Conference facilities can sometimes seem like an antiquated piece of business history. In some people the thought of them conjures up images from Mad Men, of old men in dated suits and earth toned wallpaper adorning the perimeter. But today they are modern extensions of business that house all sorts of activities vital to a company’s operations. We’ve all had staff meetings and those nerve-wracking job interview in conference facilities, but they can be used for so much more. Let’s take a look at some of those more modern uses of a conference room that they never dreamed of in Mad Men.
1. Remote Work – Who needs an actual office anymore? You’d be hard pressed to find any conference facilities around today without lightning speedy Wi-Fi access. And more and more business are storing their information in a cloud service (like Dropbox) or on a server, there’s no need to be in the actual office. One can easily access all their work files from anywhere with Wi-Fi access.
2. Video Conferencing – With technologies like Skype, Facetime and GoTo Meeting, having a video conference with colleagues across the globe is a cinch. Conference facilities are typically set up with HD cameras and monitors perfect for exchanging ideas with an executive in Shanghai or interviewing that job candidate you headhunted in Moscow.
3. Presentations – Yes, conference facilities have been used for presentations back in Don Draper’s day. Though many modern ones now have full size theatres available for large scale presentations. These fully equipped theatres are a great venue for product demos, AGM’s or maybe just a motivational speech to rally the workforce.
4. Virtual Office Space – This is the perfect office solution for a home business owner in need of occasional assistance. Many conference facilities can offer up reception services, a meeting place when you need to project that “corporate” feel, administrative help and even a downtown mailing address (they’ll forward your mail to where you actually are). Running a home business has never been this easy.
Notice how three of the four don’t even require someone to be in the same room with you? It’s kind of funny that conference facilities have evolved so much from a place designed to gather people together, to a place where people don’t even need to be near each other. Maybe in another 30 years we can look forward to virtual avatars that go to a virtual place while we’re still in the comfort of our homes.