Meeting rooms can arguably be seen as the most important spaces in your office design. They’re the place where people come together to collaborate, share ideas and make decisions.

A lot of the time, they’re also places where you could find yourself spending most of your day, so you’ll want to make sure these spaces reflect your business needs. Whether it’s an intense board meeting or a quick ten minute catch up, the meeting space that you choose needs to facilitate your agenda.

We look at meeting room inspiration and some quick-fixes you can make to your current spaces to increase their effectiveness. We also couldn’t resist looking back at some of our favourite and quirky meeting spaces that we’ve built for clients.

The practical meeting spaces

Meeting rooms don’t always need to have walls and doors. Depending on the nature of your meeting, a breakout area that provides the right technology and seating arrangements can be just as effective. In some respects, it could be even more thought-provoking than a conventional meeting room as there is more going on around you to influence or inspire. This area at MotoNovo in Cardiff provides exactly that – a range of seating options including more comfortable, relaxed style sofas, pull-up armchairs and a standing height worktop with optional bar stools to create a huddle space. Staff can connect their laptop or tablet to the in-built display screen in the wall to share ideas or present to colleagues during their meeting.

Great meeting rooms don’t always need to have a quirky design. Even something simple like changing your traditional rectangular boardroom table for a circular one can impact the success of your meeting room. Large circular tables like this one at Nuffield Health make great focal points for larger format meetings where collaboration is paramount. The circular design has a more open feel to the meeting, as each attendee can make eye contact with a greater number of people, and there’s no hierarchy associated with someone at the head of the table. The built-in bookcase also helps employees feel more at ease in a relaxed environment, instead of a sterile, corporate boardroom!

We’ve already seen how meeting spaces don’t need to be in a closed area, and discussed how circular meeting tables can boost collaboration. So, it’s easy to see why circular meeting pods like this one at Lindt are becoming a popular choice in office design. These flexible meeting spaces can be arranged anywhere in your office layout. Often, they are at the heart of an open plan space, providing an area where colleagues, who may serendipitously meet on the office floor, can retreat to exchange ideas or discuss projects. Having open huddle spaces like these where people don’t have to book a room, can help to break down the barriers of needing to always plan for meetings, allowing for spontaneous collaboration.

When you get people together in a meeting space one thing is sure to come out of it: ideas. So having plenty of space to capture those ideas is one way to make that meeting room a success. At The Alan Turing Institute - a pioneering centre for data science research - they have plenty of ideas, which is why their meeting rooms are surrounded by writable walls for colleagues to record their eureka moment. This combination of whiteboards and blackboards suits different styles and preferences whilst providing a striking monochromatic wall colouring.

Themed meeting rooms

In recent years there has been a trend set by the tech giants and start-ups for wacky meeting spaces. We think this old fashioned refurbished train carriage at Splunk has to be one of the greats; a classic piece of British history, ready to take you on a journey of exploration as colleagues navigate through their different ideas. In an office where other meeting rooms included a Dr. Who style tardis, it’s no surprise this workplace has been dubbed one of the coolest in the UK by Management Today!

One way to create drama, suspense and intrigue at your next meeting or presentation would be to take your delegates to the cinema! This fabulous space at AMC Networks is perfect for showcasing premiers to staff and potential clients, allowing AMC to host exclusive events in-house and save on venue hire. The space has since been embraced by staff for presentations, and has also been used for an after-hours film club! Now, whose brought the popcorn?

Meetings are always interactive – but having the technology to support them is one way to take your meetings to another level. This hi-tech meeting room at Xchanging has an interactive touch screen panel on a tabletop that works like a giant iPad. Staff can gather round to intuitively manipulate the documents on the screen, editing and annotating where necessary and boosting their collaboration efforts. Further display screens around the room can either be used to share what is taking place on the flat panel or to show additional information