Where you host a meeting impacts its success. For example, some environments promote discussion while others fit the speaker-listener dynamic. To pick an appropriate venue, you must first categorize the type of meeting you wish to hold.
- Training session
The steps below for booking a meeting room will help you identify the needs of your meeting type. As well, it will help you locate a venue that will ensure its success.
Pick a Location Convenient for All Members of the Meeting
When all attendees work onsite, you can use the office board room or lounge for meetings. However, when out-of-towners get involved, an external conference facility works best. This is because you want all members to have equal access to the facility. Thus, you must calculate each participant’s proximity to the venue and his or her means of transportation. For instance, how is the venue accessible via public transit and does it have ample parking?
Schedule Primary and Secondary Dates with Your Team
Coordinating a big meeting takes time; rarely does everyone’s agendas align. For this reason, survey a few dates to find ones that agree with the majority of attendees. Once with two or three candidates, seek venues with rooms available.
Consulting the group before the venue may seem counter-intuitive, but it helps set a timeframe. Rather than forcing a date on all attendees, it provides a few opportunities to schedule with a venue. Essentially, following this order ensures flexibility for all parties. That said, always inquire about the venue’s booking flexibility. If necessary, can you change the date or time?
Make an Inventory of the Equipment and Amenities Available at Each Venue
Depending on the nature of your meeting, you may require certain technologies or features:
- Wireless internet
- Conference phones
- Projector screens
- Kitchen and/or refrigerator
- Computers or tablets
- Comfortable chairs
- Adequate desk space
Different meetings also suit different layouts. Assess how flexible the venue is in adjusting its furniture. For example, can you arrange the chairs for a conference-style layout or can you remove the table for a presentation?
Get a Feel for the Staff at the Eligible Meeting Venues
Holding a meeting in-house restricts the number of environmental variables in play. For instance, you can anticipate how each person will be greeted. When using an external facility, you need assurance that the staff will uphold such expectations and create a professional environment. Researching a venue is not always enough; you might need to visit and interact with the staff.
Drop a Deposit and Read the Fine Print
Once you’ve decided on a venue, verify the rental fees fit into your budget. This extends beyond just the price of the room. Find out about deposits, cancellation policies, discounts, add-ons and more.