Getting time for in-person meetings with your prospects, customers, and even internal stakeholders is not easy. Time is a valuable resource. Expectations for meetings are quite low. Nearly three-quarters of business professionals believe meetings are unproductive and ineffective, failing to meet desired outcomes.
How does a business ensure their meetings fall into the 25-percent minority? Upfront planning (for everything from logistics, location, the agenda, presenters, communications, etc.) is a critical starting point. Flawless execution of the agenda must then follow.
Don’t Forget the Meeting Room
Meeting location is an important facet of managing a successful meeting that is all-too-often neglected. Few businesses have offices in all of the locations where their meetings need to take place. This means rented meeting space is required. However, even when a business has a permanent office space, this does not mean they have a conference room that suffices for all meeting scenarios.
There are certain scenarios where a conference room with all of the professional accouterments are required. Though there are other use cases, the following 11 are situations when businesses should consider hosting a meeting in a virtual meeting space.
- Prospect Meetings.Let’s admit it. First impressions are important; the wrong meeting room can convey a message that makes winning a contract more difficult—or even erases the opportunity for a sale altogether. Even if a meeting takes place where a business has an office, the location may not be in an area of town where prospects—or customers—want to visit. Further, even if a business has a prime real estate location, they may not have sufficient office space for hosting meetings. This is particularly true for many small businesses.
- Focus Groups. Focus groups often provide valuable information used for new product development, operational changes, as well as branding and other marketing initiatives. These typically cannot be hosted at company locations; as varying degrees of anonymity are required. Further, even if that is not the case, focus group participants may decline participation if the meeting site is in a sketchy neighborhood or a hard-to-get-to location.
- Customer Meetings. The time constraints of customers can be substantial; they need to choose how and with whom they spend their time carefully. As a result, when a business secures time for a meeting—whether related to service issues, relationship building, or growth opportunities—the location and agenda need to be planned wisely. Additionally, the offices of a business may simply not be the right venue for these meetings. There are multiple reasons. Noisy offices that create distractions and interruptions are at the top of the list. But other issues such as an out-of-the-way location can be problematic. (You may want to check out our previous blog post, “Are You Planning a Customer Event? 12 Things to Consider,” for ideas on planning a customer meeting.)
- User Groups. The chance to network and learn from subject-matter experts and other peers makes user groups a particularly popular venue for many customers. The time commitment is substantial; most user group meetings last at least two hours and often three or four. Not every venue is appropriate for a user group meeting, and making sure the room includes things such as Internet connectivity, presentation tools, a configuration that facilitates interaction, among others is important.
- Partner Meetings. Partners are a vital element in a business’ go-to-market strategy. Meeting locations that permit privacy and enable collaboration and brainstorming are a must. Like prospect meetings, first impressions are also critical for partner meetings.
- Board Meeting/Retreats. Not every company has a conference room that is appropriate for board meetings. It may not be large enough, it might lack tools that make for a productive meeting, or there could be any number of additional reasons. Further, for board retreats, a company conference room is simply not the right venue. The meeting needs to take place in a neutral location, and one that facilitates brainstorming and collaboration.
- Customer Board Meetings. Invaluable insights can be gained from customer board meetings. New product ideas may come out of them, operational changes that transform a customer service approach, etc. Even if a company office has a meeting space that is a good fit for a customer board meeting, many businesses elect to hold customer board meetings offsite; neutral locations tend to foster more effective sharing of information and ideas.
- Staff Retreats. Staff retreats are a chance for a company to gather the entire team, or a select group (e.g., sales conference for a small business, product roadmap planning for engineering, etc.), for focused team and planning exercises that promote a more cohesive organization and result in new—or changes—in business strategies. The word “retreat” says it all when it comes to planning the venue; these should take place outside of the premises of a company office.
- Legal Briefings. Depending on the circumstances, a company office may not be the right location for a legal briefing. Mediation and legal counsel requires a neutral setting but concurrently necessitates a highly professional environment that provides privacy as well as all of the tools needed for a successful legal discussion (e.g., Internet, projector, whiteboard, faxing, transcription, mailing, etc.).
- Job/Candidate Interviews. There are several different scenarios where a job interview requires a location outside of a company office. Sometimes position requisitions are done in confidence from the larger company (e.g., replacing an underperforming employee, adding a new staff meeting that is tied to a confidential business initiative, etc.). In other instances, the role may be remote and thus the interview takes place in a location where a company does not have an office. First impressions count here again. Coffee shops, hotel lobbies, and other public areas are inappropriate venues for interviews. In short, the first encounter a candidate for a new job opening should be in a highly professional setting that is commensurate with a company’s brand.
- Prospect and Partner Seminars. When planned and executed properly, seminars are great opportunities for companies to engage with prospects or attract new partners. An important ingredient in the recipe for success is the venue. Having a lobby greeter, the right presentation tools, a room that facilitates learning and interaction, a location that is easy to fine and that represents a company’s brand value are pivotal.
Davinci Meeting Rooms at Your Service
Davinci Meeting Rooms allow businesses to focus on what they do best. Tens of thousands of companies with the above 11 meeting scenarios, as well as others, have relied on Davinci Meeting Rooms for memorable, highly productive, actionable meetings.
Davinci Meeting Rooms offer over 4,000 meeting rooms in 1,000 locations worldwide that are fully equipped with the latest technologies and presentation tools. All meeting rooms include a lobby greeter, who helps ensure that attendees have a great first impression and provides assistance when additional services are needed (e.g., fax, mailing, transcription, etc.). Make sure to check out Davinci Meeting Rooms the next time you need a meeting room via the Web, phone (1-877-424-9767), or live chat.