Improve Meeting Room Design with 'Hidden' Technology

Have you ever walked into a meeting room and admired the heaps of cables? Tangled wires, haphazardly placed equipment, and technology that is not right for the space can not only look messy, but may actually impact your quality of work and communication. Poorly deployed technology systems can distract employees, interrupt the stream of work, impede performance, and cause confusion when using the technology. On the other hand, technology done right has the power to connect people and spread ideas. 

Technology in modern collaboration spaces should:

  • Be easy to use
  • Suit the space and its uses
  • Be accessible to all room users
  • Work with other tech in the room
  • Blend into the space and room aesthetics

“Hidden technology” is a trend that means technology is subtle and working behind the scenes. Clutter-like wires, keys, and other features should be managed in a way that is out of users’ sight. Hidden technology doesn’t try to steal the show from the real focus–the work. Here’s more information about how you can implement meeting technology in a way that improves design, collaboration, and productivity.

NAV-2023-Designing Spaces for the Multi-Experience Workplace white paper animated gif

How do your workspaces make employees feel?


How to Overcome Meeting Room Design Challenges

Meeting room design is challenging when you’re accountable to a variety of users, stakeholders, and advisors. These are some common challenges and tips to help you overcome them, streamline technology, and declutter collaboration spaces. 

  • Coordinating all stakeholders and teams. Address this by getting input from all invested parties before and during the design process.
  • Adapting to structural limitations. Take the floor plan, room layout, and wall material into consideration before starting your design.
  • Being strategic with your audiovisual systems. Some companies start buying solutions piecemeal without having a comprehensive design plan in place. Working with an integrator or consultant will help you plan and implement the best solutions to meet your meeting space needs.
  • Addressing poor audio. Prioritize audio solutions that suit the space so you get the right solutions versus choosing them as an afterthought.
  • Balancing functionality with aesthetics. When possible, remove technology from view, including mounts and accessories. Remove extraneous equipment like piles of cables by choosing single-cable or wireless solutions. 
Workplace Communication Requires Clear Audio

Of virtual meeting participants, 81% say “flawless” audio is a must. Without audio, a meeting can’t happen easily. Video can supplement communication by showing expressions, gestures, and action on the far end, but it can’t replace audio and the nuance of voice.

One reason equipment should be properly planned and connected is that the audio should be coming from the direction of the displays. This creates a more natural audio environment and meeting experience. In that example, “hidden” technology means the technology subtly and organically blends into the environment since you wouldn’t actually want to “hide” loudspeakers. This would stifle and muffle sounds. Hidden technology should often be considered a balance between design and functionality.

Consider Hidden Technology Details

To create a cohesive meeting environment and ensure your technology is unobtrusive, here are some points to consider when it comes to the actual equipment placement and installation.  

  • Downplay displays. Recess displays into the wall or choose tilting or articulating wall mounts.
  • Conceal mounting and wiring. Keep clutter out of sight while also ensuring proper ventilation and accessibility for servicing the system.
  • Match room decor. Customize furniture finishing to match the room decor and equipment.
  • Install acoustic sound panels. These help room audio by fixing sound reverberation, and they can also look like art in your meeting room.
  • Weatherproof outdoor solutions. Meetings can take place anywhere, including huddle rooms, executive conference rooms, and common areas–both inside and outside. If you use technology outside, make sure you choose weatherproof displays, speakers, and more.
How Nationwide AV can help 

So how do you maximize the benefits of technology while minimizing its interference with productivity? One of the best ways is to work with technology experts like those at Nationwide AV. We’re experienced in creating high-impact meeting spaces that leave lasting impressions on employees and visitors.

To learn more about how you can improve your meeting rooms with hidden technology, talk to a collaboration technology expert at Nationwide Audio Visual.