Sure, you can conduct your internal or board meeting in your own meeting rooms or boardroom. Indeed, you can call clients over for business meetings and use the opportunity to show off your workplace too.
But really, isn’t hiring a meeting space or booking a hotel’s meeting room that much easier? After all, when you book a meeting space, a host of organizational services and ready-to-use amenities also come with it.
It is almost impossible to go wrong with your choice of venue if you follow the checklist of location, budget, space, facilities, amenities and additional services. Don’t just go by the photos shown on websites. Visit the venue and check for your requirements personally. And in case you are still struggling with what to look for in terms of amenities, here’s an expanded list of 7 meeting room amenities that should make your life easier.
While obvious in a sense, comfortable chairs are understandably anti-climatic for the purposes of this article. Yet if you intend to have day-long training sessions or long board meetings, your attendees will thank you for choosing a venue with comfortable chairs.
When looking at a venue’s seating, also pay attention to the meeting room’s space, lighting, layout and the availability of electrical ports, connectors and peripherals for your laptops. You definitely don’t want to be tripping over a chunk of wires during corporate meets and presentations.
Another given in terms of amenities, high-speed internet with reliable connectivity. If the internet is spotty or if it is shared with other meeting rooms, you may be left waiting for web-pages and images to load. Though most top meeting rooms ensure that Internet connectivity is always spot on, it always helps to check it out in advance.
Mics, speakers, screens, projectors, etc. are the standard AV equipment required at meeting and business event venues. Whiteboards, whiteboard markers, screen pointers, etc. also come in handy. Check all the equipment not just before you book the venue but also before the scheduled board meeting.
Meeting rooms are not just about the actual room where the meeting takes place. Having ancillary spaces such as a foyer that can be used as a reception area, an open area, garden or terrace which can be used to serve light snacks and drinks during breaks, and even a cloakroom can be such an added advantage. Especially so if your meeting is long or runs over multiple days, like a conference.
Not all meeting spaces and corporate event venues offer stationery with their packages and even from the ones that do, some may not be in line with the quality you are looking for. Meetings that impress are the ones that go that extra mile. Providing attendees with quality writing pads, markers and pens is another small way to leave an impression. If a hotel offers its meeting spaces with its own stationery, you can smartly use this to your advantage. Try placing, sticking or stapling your company’s name card on top and you will have successfully personalized it.
Your corporate meets and events can fall flat despite the best organization on other counts, and this is so because of poor catering or bad menu planning. For shorter meetings, light, non-messy snacks and finger foods make better sense, while events that end just before lunchtime should ideally end with a business lunch. Good meeting spaces will already have catering services with set menus to choose from.
Organizing a meeting is not as easy as it sounds, nor does it just involve booking a venue. Most good meeting venues offer professional organizing services. This facility comes in extremely handy as you can fix your requirements in a single meeting with the venue’s business services team and let them handle the rest. Right from guiding you through the various packages on offer before you make your booking, all the way to setting up things on the meeting day, professional organizing saves you a whole lot of hassles and definitely some stress.
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Hosting a grand Christmas party can be a daunting task for first-timers. Planning, organizing, and eventually even the execution can be difficult for first-time hosts, if not properly thought out in advance. Having a step by step checklist helps to make these celebrations easy though. Here’s our ultimate Christmas party guide cum checklist to help you cruise through the pre-party planning process.
Pick a party date in advance so you have enough time to plan the party in detail. Most people make holiday plans with family and friends for the long holidays in December, so parties nearer to Christmas eve may not get attended well. As first time hosts, it is best to pick a good date slightly before Christmas.
The biggest pitfall risk with first-time party hosts is that most tend to get well over their planned budgets in their excitement to throw ‘the best party ever’. But successful parties need not be expensive. The best way to avoid this is to set aside a budget for your party. This makes it easier to then divide the general budget into smaller amounts reserved for decorations, venue, gifts, food, etc.
