks into. If you’re hosting a meeting, then it’s best if you don’t have too many goods available because people might get the wrong idea of what is being hosted inside.

18) Keep It Clean

Cleanliness is next to godliness so do your best to keep this environment as tidy as possible at all times. If you have staff on hand, then they should be cleaning everything from carpets and floors to doorways and hallways on a daily basis . If not, then be sure to take care of the cleaning yourself at least weekly because you don’t want people thinking your business is one that’s unorganized and messy.

19) Get The Lighting Right

There are few things worse than having terrible lighting in a presentation room or meeting space . For starters, it makes it hard for attendees who need to see everything on their digital devices during your event so they can follow along with what’s happening. Secondly, poor lighting creates shadows which might block audiences from seeing any content you’re projecting onto big screens or smart boards , making them squint instead.

20) Provide Access to Fast Wifi

Offering guests access to wifi is always preferable but if can be difficult to do since some people in attendance might not actually need it and could even be a drain on the network. If this is the case , then consider requiring guests to register beforehand or at least provide them with a voucher for internet access outside of your building. It’s also possible they’ll need access in order to download any necessary materials such as presentation slides, so do your best to make sure there’s always connectivity available .

21) Ask Guests What They Need

Be sure to ask individual guests what they require before hosting events inside that space . Someone who needs an outlet will appreciate you asking about their issue ahead of time rather than them having to wait until it becomes an inconvenience. Plus, if you’re able to help out these kinds of issues ahead of time, then it’s possible you can prevent other guests from needing access to the same area because it makes it easier for you to isolate one person .

22) Buy Multiple Chargers

If certain people are going to need their own power outlets, then be sure to purchase a handful of charging docking stations so they have enough options. There’s nothing more frustrating than having only one or two available plugs during your event because this forces them to have long lines, which might result in unhappy attendees waiting too long before being able to gain access.

23) Let Attendees Know What is Expected

Though it seems obvious, many hosts fail miserably when informing people about appropriate behavior inside that presentation room or meeting space . You should never assume that everyone knows how they’re expected to behave and you should avoid using phrases like “follow me” without explaining what that means since some people might think its related to moving around while others will take it as a cue that they’re supposed to start walking around the room.

24) Designate A Space For Bags

If bags are not allowed inside your presentation room or meeting space, then you should create a specific area outside where guests can leave them because this is usually something that isn’t known until last minute. You never want people feeling uncomfortable that they have nowhere to put their belongings during your event so do your best to make sure there’s always somewhere for them .

25) Make Sure To Have Materials Handy

When holding events in these spaces, it’s important to have all necessary materials to hand, including pens , markers, highlighters , paper and even staple guns. There’s nothing worse than having people without one of these items who then come ask for it later on since you’ll likely look unorganized if you don’t have what they need due to your event being so last minute . Ensure everything has been provided beforehand so you can avoid this situation altogether.

26) Keep The Remote Accessible

If someone is going to be controlling the presentation or meeting remotely from another location but isn’t actually inside that space with everyone else , then be sure to keep the remote easily accessible. You never know when it will be needed and there’s no point forcing an attendee using a wheelchair or otherwise limited in their movements to have to go searching for it.

27) Provide Photo ID

Before hosting events of this nature, always ask what type of identification is required of attendees. Some companies might require them to bring photo ID with them so you need to know this ahead of time so there are no last minute surprises when the doors are about to open or close . Make sure everyone knows they can get inside safely by asking beforehand.

28) Be Clear About Noise Levels

If your event requires that guests remain silent during certain parts , then make sure attendees know in advance by writing it into the attendee information sheet or presenter introduction. You never want people speaking in your presentation room while someone else is in the middle of their talk otherwise it’s going to sabotage the speaker and leave them feeling frustrated. 31) Set Up A Seating Chart – If your event is set to last for an extended period of time, then you might want to consider setting up a seating chart , which can help everyone know where they’re supposed to be sitting throughout this period of time. This prevents attendees from wandering around the room while someone else is speaking or giving their presentation because it helps maintain focus on that person.

29) Make Clear Distances

If it’s possible, be sure to make any distances within your presentation room or meeting space clearly visible so guests are aware of the amount of walking involved before arriving at their seats. There’s nothing more frustrating than having people complaining about needing some extra chairs closer to the front because they can’t walk that far.

30) Accessible to Everyone

When holding events in these spaces, always be aware of the fact that not everyone will have access to a wheelchair or similar device . Some people may need assistance getting inside your presentation room and it’s up to you as the event organizer to make sure this is provided whenever possible. You don’t want anyone feeling excluded or left out because it could damage your brand image if word gets out about this situation.

