Despite a forecast growth in the number of employees working from home and the rising usage of remote conferencing platforms that allow meetings to take place outside of dedicated spaces, over 20% of companies expect to add additional meeting rooms in the coming years, according to a new study from Futuresource Consulting. The company’s latest corporate audio-visual (AV) end user report, which provides insight into the converged world of unified communications, highlights the challenges and opportunities for both businesses and suppliers to enhance employee collaboration, communication, and efficiency in the meeting room and beyond.
Futuresource interviewed both corporate AV purchasers and meeting room users in France, Germany, the U.K., and the U.S. about their spending on, and use of, meeting spaces. The report highlights that nearly 50% of employees note their average weekly use of meeting rooms has increased in the last two years, while the total addressable meeting room market (TAM) exceeds 5 million rooms in both the Western European and North American markets.
“Alongside a general increase in meeting room use there is also a drive towards more collaborative work group environments,” said Ben Davis, Futuresource Consulting. “This is being accelerated by two key points of development, namely, the rising adoption of touch technology and the growing requirement for meeting room AV to host remote attendees.
“Touch is entering the meeting room in both mobile devices and meeting room displays,” Davis continued. “Our survey shows that 26% of respondents are using tablets or smartphones to share content in meetings and over 30% of companies expect to purchase an interactive meeting room display within the next two years, significantly growing penetration from its current base of <5%. This touch eco-system is creating new opportunities for content management and collaboration solutions that allow interaction through multiple screens and devices.”
The integration of conferencing solutions is another key point of consideration for AV purchasers, according to the study. Over 50% of employees surveyed have been assigned a company-sponsored web or video conferencing account and there is a strong requirement to use these tools in meeting spaces with one in five face-to-face meetings including a remote attendee connecting via video, web, or voice. The adoption of interactive and conferencing tools is creating demand for display, conferencing, device management, and collaborative software products.
“Across each of these categories a growing number of providers are offering affordable, scalable, and highly converged solutions to address the varied requirements of both enterprise and SME [small and medium-sized enterprise] customers,” says Davis.
The research also explores the adoption of display products highlighting the growing appetite to and motivations for both company purchasers and employees to replace projectors used in meeting rooms with flat panel solutions.