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Choosing the Right Size Conference Table

A conference table may be the most important piece of furniture in your office. Deals are consummated, conflicts mediated, contracts negotiated, and employees are educated in conference rooms. The conference room is your office focal point, so considerable attention should be paid to ambiance and arrangement.

Many business owners have one problem when choosing a conference table—the size. When you are shopping around for a new conference table, consider the following when choosing the size of your next table.

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Size of the Room

The size of the table would naturally depend on two factors. These are the size of the room and the number of people that would be expected at a typical meeting.

At the very least, a conference table should have sufficient clearance between the walls or other barriers. The recommended minimum clearance from table edge to the walls will depend on the size of the room. Too little space may make the room seem cramped and difficult to maneuver at higher capacity. A suggested minimum clearance space on each side of a rectangular conference table should not be less than 20% of the table length on each side.

For example, if a room is 20-feet long, the clearance space on each side and end should be at least 4 feet. In a 20-foot room, the table should not exceed 12 feet in length.

Many conference rooms include a credenza or cabinet for coffee and water service plus storage. This furniture should be considered when calculating the maximum length of the conference table.

Number of Participants

While proper spacing between the table and the conference room walls is important, the amount of space allowed for each potential participant is also critical. Crowded and uncomfortable conditions are not productive environments. Each participant should be allowed at least 30-inches of individual space for seating and workspace.

For example, a 15’ x 5’ table has a perimeter of 40 feet or 480 inches. At 30 inches per individual, this conference table would accommodate a maximum of 16 participants.

Sectional or Modular Tables

While the size of a room does not usually change, the number of meeting participants changes each time. For the ultimate in versatility, modular tables may be utilized to create conferences tables of different sizes and arrangements. With this capability, a closed rectangle may be used for group discussions, while an open-ended rectangle arrangement or classroom-style configuration for presentations can be accommodated.

Business Atmosphere

The conference table should mirror the image of your company. A formal, dark wooden table may be typical for a law office or board room of a major corporation. A brighter, lighter weight or modern-looking style is acceptable in less formal, faster-paced, or high-tech surroundings.

Table Shape and Arrangement

An ideal conference table should allow each participant to make direct eye contact with as many people as possible. Since the main purpose of a conference room is interaction and collaboration, ease of communication is essential. A circular arrangement does facilitate this environment most effectively, but most rooms are not shaped to accommodate enough people in this configuration. Rectangular or “boat-shaped” tables usually handle the most people in the least amount of space.

Purchasing a New Conference Table in the Washington, DC Area?

If you’re ready to purchase a new conference table in the Washington, DC area, count on PVI—a premium office furniture retailer. We have the largest furniture warehouse in Maryland and supply both new and used conference room furniture.

No matter your needs, we have you covered. Stop by our office furniture warehouse and see the selection of beautiful conference room tables we have in store for you.

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