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Tips & Technology for Easier Meeting Room Management

easier meeting room management

If you’re managing multiple meeting rooms, our tips can save you and your users time and headaches:

In any business or organisation with multiple meeting rooms, there is a considerable workload involved in maintaining and managing those meeting rooms. In many businesses these rooms are in use from 9 to 5 (and beyond!) which means they need to be fully functioning all the time. The technology within them needs to be simple to use, and it needs to ‘just work’ – without the need to call IT or facilities every time a meeting is due to start. There needs to be a simple process for rectifying problems and a means to address them quickly and efficiently. Standardising meeting rooms is a great solution for easier meeting room management. Not only does it provide a predictable and consistent experience for your users, it makes management more efficient too. So here are our top tips for making your meeting room management easier and more efficient:

1. Meeting Room Fit Out

You know that shoe-cupboard-sized meeting room with the peeling wallpaper that no-one ever wants to use? Exactly! Standardising meeting rooms starts with getting the basics right. You’ll have less people clamouring for the best spaces whilst other rooms lay idle, if all rooms are well-decorated and furnished appropriately.

Tips & Technology for Easier Meeting Room Management

You don’t necessarily want to furnish every room the same, as rooms will come in different shapes and sizes. But choosing a reputable company to fit out and furnish all your meeting spaces, means you have one point of contact if anything breaks or needs replacing. There’s no tracking down where that table came from or who fitted this workbench. They can also ensure that every room has the same quality and desirability, whilst meeting different needs.

2. Room Booking Systems

One of the simplest ways to make meeting room management easier is with a meeting room booking system. Whilst one office may go through a secretary, another office may have a shared spreadsheet or use their company calendar. It can be really confusing – and time consuming.

Tips & Technology for Easier Meeting Room Management

Increasingly, meeting room booking systems are seen as an affordable way to standardise room bookings across organisations. Systems like Evoko allow people to view and make room bookings from either their outlook calendar or directly at the room, via an intuitive touch-screen interface. Colleagues can see real-time, what rooms are available, if there is a no-show or stop room-thieves! Evoko gives you knowledge and analytics on how the rooms are being used and can be managed centrally. It also saves down-time for the next users as faults or problems with a room to be reported directly, .

3. Screen Connection

How long do you give yourself before a presentation to get set-up? Quite often, we have to allow extra time to connect our device to the main screen if we don’t know what cables or ports we are going to be faced with. Or else delay the start whilst we get our tech working.  You could standardise your meeting rooms, by ensuring every space has the same, vast array of ports and cables to accommodate every device – including that of visitors. But this is confusing in itself for the non-tech savvy!

Tips & Technology for Easier Meeting Room Management

A better solution for easier meeting room management is to provide a wireless presentation system like ClickShare which allows anyone to connect to the main screen wirelessly via either a USB plug-in button or a downloaded ‘button’.  Clickshare is so simple to use, it takes away the frustration and time-wasting of fiddling with wires. Both small meeting rooms and large conference spaces can be accommodated with the range of different sized solutions. This means that whichever room you are in, you get the same standardised experience.

4. Video Conferencing

Gone are the days when video conferencing (VC) was reserved for the executive board rooms or meetings with overseas associates. In our geographically dispersed working world, where collaboration is vital and technology is accessible, video (including use of Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams) is proving to be a great tool for people who want to collaborate but don’t have the time to travel. So it’s becoming more of a necessity for meeting rooms to be equipped with suitable VC equipment.

Tips & Technology for Easier Meeting Room Management

Affordable cloud-based solutions like StarLeaf offer businesses a simple way to make video accessible to everyone. With solutions designed for both smaller huddle spaces and large conference rooms, staff can have the same easy-to-use, intuitive system whichever room they are in, without having to plug their laptop in. With meeting room solutions that also integrate perfectly with Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams, StarLeaf offers a centralised meeting room management solution which allows you to seamlessly manage all your meeting room technology deployments via one centralised system.  Now that’s the kind of ‘standard’ I expect!For more information or to arrange a free consultation on how you can standardise your meeting rooms for easier meeting room management, contact us today.

