Meeting Room Eqquipment Checklist Essay
Equipment and that may be required for the meeting room: * Overhead projector * Slide projector * Film projector * Projection stands * Remote control for projectors * Screens * Video equipment: VHS, DVD, teleconferencing * Microphones * Radio * Computer * Mouse * Auxiliary equipment: laser pointers, flip charts, slide trays * Lighting * Loudspeakers Many meetings are relatively informal, held in meeting rooms ‘on-site’ and do not warrant extensive planning of the venue as such. On the other hand, big important meetings held off-site at unfamiliar venues very definitely require a lot of careful planning of the venue layout and facilities.
Plan the venue according to the situation – leave nothing to chance. Venue choice is critical for certain sensitive meetings, but far less so for routine, in-house gatherings. Whatever, there are certain preparations that are essential, and never leave it all to the hotel conference organiser or your own facilities department unless you trust them implicitly. Other people will do their best but they’re not you, and they can’t know exactly what you want. You must ensure the room is right – mainly, that it is big enough with all relevant equipment and services.
It’s too late to start hunting for a 20ft power extension lead five minutes before the meeting starts. Other aspects that you need to check or even set up personally are: * table and seating layout * top-table (if relevant) position * tables for demonstration items, paperwork, hand-outs, etc * electricity power points and extensions * heating and lighting controls * projection and flip chart equipment positioning and correct operation * whereabouts of toilets and emergency exits – fire drill * confirm reception and catering arrangements * back-up equipment contingency
All of the above can and will go wrong unless you check and confirm – when you book the venue and then again a few days before the meeting. For a big important meeting, you should also arrive an hour early to check everything is as you want it. Some meetings are difficult enough without having to deal with domestic or logistics emergencies; and remember if anything goes wrong it reflects on you – it’s your credibility, reputation and control that’s at stake. Positioning of seating and tables is important, and for certain types of meetings it’s crucial.
Ensure the layout is appropriate for the occasion: * Formal presentations to large groups – theatre-style – the audience in rows, preferably with tables, facing the chairman. * Medium-sized participative meetings – horse-shoe (U) table layout with the open part of the U facing the chairman’s table, or delegates’ tables arranged ‘cabaret’ style. * Small meetings for debate and discussion – board-room style – one rectangular table with chairman at one end. * Relaxed team meetings for planning and creative sessions – lounge style, with easy chairs and coffee tables.
Your own positioning in relation to the group is important. If you are confident and comfortable and your authority is in no doubt you should sit close to the others, and can even sit among people. If you expect challenge or need to control the group strongly set yourself further away and clearly central, behind a top-table at the head of things. Ensure everyone can see screens and flip charts properly – actually sit in the chairs to check – you’ll be surprised how poor the view is from certain positions.
Set up of projectors and screens is important – strive for the perfect rectangular image, as this gives a professional, controlled impression as soon as you start. Experiment with the adjustment of projector and screen until it’s how you want it. If you are using LCD projector and overhead projector (a rare beast these days) you may need two screens. A plain white wall is often better than a poor screen. People from the western world read from left to right, so if you want to present anything in order using different media, set it up so that people can follow it naturally from left to right.
For instance show introductory bullet points (say on a flip chart on the left – as the audience sees it) and the detail for each point (say on projector and screen on the right). Position screens and flip chart where they can be used comfortably without obscuring the view. Ensure the speaker/chairman’s position is to the side of the screen, not in front of it obscuring the view. Ensure any extension leads and wiring is taped to the floor or otherwise safely covered and protected. Supply additional flip chart easels and paper, or write-on acetates and pens, for syndicate work if applicable.
You can also ask people to bring laptops for exercises and presentation to the group assuming you have LCD projector is available and compatible. In venues that have not been purpose-built for modern presentations, sometimes the lighting is problematical. If there are strong fluorescent lights above the screen that cannot be switched off independently, it is sometimes possible for them to be temporarily disconnected (by removing the starter, which is a small plastic cylinder plugged into the side of the tube holder).
In older buildings it sometimes possible to temporarily remove offending light-bulbs if they are spoiling the visual display, but always enlist the help of one of the venue’s staff rather than resorting to DIY. Finally, look after the venue’s staff – you need them on your side. Most business users treat hotel and conference staff disdainfully – show them some respect and appreciation and they will be more than helpful.