31) Provide A Map

When holding events in these spaces, make sure everyone is aware of its location beforehand since this could affect how many people actually show up to your event . Even if they’re using public transport, it’s important for you as the host to provide all attendees with a physical map that shows where everything is before showing up themselves. You don’t want anyone thinking that they’ve been tricked into coming somewhere else and then having no one there waiting for them when they arrive , which will inevitably leave them feeling frustrated .

32) Prepare Your IT Team

If you plan on using audio/visual equipment during your presentation or meeting, then it’s important for you to prepare in advance , which means having the proper amount of power outlets and extension cords set up beforehand. This way, there aren’t any last minute repairs that need doing or parts that need replacing . You don’t want people feeling frustrated when they can’t hear what’s going on with the microphone or see what’s happening with their presentation because these problems could seriously damage your brand image if word gets out about them.

33) Don’t Forget The Whiteboard

If you plan on using a whiteboard or chalkboard during your event then be sure to provide all attendees with some dry-erase markers and wipe cloths beforehand so they’re not forced to do it themselves if they run out . Imagine having to stand up in the middle of a presentation and walking all the way to the board only to discover you don’t have any more markers. It will make everyone feel inconvenienced at best and irritated at worst, which could damage your brand image as people spread this news around throughout your industry.

34) Get Rid Of The Clutter

If your meeting space is cluttered , then it’s important for you as an event organizer to clean things up before everyone starts arriving so that no one feels frustrated when you try to do something during the presentations themselves. This means setting aside all desk supplies , office equipment, snacks on trays , cords lying around, etc., so that everything is completely clear for when it’s needed.

35) Don’t Forget The Pens

It may seem like a little thing, but if you plan on having an open Q&A session at the end of your event , then you need to make sure all attendees have something to write with so they can participate . You don’t want people just sitting there thinking about what they want to say because that means no one will get the most out of this section, which will ultimately damage your brand image in their eyes if word gets out about it.

36) Provide Decaf & Sugar-Free Beverages

If your meeting space doesn’t already provide these kinds of drinks by default , then consider doing so for your next event to make everyone feel better instead of worse . Think about it – imagine having to sit there and watch everyone else drink coffee or tea during the presentation and then feel frustrated because you’re forced to just look at them drink. It will destroy your brand image if word gets out about this, so do yourself a favor and provide beverages that everyone can enjoy .

37) Have A Backup Plan

When holding meetings in tight spaces , make sure you have all of your bases covered by providing an alternative plan in case something goes wrong such as everything being too far away from one another . This way, even if someone makes a mistake with the projector or accidentally unplugs something, then they can get their act together before anyone else notices what happened . You don’t want people getting stressed when they notice problems because this could damage your brand image during the event and after it’s over.

38) Don’t Let The Mic Crisp

If you plan on using a microphone for your next presentation , then be sure to test it out before the meeting begins so that people don’t have to hear a crackling sound when someone is trying to deliver a speech . You don’t want anyone feeling anxious about the audio while they’re speaking because this could easily force them to lose their train of thought while under pressure, which will certainly damage your brand image if word gets out about what happened .

39) Mute Your Cell Phone

In this day and age, it should go without saying that cell phones should never be heard in an important business setting such as the one you’re creating here, but it’s worth mentioning anyway. Imagine someone’s phone ringing in the middle of a presentation and forcing them to stop everything so they can go shut it off or answer it. It will destroy your brand image if this happens because people will look poorly on such unprofessionalism .

40) Monitor The Dress Code

If you plan on hosting events at your office , then make sure everyone knows what kind of dress code you expect for everyone to follow beforehand so that there aren’t any problems when people arrive who don’t abide by the rules that were agreed upon beforehand. You don’t want to strain relationships with potential customers or clients because they feel like they don’t fit in since this could damage your reputation and brand image.

41) Block Out Time For Post-Meeting Socializing

After the presentation , you should block out a good amount of time for people to socialize and talk about what happened . This can be done by providing food, drinks, and snacks as well as giving everyone a chance to ask questions without being rushed or under pressure from being called back to work. You don’t want people feeling stressed after they just spent an hour listening because that will damage your position in their eyes and make them think poorly of your company .

42) Take The Meeting On The Road

If you can’t host events at your office and need to do it elsewhere, then consider reserving a room at a hotel conference center instead since this will likely provide much more space for you to work with. You don’t want the event being cramped because this can annoy people and stress them out , which will damage your brand image if word gets out about what happened .

43) Arrange For A Quiet Room

If you’re planning on holding meetings that go into the night or early morning hours, then consider reserving a room that’s near where everyone is so that they feel like they have an easy way to exit without disturbing others if need be. You don’t want people feeling trapped because this could make them stressed enough to hardly make it through the meeting, which will likely do more harm than good.

We hope you found this list to be helpful during your upcoming meeting. You can find many more event planning tips on our blog