5 Room Setups That Foster Decision-Making

The right setup can make or break a Decide meeting. We suggest five options that align to different meeting strategies.

It’s a simple truth: A room's atmosphere can dramatically affect people's ability to be productive.

There’s plenty of scientific research on human behavior and brain function that shows that different room setups, light levels and temperatures can all affect how people learn and work.

The bottom line is that the right setup can make or break a Decide meeting, where people are on a mission—and often on a deadline. Here are five options that align to different meeting strategies.

Go High and Low

Combination Seating

If you plan to host a daylong event, you’ll want to use a setup that gives your attendees options to change their seating arrangements and provide a new view, letting their minds get a fresh charge as well.

Bonus tip: Consider endless snack and beverage service. If you serve up energy-boosting items all day (think nuts and smoothies), attendees can graze and fuel their bodies and minds, staying more productive all day long.

Dispense With Big Tables

Dispense With Big Tables

If the meeting has a casual tone focused on talking more than note-taking, try soft seating options with few or no tables to make participants comfortable and encourage discussion. You can even create multiple seating areas to allow mini breakout groups.

Bonus tip: Need to get your participants thinking full-throttle fast? Add a few small hand puzzles and other manipulatives that they can fuss with. A slight distractive element actually prompts creativity, whereas extreme focus can dull it.

Create a Classroom

Classroom Seating

While a group might need to get to a decision by day’s end, the meeting itself might include several training elements so participants can ultimately make an informed decision. If that is the case, you might want a setup that’s classroom-inspired, with desks or small seating pods, interactive whiteboards and large displays.

Bonus tip: For a nice break from intense thinking sessions, move your group to a new location for a meal, such as poolside or a rooftop lounge. The fresh air will leave your attendees ready to tackle their next session.

Assign Collaboration Stations

Collaboration Stations

To create an environment to accommodate multiple breakouts, set up small collaboration stations around the room's perimeter and then add seating and tables for regrouping.

Bonus tip: Make the most of this setup to introduce movement—even stretching and little exercise breaks throughout the day. It will keep your group feeling energized, and people will be less likely to drift off when their attention is needed most during a breakout.

Stay Intimate

Round Boardroom

Is it a small group with an agenda full of in-depth discussions? Then try to bring the attendees closer together without feeling confined. Instead of a square seating arrangement, use a round table, which allows eye contact with everyone.

Bonus tip: When collaboration is key, so is tech support. Create a genius bar in-room where attendees can charge devices, access printers and scanners, and even tap onsite tech support.