Your conference table serves a lot of purposes. Yes, it’s used for team meetings, but it’s also used for brainstorming sessions, meeting with new clients, and even the occasional social gathering. With so many different reasons for gathering around your conference table, it’s important that you choose one that suits all of these needs, as well as the other unique needs your business might have.
Contrary to popular belief, one size does not fit all when it comes to conference tables, so it’s important to do your research before making such a purpose. This blog will give you some guidance in selecting the right conference table for your space and your needs.
Getting the Wrong Size
When it comes for conference tables, size matters. Not only do you need to get the right size table for your space, but you need to get the right size for your meetings. So, first, consider the size of your conference room, and make sure you select a conference table that is appropriately portioned for the space.
Obviously, too large of a table won’t fit well in the room. But a conference table that is too small is also a problem; it will look dwarfed in comparison to the rest of the space. This can make the placement look accidental, or like you simply put whatever table you had laying around into the conference room. That’s not a great impression to leave on people.
When it comes to size, you also need to consider the number of people who will be sitting at that table on a regular basis. If you have a very small business and will only have a few people around the table at a time, a smaller table may be a better option. It allows everyone to work closely together and not feel separated by an enormous table. Conversely, if you’ll have a lot of people meeting at once, try to get a table to accommodate everyone without feeling crowded.
Getting the Wrong Shape
Though you may not realize it, shape is directly related to size when it comes to your conference table. Just as you’ll want a different size for small meetings, you may also want to consider getting a different shape. You may be surprised to learn that there are 5 different shapes available for conference tables:
- Round: These are designed to only fit a few people, which makes them ideal for small conference rooms where only 2-4 people may meet at the same time.
- Square: This is another good options for small spaces that are designed for small meetings. They offer a bit more surface area to work with than round tables.
- Rectangular: This is a classic option for larger, formal conference rooms. They come in a range of sizes and options.
- Racetrack: This style is long like the rectangular table, but they are rounded on each end. This gives a little bit of extra seating capacity and makes it easy to move chairs around the table.
- Boat-Shaped: This type of table is slightly curved on the long ends, giving it a wider middle that offer clear sight lines for all meeting attendees, which is great for presentations.
Make sure you consider all of the different shapes and the pros and cons they offer to decide which option may be right for your purposes.
Forgetting to Match
If you already have any other furniture in your conference room, it’s essential that you take that into consideration when purchasing a conference table. Whether you already have chairs you plan to use, or you have a storage cabinet of some kind in the room, you want all of the furniture in the conference room to work well together.
Failing to match your conference table with the rest of the furniture in the room might work if you’re going for an eclectic style in your office. But most businesses want a professional look, so you don’t want your conference room to look like the mismatched remnants of a yard sale. If possible, consider bringing some photos of your current conference room furniture with you if you’re going to shop for your table in person. This will help you decide if the tables you’re looking at are a good match.
Not Measuring Your Space
We already talked about getting the right size for your conference table, but measuring your space is so important that we felt it needed its own section. Don’t just eyeball it. Don’t make a guess. Measure your conference room and get the exact dimensions of it. Write those dimensions down. Then, subtract at least 8 feet from both the length and the width of those dimensions to get the maximum dimensions for your conference table.
Why 8 feet? You should have about 4 feet of clearance all around the conference table so that people can easily get in and out of chairs and walk behind anybody seated at the table. Don’t skimp on that clearance space; it is essential for the comfort of all of your meeting attendees, as well as the overall aesthetic of the room. You can go with as little as 3.5 feet of clearance on all sides, if your room isn’t very large, but 4 feet of clearance is the better option. If you have a very large conference room, it’s perfectly fine to have more clearance around the table.
Sticking with the Standard
There are more options for conference tables out there than you might think. Make sure that you explore all of your options, rather than just sticking with the standard tables offered to you by those big-box furniture companies. Look for variety and unique features that will directly benefit your business and improve the quality of your meetings.
For example, a height-adjustable conference table can improve the focus and engagement of your meeting attendees by allowing you to have everyone stand around the table instead of sitting. This is especially helpful if you have very long meetings, as people can begin to zone out after a while. With a sit-stand conference table, you could get everyone on their feet just as they begin to hit that slump, helping them to refocus and feel more energized.
To learn more about our height-adjustable conference tables at Office XYZ, view our products page or contact us.