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According to the Harvard Business Review, senior management and executive teams spend up to 23 hours a week in meetings – a great deal of time, even given the collaborative, creative and innovative benefits of meeting face to face. When arranging a corporate business meeting or conference, proper planning is essential to facilitate desirable outcomes like focused communication, advanced teamwork and engagement rather than draining productivity.
For corporations whose footprint does not include ample boardroom or conference space, or where staff often work remotely, the challenge becomes how to physically bring teams together in a venue that facilitates information exchange. While conference calling on such platforms as Skype and Webex is often efficient, it’s imperative to have access to a conference facility that offers the technology, comfort and amenities needed to ensure that senior executives, management, and staff members across the organization can share ideas together.
Before Arranging a Corporate Business Meeting or Conference
Successful meetings begin with a thoughtful plan. Once in place, the details can often be delegated to an assistant who simply needs to tick the boxes. Before arranging a corporate business meeting or conference, the following elements must be considered:
- Meeting purpose: What will occur at the meeting? Presentations, reports, staff training, client pitches? Set a varied, interesting meeting agenda and adhere to it.
- Meeting participants: How many people will attend, and in what roles? This will determine the room size and set up requirements. For example, a traditional boardroom style may work better for a single department or executive team, whereas theatre-style seating is effective for presentations and round tables can facilitate more intimate discussions.
- Meeting goals: What collectively needs to be accomplished in the meeting? What will participants come away with (tangibly or in terms of new skills, knowledge and ideas) that will then be applied in their day to day roles?
- Meeting duration: Is it a typical business meeting to be measured in terms of hours, or a dynamic conference spread out over several days?
- Meeting controls: How will common meeting problems – such as time overruns, interruptions, side topics and the like – be dealt with, and by whom?
Choosing the Right Meeting or Conference Space
Keeping these points in mind, it may be necessary to rent a meeting room as opposed to using existing space. Fortunately, premium conference space is available for rent without long-term lease obligations or massive minimum spends – by the hour, in fact – all over the world. Such facilities are often located in high demand, densely populated business hubs and financial districts, but may be equally found in more remote locations that work well for mobile staff and specialty needs (such as team building retreats). Look for a meeting space that provides all the amenities you need so that no additional service providers are required, to streamline the process of arranging a corporate business meeting or conference. An ideal environment should include the option to choose among amenities:
- A la carte services as opposed to packages that include costly services you won’t use
- Staffed reception and tech assistance
- Tech equipment and supplies such as Smart boards, projection screens, phones with conference call lines, high-speed internet and sound systems
- Comfortable furniture and natural daylight
- Catering and coffee service
- Customizable room layouts
Arranging a successful business meeting or conference requires leadership, but it doesn’t have to come from the C-suite. Any business or group, however small, can, with a little planning, ensure an optimal meeting of the minds and discover new, more effective ways of working together.