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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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.