Depending on how big or small you want to go, make a prospective guest list in advance. This acts as the base for all the following steps. The size of your party will decide the venue and your food and beverage choices. As first-timers, try hosting a smaller group of close friends and family until you get the hang of things.
The party venue could be just about anywhere. It could be your backyard, the common party area of your complex, a rented event space or even a hotel. It depends on the size of your party and also on how formal or informal you require the setting to be. Casual Christmas get-togethers can be held at home where the atmosphere is cosy, informal and friendly. Book a party venue or a hotel if you are looking to host an office Christmas party.
If you want to have the party in a particular theme, now is the time to think it through. You can Google for trendy themes or go with one that screams traditional Christmas. Either way, having a theme thought out makes things easier for you when you are looking at decorations, food and drinks.
Now that you have your date and venue finalized, you are ready to send out invitations. Ensure that your invitations are in line with your selected theme and that you mention the theme explicitly on them. Follow your guest list so you don’t miss anyone out. You can make follow up calls or send reminder emails as the day gets closer.
Let’s face it, eggnog, alcoholic spirits and wines are expensive. So if you want to hold a Christmas party on a budget, explore alternatives such as having a cocoa bar. If this is not an avenue you are looking to skimp on, plan your drink list in advance and stock up. Plan your food menu in detail, from appetizers to desserts, too. If you are cooking at home, make your purchases in advance. If you have booked a hotel or another venue, ask for a tasting to ensure that you make the best choices.
Christmas is synonymous with gifts. If you choose to give gifts, pick them up in advance. Label them well so they go to the intended receiver and there are no mishaps on the day of the party. If you decide to give gifts, ensure that you give them to all attendees. Keep one or two extra, for unexpected drop-ins.
Whether you have chosen a theme or not, Christmas parties are not the same without Christmas trees. Set up your tree and decorate it on location, well in advance. Test the lights. If you are going on a particular theme, purchase theme based decorations in advance. Don’t forget to get your outfits in order as well.
The best of plans fail if not executed right. Whether you are having your party at home or at an external venue, set things up at least a few hours before time. This way, any last-minute hiccups can be handled well before the first guests stream in. Expect to encounter a few issues on ‘D day’, the bartender may be late, the tableware may not be the right colour or the decorations may seem off. Don’t panic, you have enough time to either fix them or think of alternative solutions.
Impressive business meetings can increase morale, improve working relationships, foster mutual respect and increase productivity. Corporates, however big or small, have a lot riding on their business meetings; since conducting meetings is both expensive and time-consuming.
There are many ways to ensure that your meetings are a success. Here are 7 that can take otherwise ordinary meetings and elevate them into turbo-charged events that bring in great results, both internally with your team as well as externally with customers and clients.
First and foremost, select an impressive venue. Rent a meeting room or hire a meeting space at a hotel, you can’t go wrong with these. Along with the usual facilities, amenities and services, look for a space with ample parking, a great location and of course, a good catering service.
Planning the before and after is just as important as planning the core material for the office meeting. If you have a number of attendees, setting up a welcome station in the foyer sets a wonderful starting point. Ending well, maybe with an informal lunch or tea-time snacks is equally important. Book a restaurant or a nearby coffee shop to amp up the impression quotient.
Conducting a meeting requires careful preparation and research. It is only when you are fully informed about the issue you are discussing, that you can handle impromptu questions and consider suggestions. This preparation also goes a long way to building up your confidence, thus ensuring that what you speak is well received.
Staying focused is important. Even if your office meeting is fairly informal, you as the conductor must ensure that you stick to the agenda. Stray ideas that deviate from the original point need to be redirected back to the subject on hand. A conductor who is skilled in subtly managing the flow of discussion usually has the most productive office meetings.
For a meeting to be a success, it must have attentive participation from all the attendees. Successful meetings hence rely on the conductor to pay attention to the audience. Take a coffee break if things are getting too monotonous or boring. Inject some humour or side observations to keep up the level of attentiveness. Try to keep things lively.
