Designing and Delivering the Most Collaborative Hybrid Meeting Experience, Part 2: Space Factors

A hybrid meeting is a gathering that features at least one group of in-person attendees connecting virtually with other meeting attendees. This series offers insight into designing and delivering the best hybrid meeting experience for your users or clients.

In Part 1 we summarized the factors to consider when designing a hybrid meeting space. This chapter will touch on meeting space and room factors.

With the increased demand for hybrid meeting spaces, rooms of all shapes and sizes are being equipped with state-of-the-art video conferencing devices to bring a dynamic mix of in-office and virtual attendees together like never before.

While ongoing advancements in video conferencing technologies and products continue to wow, the best results are achieved when architects, designers, furniture providers, technology integrators and end-users collaborate early in the design process.

 

 

Key Considerations

The following architectural and other supporting elements of the best-designed meeting spaces fit together like pieces of a puzzle.

Room Size

  • There is no one-size-fits-all hybrid meeting space. Most companies will configure multiple rooms of various sizes and furniture arrangements.
  • The larger the room and number of participants, the more challenging it becomes to create a hybrid meeting environment that delivers a productive and enjoyable experience, especially for remote attendees.
  • Preconfigured video conferencing systems can work well for up to ten on-site participants. Rooms that host larger meetings typically require more sophisticated video and audio design.

Lighting

  • Lighting can significantly impact the appearance of the on-site participants to those who are remote. Lighting should be evenly distributed and positioned to avoid unflattering facial shadows.
  • Room designers should also consider factors such as background color and window treatments.

Sound

  • Quality audio starts with room acoustics. The more sound-absorbing surfaces in the room, the better the audio quality at both ends will be.

Furniture

  • Configure furniture to suit the size of the space and optimize viewing by all participants. Tapered or rounded tables are helpful for both the camera’s field of view and the participants’ view of the room monitor(s).
  • Mobile furniture can offer flexibility for multiple meeting configurations. Carts for video displays and AV equipment can allow users to arrange spaces to suit their needs.

Digital + Analog Tools

  • A range of digital and analog tools are available to help share and capture whiteboard-type co-creation work for all participants.
  • Content cameras focused on marker boards or flip charts significantly benefit productive collaboration.
  • Digital whiteboards enable co-creation between in-person and remote participants.
  • The use and placement of such devices must not be overlooked when configuring hybrid meeting spaces.

 

The next part of this series will focus on technology considerations for hybrid meeting spaces.