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Standardised Meeting Rooms: Why Standard Meeting Rooms Make Sense

Standardised Meeting Rooms: Why Standard Meeting Rooms Make Sense

If you want a predictable and consistent experience with meeting room technology, standardisation is the key

For many of us, there’s no such thing as a standard day at the office. Every day there are different priorities, different tasks, different meetings. It’s what makes things interesting. But whilst we often crave a bit of variety in our lives, there are times when ‘standard’ is just what we need. Standard means predictable and consistent. It means less stressful, more straight-forward. If ever there was something in our lives that needs to be all these things, it’s workplace technology. And even more specifically, meeting room technology. Here’s why standardised meeting rooms are the way forward:

Standardised Meeting Rooms: Why Standard Meeting Rooms Make Sense

Standard meeting room problems

There’s nothing more frustrating than walking into a meeting room and not knowing how anything works. Even worse, to expect you’re going to have a certain amenity, like a display screen or conference speaker, only to find it’s not there.

When you’re on the go, dashing from one meeting to the next, you want to be sure you’ll have the equipment that you need and that it will work first time, every time. And this doesn’t just affect you, the end user. IT and facilities departments around the globe are consistently inundated by support requests, trying to help users get meeting room tech to work, rather than dealing with bigger picture stuff.

It’s no surprise that a recent study by Nemertes Research has found that standardisation of meeting rooms is one of the highest priorities for IT departments.

Standardised Meeting Rooms: Why Standard Meeting Rooms Make Sense

How to standardise meeting room hardware

When choosing hardware, choosing a brand of technology that is uniform across all meeting rooms can be really helpful.

But in the absence of this, trying technology which helps to standardise usage, for example wireless presentation systems that plug in via a USB.

This takes away the need for different wires and ports, keeping things simple for the user and less hassle for the IT Team.

Standardised Meeting Rooms: Why Standard Meeting Rooms Make Sense

What is a standardised meeting room?

But what do standardised meeting rooms look like and how do you achieve this? The reality is that meeting rooms will vary from business to business, depending on the organisation’s specific needs. But the idea is that within any given organisation, staff can expect the same meeting room experience whichever room they are in.

It could start with something as simple as a standardised meeting room booking system.

This allows users to book or change room bookings and see room availability from either their own desktop or an interface outside the room. It really simplifies the process for users but also provides analytics of how rooms are being used which could shape your facilities strategy or office design going forward.

Standardised Meeting Rooms: Why Standard Meeting Rooms Make Sense

Centralised meeting room Management

Centralisation is also a key consideration for many IT departments. If you’re rolling out technology to 20, 50 or 100 meeting rooms in an organisation, it’s important that it can be managed centrally. You don’t want to have to physically go round every meeting room in the company to fix or maintain your equipment.

Whilst choosing meeting room technology that can be managed centrally is more efficient for the IT department, it also prevents downtime for the end users. Problems can be addressed as and when they happen – rather than only being identified when someone starts to use the room. Some great examples of this are the Maestro management platform for StarLeaf video conferencing or a room booking system like EVOKO.

The Benefits of Standardised Meeting Rooms

The reason standardisation of meeting rooms is becoming such a focal point for IT departments, is due to the associated management, efficiency, usability and cost benefits.

  • Meeting Room Management: Whether you’re responding to broken equipment, user queries or maintaining IT solutions, managing meeting rooms can be a real drain on time and resources. Standardisation makes meeting rooms easier to manage. If there’s one supplier for broken equipment or centralised maintenance of technology meeting room management is a lot easier. Having analytics on how your standard meeting rooms are used can also shape how they are managed going forward.
  • Meeting Room Efficiencies: Being able to respond to all meeting rooms in the same way makes meeting rooms more efficient to manage. Even more so if there are centralised maintenance solutions that allow all rooms to be managed remotely. It saves time for the IT and facilities team and also saves down-time for the users.
  • Meeting Room Usability: For the end user, standard meeting rooms means less down-time figuring out how things work. It also puts less pressure on the IT team to respond to technical problems associated with people just not knowing how things work. And if all meetings rooms are created equal, there is less pressure on a limited number of more desirable rooms.
  • Meeting Room Costs: It’s true that to standardise meeting rooms, with a good quality fit out and enabling technology is going to cost money. But this can be offset against the cost savings of people working more efficiently, being less stressed and being more satisfied in the workplace. Things that can ultimately improve staff retention too.

