November 5th, 2019 8:30 am
Conference room cable management: make a great impression
If you have an office space, then you have a conference room (or several). Conference rooms are a hub. They’re the place where you meet with clients and where colleagues gather to collaborate. They make an impression on everyone who uses them. The conference room cable management system is something they will notice, and they will make assumptions about the company based on what they see.
If cable management—including the cable concealers you choose and how you run your cable—is an afterthought, chances are it will look like an afterthought. You could end up with:
- Cables dangling from the ceiling
- Cables getting stuck in the wheels of a chair
- Cables getting wrapped around the leg of the table to keep then out of the way.
- Cables forming tripwires
We’ve all been to a conference room where there are phone lines, power cords, and video monitor cables cluttering the table and floors, causing safety hazards and looking chaotic. These things do NOT create a good impression.
Cabling your conference room
Wiring a conference may seem simple. Just stick the cables up through the table, right? Wrong. There are many decisions to make along the way that will determine how tech-friendly the conference room is.
In new offices, or recently remodeled spaces, the conference rooms usually have high-technology wired tables with a table-top phone, data, and power connections. That eliminates some of the clutter issue but conference room design doesn’t end there.
Designing the build so that you have organized pathways under the floor and floor boxes for power/voice/data connections, for example, is possible in many cases, but it’s a consideration to make before building out the space.
When you’re planning your conference room space, keep the following four considerations in mind so that you create a space that creates a stellar impression on your clients and employees.
Purchase furniture that has tech in mind
It may seem cool to consider bringing in vintage furniture, but a 1950s era conference table is not going to have grommets for keeping conference phone cords out of sight or have a way for power adapters and connectors to run underneath it.
Instead, look for furniture that has integrated plugs and USB ports. Perhaps find a model that has self-storing power modules on the table surface and along the sides to keep devices charged during long meetings.
Keep your people safe
Where will your outlets go? Will they be convenient? This is not always the case. It’s almost guaranteed the outlets will be placed such that plugging anything in will create a trip hazard.
Look for ways to keep grounded cords out-of-the-way and well-organized, for example by running cables under the floor. If you’re building out the space, install additional outlets underneath the conference table and behind the credenza.
If running cables through the walls is not an option, consider adding baseboard or corner raceways. This will not only create smooth, out-of-the-way paths to outlets and data ports, it will look better. If you aren’t sure whether you can run cables under the floor or through the walls, call your IT systems provider. They’ll be able to advise you on what to do.
If your network can support wireless in the conference room, that is a good option in terms of streaming your cable management.
Multiple programs and apps allow your computer to communicate with monitors and presentation screens. That means you can eliminate the HDMI cable and share screens during presentations. You can even control the screen with a wireless keyboard, hiding the computer to keep the space less cluttered.
And remember technology changes
Inevitably, your technology needs will change (especially if you continue impressing your clients). There are ways to retrofit existing furniture pieces to suit your evolving needs, such as using stick-on cable clips or Velcro closures. Cable sleeves and under-table baskets are easy for streamlining cords.
However, the best thing to do to make sure your conference rooms adapts to your future needs is to consult with your IT provider to assess the options for your space and company. They’ll be able to advise you on what to use today that will scale for tomorrow.
In our experience, cable management if a frequently overlooked part of creating an impressive and beautiful conference room or meeting space.
Don’t fall into that trap. Make cable management a priority.
We’d be happy to help. Contact our cabling experts today to start the conversation.
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