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Grand prize and honorable mention were awarded to United Visual Details on ACGME award winning conference roomDetails on NAR grand prize winning boardroom

The editors of Presentation Magazine decribe how they chose the best facilities of the year

A great presentation room is more than the sum of its partsómuch more. A great room blends architectural beauty and technological sophistication into a space where effective communication can take place. It is also a reflection of the organization and people who created it. Today, more and more organizations are realizing this and consequently building world-class presentation rooms worth of their organizationís good name.

Entries are judged in three key areas

1. Presentation technology.

The best presentation rooms offer a comprehensive mix of presentation technologies, including multimedia projectors for displaying computer-based slideshows (rear-screen projection is best), a control system, computer, document camera and digital whiteboard. We also considered whether the room offered lower-tech presenters the ability to present via 35mm slides or overhead transparencies.

Another major criterion is the roomís ability to connect to various networks. Rooms received a major plus if presenters or audience members could connect to a corporate LAN or the Internet. Also factored into our decision was the ability to receive a digital broadcast satellite signal (for training and general news) as well as the ability to easily videotape a presentation for later playback. Videoconferencing capabilities were also a big plus.


    Direct links to stories on the rooms pictured above and more:

2. Suitability to task.

Not only should a winning room offer the right mix of technology, but the roomís physical layout and elements must be conducive to effective presentations. This means everyone in the room, including the presenter, should have a clear view of the projected data. If the primary screen isnít large enough to accomplish this, secondary screens or monitors should be included in the roomís design.

Depending on how the room is used, we considered the ability to reconfigure the placement of tables and chairs. In multiple-use conference rooms, this is critical. Naturally, chairs and table space should also be of adequate size and comfortable enough to sit in for hours at a time. And the room should be lighted so that projected material can be seen, but audience members can see each other, read handouts or take notes with ease.

3. Aesthetics.

Finally, how a room looks and feels is important. The best presentation facilities are attractive beyond their functionality. Many, especially training centers and boardrooms, are intended to reflect the organization itself. So, they should be visually impressive, providing a combination of architectural creativity and high-tech functionality. Since people spend great amounts of time in a presentation room, we believe the atmosphere should also be pleasant and energizing.

We received more than 70 entries for this yearís contest and the editors spent many hours going through equipment lists, studying photographs and discussing the pros and cons of each room. Thanks to all who participated. And to the winners, congratulations!

óThe Editors

Copyright 2000 Presentations Magazine. Used by permission.