Making it happen

The reality is that standardising meeting rooms can be a complex task. The trick is to identify the elements that you have that can be used, re-used or upgraded. What purchases offer value for money for your business and what will provide the greatest benefit? Technology is just part of the equation; you’ll need to think about the fit out and furniture of your meeting rooms too, in order to maximise the value you get from your technology purchases.

At TecInteractive, our customers value our personal, consultative approach which means we can help you identify the most effective ways to standardise your meeting rooms. Our partnership with office fit out experts Blueprint Interiors means we can consider every element of your meeting room design to make sure your standardised meeting rooms are anything but standard.

Contact us to book your consultation or check out Tips & Technology for Easier Meeting Room Management to find out more..

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Image Credit: BluePrint Interiors

5 reasons you should invest in a meeting room booking system

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Meetings may be the bane of many knowledge workers lives, but in today’s workplace, meetings are still the primary area where decisions are made. A well-run meeting improves collaboration, increases the speed of decision-making, gains consensus and clarifies next steps. But there is one aspect of meetings that comes up time and again as the Achilles heel of the meeting world: it’s not the lack of clear actions at the conclusion, it’s not the failure to send the agenda out prior to t5 reasons you should invest in a meeting room booking systemhe meeting, it’s not having the wrong people in the room; it’s the whole experience of booking a meeting room.

We’ve all been there; your client or internal project team has called an urgent meeting, you send out the outlook invites, you head down to the meeting rooms and not one is free. Some are being occupied, some say they’re being occupied but no-one is in them. You knock on the door of one and ask your colleagues how long they are going to be, you ask the receptionist if you can get a room, to which they politely respond, ‘no, they’re all booked up, you should have organised last week’. As your frustration mounts, the time ticks away. You decide to jump into one of the empty but ‘booked’ meeting rooms, only to be promptly asked to leave by the next occupant, who was simply running a few minutes late. Finally, you admit defeat and end up down the road, squeezed around a tiny table in the local Costa, laptop on knee.

In today’s workplace, we haven’t always got the luxury of booking a meeting two weeks in advance and we don’t always need the room for exactly one hour; work today is fast paced, collaboration is organic and unstructured. You need the flexibility to use meeting rooms as your people want to use them and not how outlook wants to structure them. This is where we’re starting to see greater demand for meeting room booking systems. A system like the Evoko Room Manager can really alleviate the problems you are facing – here’s how:

1. Visibility for everyone:

By having 5 Tips about Creating Focusan interface outside each meeting room, it is easy for everyone to see if a room has been booked or how long it is free for. Something as simple as lighting up red when the room is in use or green if it is free, means availability can be quickly ascertained without peering into the window of each room.

2. Flexibility:

Meeting going to over-run? No problem. Just open the door and manually amend your booking using a simple touch-screen. If the room is already booked, you can easily see if other rooms are available, without having to physically check them or going back to the receptionist.

3. In advance or on the go:

Book a meeting room from your desktop via the Microsoft exchange server – just like Outlook – or directly at the meeting room via the touch-sensitive screen. The two are perfectly synchronised so you know you always have the most up to date availability for each room.

4. Easy to use:

A system which simply connects to an exchange server or Google Apps, provides easy installation which is as straightforward as adding a new user to the system. And avoid new-tech-training issues with a system that works exactly like Outlook, so end-users are already familiar with the system.

5. Complete Communication:

Remove the hassle of reporting faulty equipment or problems with the room by allowing people to log directly from the interface outside the room. This way, problems can be resolved quickly, so you don’t arrive at your meeting only to find the projector is broken or the chairs have disappeared!

Meeting Room Booking System By TecInteractive

At TecInteractive, we are committed to finding and providing the best meeting room technology solutions on the market, which is why we recommend the Evoko Room Manager. It provides all the functionality listed above so your meetings can be as time and cost effective as you need them to be – so the focus can be on collaboration, not on booking the room.

For more information contact our friendly team on 0800 6122803 or click below.

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