It has almost been a decade since my sister and I established our business, giving me ample time to reflect on our recipe for success – one of which has been effective meetings.
In the early days it was essential for me to hold countless meetings, with potential occupiers, suppliers and investors, often in a short space of time or with little notice. I realised that professionalism was critical in ensuring that a new venture can be successful and that a critical part of this was the ability to conduct punchy, effective and professional meetings.
However, I often felt frustrated at the lack of suitable meeting rooms and professional settings available to entrepreneurs, particularly for the type of clients and the business I wanted to attract. This month, whilst away from my own offices and hoping to set up a meeting, I found that the problem persists.
An increasing number of entrepreneurs and business leaders have realised that a footloose existence makes holding professional meetings difficult. The home office, coffee shops, or crowded shared working areas – popular bases for modern businesses – are not adequately equipped with the right ingredients to host an impressive meeting, yet often businesses face little alternative.
Below I outline four key tips to help create the right environment for effective meetings – so you can attract clients and investors.
(1) Location, location, location
The location of a meeting can be as important as the content for the individuals you will meet. The best meeting rooms are centrally located to ensure that all clients, investors and stakeholders are able to conveniently travel to the desired location.
This is why Office Space in Town ensures that our offices and meeting rooms are located in the most easily accessible parts of London, allowing companies to choose the perfect setting.
(2) Create the right environment
Impressions are everything and a smart meeting room is one way of instilling confidence in potential investors and clients – it also conveys a sense of pride in the service you provide. The meeting room is often the focal point where critical business decisions are made.
As well as the appearance, businesses should consider the functionality and the purpose of the room. Equipping the room with comfortable furniture is essential for meetings and simple environmental factors, such as being able to control air conditioning, can make the difference between a long, productive discussion and a meeting cut short.
Sound management is also one of the most neglected aspects of meeting room design and the best are well sound proofed to ensure optimal communication. As well as guaranteeing the right environmental factors, it is equally important to make sure the meeting rooms have flexible arrangements, which can be set up in a range of seating and table configurations, catering for the varying needs of those conducting the meetings.
(3) Keeping up to date with the latest technology
Businesses are realising that to compete in today’s world it is essential to implement the latest technology. Whilst you may have mastered the perfect presentation, technological hiccups risk derailing your business plan.
The world is moving at a faster pace and meeting rooms must be equipped with the latest technological advancements such as plasma screens, high speed internet and click share technology to maintain a seamless, effective and productive discussion.
(4) Instant accessibility
As an entrepreneur and founder of Office Space in Town, I have found that simply booking a meeting room can be a surprisingly complex process. Business leaders have hectic lifestyles and are inundated with high workloads; sourcing a meeting room should be seamless and efficient.
Currently, there is no centralised system to quickly and efficiently find meeting rooms, so businesses should know their options, identifying a variety of appropriate spaces, to ensure ready and reliable access to trusted room providers.
Conducting effective meetings is an essential ingredient that should never be underestimated. In an increasingly competitive world, businesses need to ensure that they stay ahead of the game. The ideal meeting is the first step towards this.