Words by Marléna Ahearn
Photos by Julia Merrell
When you set out to plan a business meeting, there are several key factors you need to consider. One of the most crucial is location—it sets the tone for the meeting. You’ll also need to consider the content of your meeting, and how to engage your attendees. Here are 10 tips for planning a well-attended and productive meeting.
1. Set A Goal
Be clear about what the goal of the meeting is. Is the meeting for team building and having fun? Are you looking for a quiet offsite space so you can focus on your fiscal year goals? Are you entertaining clients and want to “wow” them with an interesting space? Once you define your ‘why’ you can get planning.
2. Know What People Want
It’s necessary to know your attendees and what is most important to them in a meeting space. Is it location, food and beverage, free WIFI, a fresh and modern location? You want your attendees to not only be comfortable, but excited about the meeting.
3. Stay in Budget
Establish a budget from the start. Know how much you want to spend overall. Perhaps you even break it down per person. Before you can set any concrete plans, you need to know your budget.
4. Set The Mood
Atmosphere is key! Make sure that the venue’s ambiance and décor fits the tone of the meeting or the event. Nothing is more distracting than a space that doesn’t feel inviting or appropriate.
5. Get Your Prices
Make sure that you ask the venue if there are any hidden fees. This could be anything from a 20% service charge that is added on to your final bill, the cost of parking for attendees, or even the cost of WIFI. You don’t want any surprises that will throw off your budget!
6. Know Your Contacts
Ensure that you are aware of who the point of contact is at the venue. If you have questions about audiovisual, food and beverage, or any other miscellaneous questions, you need to know who your “go-to” person is and how to contact them. Knowing a backup contact might be helpful, too.
7. Visit The Location
You’ll need to visit the location in person— it will ensure that what you are seeing on the internet or in a proposal from the venue is exactly what you will be receiving.
8. The Details
Sometimes the littlest of details can make the most impact. Do your attendees love chocolate? Perhaps you order a tray of artisanal chocolates for an afternoon break. Or maybe the lead trainer loves Beyoncé, so you introduce her with a little background Beyoncé music? Get creative here and have a little fun. The unique details will keep people engaged and energetic.
Make sure that you communicate to your attendees where to park, how to dress, and if there are any other specifics they should know in advance. During the colder and warmer months, it can be helpful to tell people to dress in layers, so no one is too hot or too cold.
10. Follow Up
Follow up with your attendees’ post-meeting with a survey or even an email. It’s important that you receive feedback so you can know what works and what doesn’t.
To schedule your next business meeting at Rochester Brainery, check out our available space rentals.