Successful meetings are almost never a one-man-show. Active guest participation, a steady inflow of fresh ideas and suggestions, and discussions on differing views make meetings really successful. Research shows that there is higher employee morale and retention in organizations that respect and value employee opinions and ideas. Meetings that encourage participation are a great way for organizations to show their employees such respect.
Successful office meetings are memorable. To make your meetings memorable, try to leave your attendees with a little something that they can take home. Your ‘give-aways’ could be anything from company notepads and pens to coffee or tea blends. You can effectively extend this gifting technique to your business conferences and board meetings too. Make the meeting experience stay with the attendees, even after the meeting has ended.
Office Christmas parties are not just for workmates to get into the holiday spirit. They are social events instrumental in helping employees let go of office stress.
Christmas parties help to foster team spirit and mutual appreciation between work colleagues and office mates. They offer the perfect chance to meet up and have a good time in an informal, relaxed environment away from the work floor.
So taking your office Christmas party too lightly is the worst mistake you can possibly do. Especially when it is so easy to elevate your Christmas party from mediocre to smashing success in just a few easy steps. Just follow the checklist below, it is as easy as that, to get it perfectly right.
These 7 simple steps can easily take your Christmas party from a one-night affair to the talk of the season!
Probably the most important item on this checklist is choosing the right venue for your office Christmas party. Of course, some of the important criteria for consideration are: within budget, easy to reach location, impressive location, facilities and services, etc. For a memorable party experience, book a good venue that stands out among others, such as upscale hotels.
Before you book a venue, ensure that you have your vision for the party’s theme and requirements in mind. Booking your venue in advance saves you time and last-minute rush related stress, and it also helps you get early-bird discounts. Don’t forget to ask for corporate or group discounts too.
To elevate the guest experience at your Christmas party, why not go a step further than just sending out the invitations. Rent a bus or arrange another form of transport so that everyone can travel to and from the party location together. A pick up from your usual place of business works best, as everyone is already aware of the location and the parking areas nearby. Party games and fun conversation starters can begin during the trip itself so everyone is already party-ready by the time you arrive at your party venue.
Theme-based Christmas parties are quite in vogue right now and even if you detest the idea of dressing up in something costume-y for the occasion, others might actually enjoy it. In fact, theme-based office Christmas parties are a super way to catch your otherwise ‘straight tie and work suit’ colleagues in something other than formal attire. You’d be surprised at just how unrecognizable some of them are when dressed as Sansa Stark or Khal Drogo!
Not many know this actually, but menus make parties! Plan your menu well in advance, keep it in line with the party’s theme and make it grand, suitable to the occasion. Serving finger foods and eye-catching hors d’oeuvres that go great with pre-dinner drinks is a smart idea. Pay attention to special diets by catering to vegetarians and vegans.
Move over traditional drinks, the ones that come out of bottles. Exotic mixes and champagne punches are more in line with the occasion, not to mention current drink trends. If you book a hotel as your venue, ask about the bar facilities in advance. If you really want to go all out with wowing your party guests, hire a professional bartender for fun, flair and bar theatrics. Now that’s an office party you’re not likely to forget anytime soon.
You just need to type ‘office Christmas party games’ in the Google search bar to be inundated with a flood of interesting ideas. But be wary of picking something that isn’t inclusive or doesn’t include everyone, for that’s a sure-shot way to fail the party. Pick a good MC to guide the crowds and ensure that everyone participates and have fun.
Everything is in the details really. To take a party from normal to phenomenal, you need to pay detailed attention to things like invitations, decorations, seating arrangements and more. Of course, things get that much easier once you decide on your theme. You can spend as little or as much as you like on these details as long as you get creative and keep things fun.
Just follow this checklist and have all the attendees talking about your office party for the entire year to come. If hosting an office Christmas party is not something your company can do this year, consider pocket-friendly alternatives such as a low-key Christmas dinner instead. Holiday celebrations should definitely be a part of your company calendar irrespective of how grand the celebrations are; they help keep employees feeling happy and valued.