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What Corporate Meetings Will Look Like in the Future

It’s hard to deny the enormous impact COVID-19 has had on the way we do business, especially in terms of how we interact with co-workers and clients. Gone are the days of packing into conference rooms and auditoriums and engaging in face-to-face collaboration. Instead, we’ve adapted to doing things the 21st century way — virtually. But is a new way here to stay?

As we start to see a light at the end of the tunnel, many business leaders are starting to rethink the way meetings will look now and in the future. But don’t lift the mask mandates or get rid of the hand sanitizer stations quite yet. While we anxiously anticipate numbers declining and wait for a slow return to normalcy, we can also expect a few of the pandemic-era changes to linger.

And that might not be a bad thing! Here are some things we can expect in corporate meetings of the future:

Hybrid Will Be the Default

Many of us have been dialing into conference calls for years, even long before the pandemic, but COVID taught us that virtual meetings are a requirement rather than an option for modern businesses. Now, you can expect almost all corporate gatherings to be set up in a hybrid format — both in-person and virtual.

To make meetings easier to see and hear for virtual participants, conference rooms will get some high-tech upgrades, such as high-definition cameras and microphones placed throughout the space. If broadcasting meetings and events have been a pain point for your business, it’s important that you realize that this option is here to stay.

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Conference Rooms Will Get Smarter 

In addition to technology that will make virtual broadcasting better, corporate meeting rooms will see some impressive upgrades in the coming years, with everything from interactive whiteboards to LED video walls to make presentations more immersive. Here are some tech and design trends you can expect to see in conference room design:

Room Dividers

To make meeting spaces more flexible and to allow for large-scale meetings as well as intimate gatherings in one place.

Individual Screens and Microphones for All Participants

To allow everyone to see the same presentation at the same time and to ensure that attendees who dial in can hear everyone contributing from the office.

Digital Whiteboards

To display presentations, workflows, charts, assessments, etc. that are editable in real-time.

Smart Control Boards

That does things like adjust lighting, lock the room and control the temperature. Some may also feature built-in scheduling software so employees can book the room right from one smart hub.

Wireless Projectors and Presentation Systems

That eliminates the need for presenters to hardwire into equipment. This allows for seamless remote presenting and prevents equipment-related technical issues.

Led Video Walls

associates on a meeting

That makes presenting to large groups more engaging and immersive.

 COVID Measures Will Linger 

Unfortunately, despite an easily accessible vaccine and the many FDA authorized rapid COVID test kits for sale, companies will still need to take measures to protect their employees, clients, and visitors against the virus.

You can expect to see mask requirements, social distancing, and plenty of hand sanitizer stations throughout corporate meeting spaces for months, and even years, to come. As long as the virus is around, testing will be a big part of preparing for in-person meetings and events.

Options like the AccessBio CareStart™ COVID-19 Antigen Test are popular for at-home and on-site testing. Mask requirements will likely stick around for the coming months, especially during meetings and in public areas of the office.

The Purpose of Meetings Will Change 

Now that we’ve proven that we can do a big chunk of our work in a dispersed setting — often at home, away from our co-workers — both virtual and in-person meetings have taken on a greater purpose.

Now and in a more digital future, we can expect corporate meetings to serve the purpose of connecting co-workers with one another and clients, more than getting work done.

The nuts and bolts of our work can be performed digitally, via email, and chat. Meetings will take on the purpose of putting a more human touch to the work and helping team members connect with one another. As a result, they may start to get more fun and lighthearted.

More Meetings Will Happen Outside of the Office

In fun settings such as bowling alleys, restaurants, and sports games.

More Meetings Will Feature Fun Activities

Such as games, trivia, happy hours, and icebreakers to help the team bond since they won’t spend as much time working face to

Meeting Agendas Will Loosen Up

And there will be more time for casual conversation and getting to know one another.

Meetings Will Be Used to Introduce New Team Members

a man smiling with ladies outside

Since so many people will stay remote, company meetings will start to feature introduction portions to better integrate new employees.

We all long for the days when getting together in person was the norm, but we need to think through the return so that employees and clients feel safe. If there is a silver lining to the pandemic, it’s that it sped up many of the technologies and practices we should have already adopted, from staying home when we’re sick to upgrading to better tech in the conference room.

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