There are endless ways to name your conference rooms, but only a few ideas will truly fit your company culture and brand. This may seem like a tiny detail, but it’s one that companies like Slack, Airbnb, and Raytheon make sure to consider in their workplaces. Why? Beyond getting employees excited about fun details, great conference room names tell a story about your company and the people that work there.
By thinking about employees as consumers of the workplace you can start to consider why every little thing matters. Employees are spending more time in meeting rooms than ever before and not naming them is overlooking an easy, inexpensive way to engage with them. How can our workplaces offer the people that inhabit them a productive and inspiring experience?
In this post, we’ll share why this tiny detail matters to your workplace experience and how to approach the process so you find the best conference room names for your company’s culture.
Why you should name your meeting rooms
Every detail of your workplace is an opportunity to strengthen the connection between employees and their employers. Whether it’s paint color on the walls, certain snacks in the pantry, or names of meeting rooms, these physical cues have an immediate impact on the people that come across them. So it’s important that each cue relates back to the strongest message your company has to offer: its unique identity.
Evelyn Lee, an Experience Designer at Slack, oversees the way employees experience their workplace. She compares the practice of naming your conference rooms to another familiar scenario. “I appreciate when restaurant design goes all the way into the bathroom. It really speaks to the level of care and thought from the management team that they put into every single detail.”
By naming your company’s conference rooms, employees and guests alike can immediately get a sense of your company’s personality. It’s also an easy way to avoid a visitor walking into the war room, where sensitive conversations happen when it reads ‘Boardroom A’ on the door. Here’s an approach to naming your conference rooms that will satisfy all of the above.
1. Find the right theme for your conference room names
Airbnb, one of the most unique offices in the world, designs each meeting room to be completely unique, under one theme: real location listings from the app. The company incorporates each listing’s visual style into the interior design of the meeting rooms. By bringing personality all the way down to the furniture and wall textures, Airbnb employees are reminded of their company values like “be a host,” “every frame matters,” and “embrace adventure,” throughout their workday.
Developed by architects from O+A, Slack’s headquarters in San Francisco uses a theme that connects to their original office in Vancouver. The founder Stewart Butterfield is an outdoors person, passionate about the wilderness found along the Pacific Crest Highway (PCH). This trail, spanning up the coast of California ending in Canada, symbolized a bridge between the two office locations and was the perfect inspiration for Slack HQ’s office design and conference room theme.
Each floor has its own theme based on the PCH concept. For example, there are different floors themed as Rock Desert, Mountain Lakes, and the Redwood Forest. On each floor the theme is seen in a change of color palette, different accent materials, and even conference names. Visitors always comment on the level of detail, and often employees have been known to have a favorite or preferred floor that they like to escape to.
If your office could talk, what would its message to employees be and how would it greet people? How should people feel when they’re moving from meeting to meeting? By identifying a unique theme for your conference rooms, specific to your brand, products, or company story you can inspire deeper connections between employees and their work. You can also give guests a great first impression of your workplace. Like inviting someone over for dinner, having clients, candidates, or investors over to “your place” gives them more insight into what it’s like to do business with you.
2. Pick conference room names worth remembering
Once you have a theme for your conference rooms, picking names is next. Engage with employees by asking them to suggest and vote on room names. This is a crucial step, Evelyn advises, for employers in the process. By including everyone in a creative, relationship-building exercise they feel like a part of the story behind their workplace design.
Believe it or not, HBO’s conference rooms are names like 4-003, 4-001, and 5-49. Easy to navigate? yes. Oddly uncreative for a creative company? Also, yes.
Envoy’s conference rooms are inspired by our mission to challenge the status quo of workplace technology. Last names of changemakers like Bell, Curie, and Duchamp display on the meeting room devices.
Head of Workplace, Flash Coughlin, shares how conference room names impact the guest experience. “Visitors are constantly asking about our room naming convention and it definitely sparks interest when they see the photo [of each person] we attach to the iPad displays. We get to share our story about “Challenging the status quo” and what that means to us as Envoys. They love learning this about us and seeing it in action through our products.”
Another unique example of memorable room names comes from Raytheon, a company that often partners with the U.S. Air Force to develop new defense technologies. At their Newport News office in Virginia, they name their conference rooms to align with their customer’s core product: fighter jets. Eagle, Falcon, and Raptor are the names of planes that the Air Force builds and the names of Raytheon’s conference rooms since they supply some of the technology used onboard.
While their work is high-tech, the inspiration for Raytheon’s conference room names is one that more businesses should consider—a customer focus. This is both on-brand for the organization and easy to remember for the employees.
Organize your conference rooms so everyone can find their way
In the age of open office layouts, people can feel intimidated by a large open space without a way to navigate it. Walking back and forth looking for your meeting slows you and your work down. Making sure that room names are assigned in an order that’s easy to find and navigate is a detail that most companies overlook when getting creative.
There are around 20 meeting rooms at Envoy. When new hires come on board they’re trying to familiarize themselves with the conference room layout. We use the alphabet as a way-finding system. New hires learn that A (for Angelou) starts in the kitchen and W (for Winfrey) ends at the couches.
Evelyn suggests if you choose extraordinary names for your conference rooms, awesome! But if your office spans multiple floors or buildings, like Slack, you should still consider adding a number or distinctive character to the name that helps identify which floor and side of the building it is located. This makes it simple and efficient to find your way around campus without losing inspiration.
A well-designed office takes time and attention to detail
Office layouts will change as work evolves, but the business case for connecting the physical elements of your workplace, like conference rooms names, to your company’s identity isn’t going away. By reimagining what may seem like a tiny detail in your building, you can influence the way people experience your entire workplace and maybe their work too.
Employees now more than ever are looking to feel connected to their employers’ mission and understand that workplaces say a lot about an employer. When it comes to office technology, design, and communication, the next generation’s expectations are unlike previous groups. However, their standards will benefit every employee regardless of age.