You may have a conference room, but how about a huddle room? You may have a conference room, but how about a huddle room? A huddle room is a smaller, more intimate space usually designed for just a few people to gather for a meeting. This past January we installed our first AV system in a commercial client’s huddle room for the top dogs that office to meet and get things done. Two weeks ago (just in time for our 30th anniversary VIP party) we finished building our own huddle room next to our showroom.
In our industry there has been a lot of conversation over the years about whether a showroom is a benefit or a curse to your business. I contend that even if you do not have a retail or showroom space, you should have a professional-looking area where you and clients can meet. Personally, I would not be comfortable going to your home to see equipment, but I would feel good about a separate space to sit down and figure out the right system.
We originally decided to build a huddle room because of our developing commercial market business (see: Secret Magic Grey Area), but there have been unexpected benefits of this great new space—benefits that any AV company could use.
Here is why you need a huddle room too:
Home for 4K: In our huddle room we utilized a Samsung 55-inch 4K curved screen. Admittedly, I am not a fan of 4K yet; sure it is bright and beautiful, but is it really useful in the home? Not really. There is no real content, and no one has announced a way to get it to you reasonably. (Go ahead and explain to me how Netflix is going to send 4K to my TV when the resolution already degrades when watching a show during prime viewing hours.)
So to date, I have not been a huge fan pushing a 4K sale. However, as we connected our new Mac mini to this curved 4K display, I realized something amazing; 4k already exists in PCs everywhere. It makes pictures and text crisp and readable. It makes diagrams and drawings stunning. In fact, the Mac mini has a capable resolution higher than 4K (4096 x 2304 to be exact), and the Samsung can accept 3840 x 2160. This equals a happy marriage and a way to show and sell 4K for the right reasons—for a boardroom.
Interactive Area: Our huddle room is right off our main showroom with a 4-foot by 8-foot dry erase board, a table at standing height, and four comfortable chairs. When my clients want to explain a room layout to me, or I want to draw out an idea, this room is the go-to place. We walk over and start marking up the dry erase board. By handing them a marker, they become part of the process and together you can visualize the right solution. This works for both residential and commercial business. Our clients become more invested in the project, and this makes them more likely to be invested in the solution (ie. the sale).
New Tech Room: Adding to the slickness of this room, we brought in an iPad mini and Crestron Pyng. The small space has three loads of lights, and this is a simple, easy and comfortable place to show off lighting control. Hand over the iPad to the client and let them play. They get to see the experience right before their eyes. We have a light switch that controls the three loads, all with the touch a button. We also have Sonos connected in the system to, again, show off the ease of use of the app and let the client play with the system. These are some of the best apps to come out of our industry, but if you have others that you use, bring it on.
If you don’t desire a showroom, a huddle room may still be just the thing for your company. It is a place to display new technology in a comfortable setting while making you look professional and up to date. So take some of those profits you have made from reading all these Residential Systems blogs this year and reinvest them into sales growth for next year.
Heather L. Sidorowicz is the president of Southtown Audio Video in Hamburg, NY.