How to keep meetings short

27 Oct 2009 by BusinessTraveller

Jet lagged business travellers may finally have found a solution to meetings which drag on: a high concept table which visually counts down the minutes.

The new “TimeTable”, which is the result of a collaboration between the creatives at advertising agency Wieden and Kennedy UK, ico Design and Sidekick Studios has ten illuminated panels which countdown during the meeting.

As the people at ico Design put it, “TimeTable helps meeting participants better manage their meetings by instilling a shared awareness of the passing time.”

At the beginning of the meeting you set the length of the meeting by a simple twist of the dial and a recorded voice says “Welcome to TimeTable”. Then ten illuminated panels appear in the surface of the table, each panel representing a tenth of the meeting time and as the time passes, panels are switched off and a sound effect is played. Once the allotted meeting time has elapsed TimeTable politely informs attendees “This meeting is now complete, please leave the room in an orderly fashion”.

This intention to allow “creative electronics to bring a mundane item to life and gives it fresh purpose” works well across cultures, and ensures busy meeting rooms are used in a disciplined and effective manner, with no excuse for over running meetings. (So, for instance, serviced office providers would do well to look at buying one). In our opinion, it would also work well in the hotel meeting room context, particularly for those of us who fly around the world to attend interminable meetings.

The TimeTable is now up and running in Wieden and Kennedy’s new space, Platform, in Hanbury Street, East London.

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