Deciding whether or not to call a meeting is a task in itself, especially with businesses wasting $37 billion a year on unnecessary meetings. So when you decide that a meeting is indeed necessary, it’s vital that you make it count.
These days people hold meetings in countless places—offices, coffee shops, parks, restaurants. Getting the location right, or wrong, can set the tone for the success, or failure, of an entire meeting. To help you decide, here are some of the most popular business meeting locations and when to choose them.
1. Meetings at your office
Having a meeting in your office seems the most obvious choice. But if you are a small business or startup then your office might consist of only one room, making it difficult to achieve a suitable level of noise or privacy.
If you are renting a space within a larger building, be it a serviced office or special unit, you may be able to access meeting rooms on demand. For instance, i2Office have meeting rooms available to rent on a half day, day or hourly basis. Alternatively, co-working spaces like those offered by NetWorks often have large communal areas with adaptable meeting spaces.
If you are lucky enough to have your own, larger office space, then you can create a more discreet meeting room by adding dividers. Large shelves can be a simple and practical way of breaking up space, adding storage, and minimising disruptive noise.These tips from Career Addict can help you spruce up an office with meeting room potential.
2. Using your client’s meeting room
For some businesses, especially if you are working with larger clients or when there are more people attending from the client side, you can make use of their meeting room. A benefit of this is the opportunity to get to know the client and their business better by visiting their premises, seeing how they work and getting a sense of their in-house style.
You should always check what equipment they have before attending a meeting with your client. If they have a screen for their meeting room computer then bring slides or a computer to display your meeting notes. Chances are that if the business is using a system like this it means that they prefer to have a screen to look at in their meetings. Similarly, if their meeting is a technology free zone, then bring print outs (enough for everyone), so you have a resource to work from.
3. Renting a meeting room at another location
Using a rented meeting room can solve many of the problems you may be having with settling on a location. For instance, your office and your client’s office may be at opposite ends of a city, so meeting halfway and renting a space may be the most convenient solution.
Booking a meeting room allows you to guarantee a professional atmosphere without having to compromise on location. It also presents an opportunity to see a change of scenery. For instance, if the meeting is going to involve plenty of creative thinking and imagination, book a space that is completely different in appearance and atmosphere to your own office. Or, if you already work in a trendy “coffice” style environment but need to hold an important meeting, explore the various professional meeting room hire options available at business centres in the city.
4. Holding a meeting in a public place
Some meetings will be more casual than others. Depending on your need for a more private space, you might consider ditching a more traditional meeting room option for a public space.
Like rented meeting rooms, meetings in public places like cafes, restaurants, and even parks, can be more accessible for people who will have to travel to reach each other. They are also ideal for more informal meetings, catch-ups and chats. This list of the best public meeting places in London displays the variety of the kind of meeting places you can choose, ranging from fancy restaurants to trendy cafes.
Make sure to book in advance if possible, especially if you are planning to stay for several hours or need a table to work from.