We’ve all been to them - AGM’s, performance reviews, monthly catch ups - internal meetings just don’t have the same feeling as a client meeting. There’s no fancy lunch, not much chance of a glass of something sparkly and it’s squashed into the tiny half hour window of time when everyone was available.
But what if you valued your internal meetings as much as your meetings with clients or advertisers? Would it make your staff feel more appreciated? Would it change the dynamic of the meeting? Of course it’s more practical (and affordable!) to have your meetings within the office but if you run full days of yearly performance reviews back to back or you are holding an annual meeting where you want everyone to feel positive and motivated, then an external meeting space could be exactly what you need.
SEE MORE: The best meeting rooms in London
Why should you choose an external meeting room?
We spoke with Laura Pearce - Head of Sales at ITA Venues to hear her opinion of what makes a sucessful meeting. Laura explains:
"Finding the right venue for your meeting or conference is a big deal. Where possible, I would always recommend to hold events off-site and by doing so, this enables colleagues to have a change of scenery outside of their usual environment which is likely to encourage more discussion and inspire greater engagement.
"It is important that the chosen venue conveys your event objectives. It’s also important to remember that everything from the travel, the venue, the catering and the service will all add to a different and more stimulating experience for attendees. It can be a time for colleagues to de-stress being away from the office and shut off from the normal day to day activities. Quite often if meetings are held in-house, you’ll quickly rush back to your desk during the breaks to check on colleagues or emails, and this can take away from the overall focus and event experience."
Take a look at the reasons why booking an external meeting room for your staff could be the best decision you make this year:
You are on neutral ground
If you are having one to one meetings where you are discussing performance, salary and other sensitive issues then the feeling of being somewhere completely neutral can sometimes mean staff open up a little. If you feel some of your team are a little more guarded in the workplace, a fun meeting space with relaxed seating could be the change you need to have a more open and honest discussion.
It’s a refreshing change
You know that saying “a change is as good as a holiday”? It’s not, your meeting will never match up to cocktails on the beach. BUT it’s almost as good, a change of scenery will most likely mean your staff look at issues, problems or tasks with fresh eyes.
Your staff will feel valued
If you constantly have meetings in beautiful spaces with your clients and then your own staff are relegated to the office then they may sometimes feel a little under-valued. Booking a meeting space specifically for them will make them feel valued and appreciated.
It gives the meeting a purpose
If your meeting is something like an annual review of the whole company or a time to brainstorm new ideas then hiring a large meeting room for your whole team will really give the day a purpose. It’s a scheduled meeting, in a different location and your staff will naturally come to the meeting knowing it’s for a purpose and will be more likely to come armed with their best ideas.
How to choose the right meeting room
Choosing the right space for your meeting is crucial and there are a few factors to consider. If you still feel unsure of where to book, how much to spend or simply where to start then don’t forget our friendly free concierge service is here to help. Simply tell them what you are looking for and - using their expert knowledge - they will create a bespoke list of options to suit your requirements.
Think about the purpose of the meeting
Is your meeting to do one to one performance reviews? Then a more relaxed space with lots of natural light could be a calming environment where your staff are more likely to be open. Or perhaps it’s for a company brainstorm? Somewhere fun and inspiring could be just what you need to get everyone thinking creatively.
Know your budget
When you think of the benefits of hosting your meeting off-site, it justifies some room in the budget. Be clear at the start of planning your meeting how much you want to spend and think of it as an investment in your team.
Consider the commute
Where do your staff commute in from? If you are going to drastically impact their journey by hosting a meeting off site then allow for this in your timings. A half hour later start than usual is worth it if it means everyone turns up in a positive and productive mindset.
Give plenty of notice
Allow your staff plenty of notice about working off-site and treat it as something to look forward to.
Don’t forget the food
We’re all about the food here at SquareMeal! If you are holding a day long meeting then think about making the lunchtime an event in itself. If you are planning a shorter meeting then some fun and delicious snacks will definitely be a crowd pleaser.
Our favourite meeting rooms
Take a look at a handful of our favourite meeting spaces across the UK.
Meetings at Cafe Du Paris, London
For a vast meeting space with plenty of atmosphere, Cafe du Paris in London offers everything you could need. With space for up to 715 attendees, breakout areas and a first-class sound system, it is a fantastic location for delivering an annual company update or hosting an award ceremony.
The Ivy, Temple Row, Birmingham
Close to transport links and easy to walk to from the train station, The Ivy at Temple Row in Birmingham is a perfect location if you are looking for something central in Birmingham. A fantastic meeting space for up to 40 attendees - we are sure they will be inspired by the art-deco surroundings.
Are you planning an internal meeting that could be better served off-site? Browse our selection of the best meeting rooms and find the location perfect for you.