Business meetings are part of the job in any industry. When designed effectively, they can leave you feeling inspired, accomplished, and connected. However, when designed poorly, they can leave you feeling like you wasted your time. According to Doodle’sDoodle’s 2019 State of Meetings report, the cost of poorly organized meetings in 2019 reached $399 billion in the United States.
To help you avoid contributing to this waste of time and money, District Offices’ has gathered our meeting planning intel and shortlisted the secrets to hosting productive meetings— so you can hit 2020 ready to go.
Set the Stage
Everything in a meeting communicates something. What is the look, feel, sound, and smell you envision for your meeting? Thinking about these things critically can improve the quality and effectiveness of your meeting. Different feels— like bean bags versus spinning chairs, smells— like coffee versus a whole meal, and looks— like round table versus lecture style, all have the potential to say something. Perception, engagement, and results can be communicated before any words are spoken. Keep in mind just because something is important doesn’t mean it needs a high-end luxury setting— think about who’s attending, how people are likely to respond in your chosen environment and then evaluate.
Are you celebrating? Brainstorming? Is this strictly business?
Define your goals and structure accordingly. Think about what you want out of the meeting. If the purpose of your meeting is clearly outlined, you are bound to be more productive. Getting your goal organized with a plan of action and communicating this to all attendees ahead of time if a crucial part of hosting a great meeting. Give everyone enough information so that they can be prepared. Create and share an agenda and stick to the timing you’ve allotted to discuss specific topics.
Onsite or Off?
Not every meeting needs to be offsite, but exploring the benefits of offsite meetings can assist you in deciding what’s right for your event.
Here are a few reasons companies choose an offsite venue:
- Focus: There are far fewer distractions at an offsite venue than onsite. It can help people to feel like they can be fully present and deal with the meeting at hand rather than the mix of daily duties in the office.
- Face Time: Relationships in business can sometimes matter more than the work. When people travel somewhere different together, they end up spending more time getting to know each other, which can strengthen business relationships.
- Tech Support: With offsite facilities, logistics can be taken care of smoothly without you having to be in charge. Audio/visual assistance can be provided and may offer new capabilities you don’t have access to in your regular office.
- Creativity: A new venue sparks creativity with different stimuli for attendees to gain inspiration.
Extras— What’s Necessary?
Will the space be able to accommodate your needs? No matter if you’re on or offsite, your pre-event planning strategy needs to cover what business services, transport, coffee, or catering are necessary. Can this all be done in house? What should be incorporated to make this a more productive meeting? Scheduling out beforehand will help you work through these kinks and decide if there are any break times and what may be required for that.
Planning can be time-consuming, but it’s all worth it in ensuring a productive meeting. It will help you to achieve your company goals more efficiently. Whether you are trying to bring employees together, brainstorm, or close a deal, careful planning that considers all of the elements will help your attendees, and you get the most out of the experience.
If you’re looking to host an important meeting, we have private space for hire in D.C. We are happy to help guide your plan from start to finish. Please reach out with the kind of meeting you are interested in hosting, and we can find the perfect fit for you. To browse our offerings and locations, head here.