How to pick the right naming theme for your conference rooms

Names are important; just ask anyone who has ever gone through the process of changing theirs, which is a standard practice in show business. After all, would you rather see Peter Gene Hernandez (original name) in concert or Bruno Mars? Places change names, too. New York, which was first settled by the Dutch, was once called New Amsterdam. It’s hard to imagine Frank Sinatra singing New Amsterdam, New Amsterdam, right? There’s even a proverb that states a good name is to be more desired than great riches.

That’s right, it’s better to have a name that causes people to think well than to live swell. In essence, names embody the identity of the person, place or object that carries them. To ensure you select names for your conference rooms and meeting spaces that resonate with the people who frequent them, we’ve pulled together a few ideas to help boost your creativity and narrow your options.

Who are you?

Every brand has a personality. Some brands project an image of creativity (Pantone), some are sleek and modern (Apple), some are aspirational (Pinterest), some are traditionally corporate (IBM), some are exclusive (Maserati), and the list goes on.

Before you name your meeting spaces, remember that both employees and clients will be invited to these spaces, whether in person or via video conference, and they will have an expectation that these spaces will match your brand’s personality. If you are unsure about the current personality of your brand, there are several articles online that feature exercises you can do to help define your brand’s personality. Once you have a few key descriptors of your brand’s character, such as bold, smart, or cosmopolitan, you can use these words to help you identify names that fit and eliminate the ones that seem oddly out of place.

This party needs a theme

If your company boasts lots of meeting spaces, you may want to consider using themes to help make the process of naming several rooms at a time easier and more cohesive. For example, let’s say you worked for a company, like REI, which has a pioneering outdoor explorer personality, and you needed to name a dozen meeting spaces at the corporate headquarters. A few themes that would provide a bounty of name options and be appropriate for the brand are mountain ranges (Atlas, Andes, Rocky), oceans (Atlantic, Arctic, Pacific), rivers (Nile, Mississippi, Congo), and national parks (Yellowstone, Zion, Glacier), to name a few. A few other ideas for themes include:

People: Presidents; artists; musicians; actors; composers; super heroes; characters from TV, movies and books; inventors; athletes; coaches; pioneers; world leaders, etc.

Places: Cities; countries; counties; lakes; landmarks; museums; stadiums; castles; islands; vacation destinations; restaurants; hotels, etc.

Things: Sports teams; animals; insects; plants; flowers; rock groups; Broadway shows; games and toys; planets, stars and meteors; colors and shapes; food; tools of the trade, etc.

Hello, Captain Obvious

Just as parents may toss out their favorite pre-selected names upon seeing their baby for the first time, sometimes the interior design, location, exterior views, or purpose of a room will dictate what its name will be. For example, if a conference room has a strong predominant color such as red, or features several works by a particular artist, like Andy Warhol, employees will likely refer to it as “The Red Room” or the “Warhol Room.”

In the same vein, rooms that are primarily used by a particular department or for a specific purpose will also find themselves being called by more obvious names, like the “IT War Room” or the “R&D Hub.” While these names may not be as creative as you like, or uphold the company’s brand personality in a clever way, they do ensure everyone knows that they are where they are supposed to be when it’s time to meet. Our advice? If a space has got an employee-given name or nickname, go with the flow.

Get in the game

Ask any company culture consultant and they’ll tell you that inviting employees to participate in brainstorming ideas for company-wide initiatives is always a smart move. Not only does this approach provide you with a rich source of ideas from those in-the-know, it gives employees a sense of pride and ownership in the solutions developed.

Of course, nothing builds excitement for a project quite like a little competition, so if you plan to name or rename several meeting rooms in your office, why not make it fun by allowing departments, teams, and/or individual employees to submit name and theme ideas. Then, choose the best names and give everyone an opportunity to vote for their favorites. Once the winners are selected, make a point of honoring winners with prizes such as a catered lunch for their team or department, a coffee or spa gift card, movie tickets, etc.

It’s a match

Whenever we hear a name, we typically form a picture in our mind of what that person will look like or how a place will appear. That being said, cool names that match your brand personality will feel inauthentic if the meeting space appears dated once attendees arrive. To help conference room spaces live up to their names, consider seeking professional help from an interior designer who specializes in office space, or consult your local office furniture dealer, who often offers design services free with purchase. These days, a modern meeting room overhaul is not a budget-buster, especially when it comes to outfitting your space with great technology.

Highfive’s all-in-one video conferencing solution is easy-to-use, easy on the eyes, and even easier on your budget. They feature wide angle lens cameras, HD video and audio, and out-of-the-box operability, so everyone in the room and joining via video has an amazing face-to-face experience that enables them to see your meeting space is as chic and successful as the people who named it.

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By Sara Moseley