In the old days, they were known as demo rooms. And that's basically what they were — nicely appointed (perhaps) in-house conference rooms for showing off the latest products.
Today, briefing centers are a reflection of the company in every way, from their sleek architecture to their snazzy features. The 1990s saw a pronounced escalation of the concept, most notably in technology companies. Though that slowed in 2001 and early 2002, the past two quarters have seen a resurgence in reno