What to look for in a conference and meeting room chair

Meetings, conferences and training courses are a huge part of working life in the UK. No matter how engaging, well-planned, or expertly delivered these sessions are, if delegates are uncomfortable in their seats, they're going to find it harder to focus and perform. 

A good meeting, conference, or training course starts with a good chair. It's a basic principle that most organisations overlook - to their own detriment. Various polls show that the nation's meetings are hampered by technological issues, people talking over each other, the room being too hot or cold, and the overuse of certain buzzwords (no brainer, asap and hit the ground running being just some of them). But what effect does uncomfortable or unsuitable seating have?

Unsuitable meeting and conference room chairs can make delegates feel:

  • uncomfortable
  • unable to focus
  • fidgety

Shabby, mismatched furniture can spoil the look and feel of your conference room and create a poor impression of the organisation it represents.

When choosing conference or meeting room chairs, it's important to consider the following points:

Storage and use

What kind of space will the chairs be occupying? Do they need to be stackable? Do they need to be moved between spaces? How versatile is the space? Is it just for meetings, or do you need to be able to reconfigure the room for conferences, presentations and workshops? The products need to be as versatile as the room itself.

There are three types of meeting/conference chair bases:

  • 5-star wheeled base - good for collaboration and moving between spaces (also height adjustable).
  • 4-legged - better for stacking, good for smaller spaces or when more chairs are required for seminar and presentation rooms.
  • cantilever - can be stacked, encourages movement

Most manufacturers now will be able to provide a stacking trolley, which allows you to move a number of chairs at the same time. This is really important if your area is to be used in a number of different ways.

Movement mechanism

Fidgeting is often misinterpreted as a lack of engagement or interest. As children we're taught to associate 'being good' with sitting still and this has followed us into most workplaces. According to researchers from New York University, fidgeting may actually be an 'essential behaviour' that helps us think and process information. Their theory is that fidgeting distracts part of the brain that's become bored, so the other parts can pay attention to whatever we’re reading, seeing, or listening to.

We stock conference chairs and meeting room chairs that are especially designed to encourage movement. The HÅG collection of conference chairs is designed with movement in mind. The floating tilt function allows the user to rock backwards and forwards to keep active while supporting the spine comfortably.

Comfort

Meetings often exceed an hour. Training courses and conferences are usually much longer. In the office it's possible to get up at any time to stretch and move. In meetings and sessions this is not so easy. Too long spent in uncomfortable, unsupported positions can exacerbate and contribute to musculoskeletal disorders like back pain, neck pain and repetitive strain syndrome. Aside from the risk of long-term injury, it's difficult to concentrate when you're uncomfortable - especially if you're restricted to one room all day.

Looks

Many of our task chairs come with conference equivalents, to help create a seamless aesthetic throughout your offices. You can also customise most products with options including armrests, writing tablets and chair hangers to hang off tables.

The looks will often be in keeping with the rest of the building and your company’s image and culture. Are you looking for more traditional aesthetics, or something ultra modern?

The are hundreds of options when it comes to conference and meeting chairs – so please get in touch with one of our seating specialists and we can guide your though the process, and also supply you with some samples so you can make sure you get what you really need.

Beyond our online collection of conference chairs, we can supply a huge range of other brands. Simply get in touch with our seating projects team to find out more.