How to name your conference rooms

Today we’re resurfacing our most popular blog post on naming conference rooms, in case you missed it the first time around. In fact, we went through the conference room naming exercise ourselves earlier this year when we moved into our new office in Redwood City. Our new naming scheme? Outdated forms of communication like stone tablet, town crier and carrier pigeon. We’ve also recently published a few more posts on conference rooms, which will help you with everything from scheduling conference rooms to choosing a whiteboard.

There is power in a name. Picking a naming convention for your conference rooms may seem like a task of little consequence, but the names you choose may communicate more than you think. The conference room itself is a cultural symbol, a physical space where great ideas are exchanged. What you name your conference rooms conveys what you value and what defines your unique culture. Here are a few things to keep in mind when naming your conference rooms.

Pick a theme that reflects your culture

The names of your conference rooms should reflect a relevant theme. People want to feel like they’re a part of something bigger than themselves, a larger story. Having a relevant theme creates a fluid narrative that connects people to the company. Netflix does this beautifully. They named all of their conference rooms after—you guessed it—their favorite movies. For example, the conference room where they gave the go ahead to start streaming “Orange is the New Black” is called “Dark Passage”, a classic noir film starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

Make it fun, or inspiring

Who said work needs to be so serious? Show your employees it’s okay to be creative by using non-conventional themes. Facebook does this by naming conference rooms in one building after popular 1980’s television shows (it’s hard to have a boring meeting in the Arsenio Hall room). Mozilla, the makers of Firefox, names their conference rooms after famous memes and Internet slang. ‘Rick Roll’ and ‘LOL’ are two of their SF gathering spots. Not quite ready for such cheeky themes? Consider something inspirational. After all, the conference room name is the new (and dramatically improved) Successories poster. HubSpot names their conference rooms after remarkable leaders. They chose tech and business pioneers including Seth Godin, Clayton Christensen, Guy Kawasaki, and of course the late Steve Jobs.

Make sure it scales

This one is a bit more practical, but important nonetheless. Make sure your theme scales. As your company grows you are going to need a lot more conference room names. If you picked a theme with limited options, you’re in a bit of a quandary. I experienced this firsthand at salesforce.com. Our first theme was the Hawaiian islands. It fit our culture and yes, we even wore Hawaiian shirts on Fridays. Of course we quickly ran out islands so we expanded the theme to include Hawaiian language words such as Kailana, Kahulani, and Kaimana. However, I can confirm that there’s nothing worse than barging into a meeting late only to realize you misread one of the vowels and ended up in the wrong room.

What’s the theme for the conference rooms at your company? Post in the comments below or tweet us @HighfiveHQ.

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