Assembly rooms are one of the strangest types of rooms in an office because of their large size and seemingly single function. Depending on the size of the company you work for and how many people are on site, there many not even be a need for one in your office.
But for many medium and large companies, assembly rooms (sometimes called gathering spaces or classrooms) are an essential part of any office design layout that can either work wonderfully or be the bane of the office manager's existence.
Back in my past life as an insurance salesman, I needed to attend a continuing education session and the space chosen for the large, assembly-style training was very poorly equipped, making the sessions unbearable.
What made them so bad?
Here's my shortlist:
- Difficulty seeing the presentation slides due to small screen
- A microphone and sound system that no one knew how to operate
- Poor acoustics in a large room
Because of this terrible experience, and some anecdotal office design tips I've learned, it seemed like a good idea to give a list of ideas that you might consider giving priority to in your assembly room.
Tiered seating has been an important assembly meeting area innovation which allows for many more people to fit into less space. Beyond the casual nature of these areas, they also help everyone in the meeting see the presentation as well as be seen by the speaker. We've previously looked at examples of tiered seating areas here.
Temporary or Moveable Seating and Tables
Using moveable tables and stackable chairs helps make large assembly rooms multifunctional and available for many different purposes. Some companies use assembly rooms as cafeteria or game rooms to ensure the space is used when large gatherings are not scheduled.
Projector and Sound Equipment
Projectors are fairly common-place in some conference rooms, but having a projector and screen available in your assembly room is a must. Depending on the size of the assembly room you may also consider adding sound equipment and microphone for the presenter.
Moveable Dividing Walls
If the assembly room you've set aside for large assembly-style meetings is big enough, you might think about using a moveable wall system to help you divide the room up into small, more manageable space when not in use.