Re-Evaluating the Role of Meeting & Conference Rooms Post-Pandemic

Conference and meeting rooms have always been an integral part of doing business. Previously, it was more common for people to meet physically to tackle items on the agenda, with a few joining in remotely. The pandemic reversed the picture. Now there are more people attending meetings virtually, and fewer actually in the room.

However, virtual meetings have their limitations. Business centers in Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Delhi have state-of-the-art conference and meeting rooms geared to a post-pandemic scenario.

It has been shown that In-person meetings still matter. Here are some reasons why:

  • More involved experience – Meeting face-to-face engages the senses. It’s not just what you say but how you say it that matters. There are those all-important non-verbal cues such as eye contact and body language that can’t be duplicated through a computer
  • Reduced distractions – There is less chance of people being side-tracked by e-mails and social media messages. The peer pressure of other attendees in the room helps  keep a focus on the subject at hand
  • Keeping things off the record – People speak more freely in one-on-one situations. There’s a heightened sense of trust, less chance that something will be taken out of context
  • Brainstorming works better – Bouncing ideas back and forth happens more effectively when you are together physically than when sharing thoughts online.
  • Networking hurdles removed – Virtual meetings allow less quality time to interact with others. There just isn’t the same feeling of informality and camaraderie
  • Urgency – It’s easier to make decisions and move things along when the key people are in one room
  • Avoiding derailment by technical failures – Technical failures and glitches cannot be avoided in the best of cases. This leads to time delays and stilted responses and comes in the way of easy-flowing conversations
  • Relationship building – There’s more bonding when people get together in a meeting room than just on-line. A sense of humor, small talk, spontaneity …it all builds relationships, not so easily achieved with virtual meetings

Meeting room etiquette

Getting together in meeting rooms helps collaboration and is good for team building. It is important to drive the business forward.

However, for the best outcome, certain conference and meeting room guidelines are recommended. Business centers especially those in Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Delhi strictly observe them.
These include:

  • Setting ground rules – Communicating to everyone attending, the precautions required to be taken: no handshakes, masks to be worn throughout
  • Ensuring hygiene and safety protocols Conference and meeting rooms must be thoroughly sanitized before every use. Hand sanitizers need to be provided to everyone attending the meeting
  • Keeping to a strict agenda – Decide in advance which parts of the meeting absolutely must happen in person and avoid going off the track
  • Letting fewer people in Shortlist the people actually needed for the meeting. Keep others updated online
  • Ensuring social distancing Use larger spaces than before. Book a bigger meeting room even for a few attendees and the conference or board room when you would previously have used a medium-sized meeting room. Avoid huddling around a laptop

Striking the right balance

In the post-pandemic era, it is important to bring back the human factor that people have been missing.  The right balance must be struck between the physical and online components of a meeting. Conference and meeting rooms need to be re-configured for social distancing and kept sanitized. With the right planning and adherence to safety norms, conference and meeting rooms can continue to play a pivotal role in the business of an organization.

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