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Five things to think about when choosing a meeting place

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I was asked a question on Twitter recently – what criteria should you use to select a venue to meet someone? So I put the question to my LinkedIn group, “The Financial Times Guide to Business Networking”.

1. Think about the other person’s requirements

This was a key theme of the answers. For example, “database_whizz” suggested that if you’re meeting a musician who is looking for good venues, then choose a venue which may suit their requirements. 

Whereas “miriamahern” recounted a time when she had seen a business coach give tough feedback to someone in a busy centre – and the person receiving the feedback left with tears rolling down her face.

So, before you think about suggesting a venue, think about what you want from it and what requirements the other person may have. I’m currently on a strict gluten/dairy free diet. When someone suggests lunch I always mention this fact, as a pizza/pasta restaurant is not a great choice for me.

2. Make sure you can both focus on the conversation

As you are going to meet someone for a conversation, make sure you can do just that. This means choose a venue where you can talk without being overheard (ideally) and without music being played. I particularly like hotel lounges which have quiet nooks and crannies where you can indulge in a private conversation.

3. Make sure there is good wifi available

Not everyone arrives at the venue at the time the meeting is scheduled. I will often arrive early, and want the opportunity to do some work or check Twitter. This means free wifi is a must for me. I hate having 30 minutes twiddling my thumbs.

4. Make sure it has good mobile reception

There is nothing worse than arriving at a venue and discovering you have no mobile reception. It also becomes very awkward when one of you doesn’t turn up at the allotted time and neither of you can get a message to the other because of a lack of mobile reception.

5. Make sure it is easy to find, access and park

If one of you doesn’t drive, then you need to think of a venue which is within walking distance of a train station. If you’re both driving to the venue, then make sure it has easy-to-access – and ideally, free – parking.

What do you consider before arranging to meet someone at a venue?

Heather Townsend is the author of The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking. and the founder of The Efficiency Coach. Follow her Partnership Potential and Joined Up Networking blog for more useful tips and tricks.

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