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Article: How To Plan & Deliver The Perfect Meeting

How do you plan and deliver the perfect meeting? Well first I think it’s important to understand exactly what a meeting is. Especially when all business events seem to be generically categorised in this way. For instance a conference and a meeting are two completely different events.  

What is the difference between a meeting and a conference?

The difference between a meeting and a conference is that a meeting can be called anytime and anywhere, it’s quite a reactive requirement, where as a conference is normally planned out well in advance, a conference can be quite formal and has a well thought out agenda.

That’s not to say that a meeting doesn’t have an agenda and key topics to cover it just means that normally you don’t have as much time to plan it!

I know that in an ideal world us event organisers would like oodles of time to plan and prepare for an event, really get into the nitty gritty of the details with a thought out time line. However at H.G. Wells we recognise that this is not always possible and sometimes you just have to react to the needs of your business. That’s where our expertise comes in to ensure you make the most of your precious time and your budget.

So what key things do you need to consider when planning a meeting?

First the environment – where are you going to hold this meeting?

The best space is normally away from the office, that way you and your colleagues can concentrate on the meeting content, rather than get distracted by checking emails, or taking that ‘important phone call’. A recently undertaken survey by RedStone Connect, revealed in the Conference News Publication that, 77% of UK workers believed booking an internal meeting room to be the most frustrating aspect of working in an office. Taking your meeting offsite could be conducive to your desired outcome.

Another point about environment worth noting is around natural daylight. A lot of people feel natural daylight is a must in a meeting room but I would argue that this depends on the type of meeting you are having. If it’s a round table planning session then I would say yes, absolutely. Natural daylight can really help keep people motivated and focused. Although if it’s a meeting where you need to be looking at a screen, perhaps going through a presentation, spreadsheets, video content etc. then actually a room with blackout blinds or no windows is far more beneficial as you can see the content and visuals a lot  more effectively.

The second most important element to a meeting is the food – what are you going to eat? How are you going to fuel your delegates throughout the day?

Food is a key element to any event whether it is a meeting, conference, party or general get together. If you are holding a meeting and you are discussing business strategy, training plans for staff or new products then these are very important topics to your business. If your colleagues are hungry they won’t be taking in the information or participating in the way that you want. You don’t want a serious case of HANGER in the middle of your meeting!

At H.G. Wells we have a number of menus with a variety of food options to choose from. On arrival we offer breakfast baps, danishes, smoothies, fresh fruit all the way up to your traditional sit down cooked and continental breakfast. Mid morning we can offer brain food snacks like granola bars, apple chips with peanut butter or fresh fruit. Lunch time you can have wraps, sandwiches, mini fish and chip cones, arancini, salads you name it! Then in the afternoon – if you haven’t had your fill from the tuck shop sweets that come as standard in your meeting room chef makes delicious cakes. Or if it’s a hot day we can offer ice cream for everyone. Imagine it…3pm rolls around, you have been working hard all day and perhaps the brain power is starting to dip. There’s a knock on the door, you answer it and a whole ice bucket full of magnums and ice lollies is waiting for you! You’ll see how your colleagues perk up and get that second wind with this treat!

Environment and food are very important when considering a meeting as is equipment.

It’s important that you have the right equipment to deliver your meetings agenda which might include a screen and projector, laptop, speakers, flipchart or even post it notes! At H.G. Wells we think of ourselves as a one stop shop for events, so we include all the equipment we have as standard within our room hire fee. We have an organisers stationary box in each meeting room jam packed with essentials such as white tack, post it notes, coloured pens and more so that you have all the comfort of your own office equipment in your offsite professional meeting venue.

Also you know what it’s like sometimes in the morning, you’re rushing to get you and the family ready to get to your busy days, you might have to do the school run first, then hop on the train, you can’t find your travel card, then you have to swing by the office and grab some materials for the meeting, you finally arrive at the venue, go to set up and realise you haven’t got a HDMI cable – you literally imagine that emoji where the person is hitting their head! Although this really would be no bother at H.G. Wells, we have spares! In fact we would offer to set up your laptop up for you while you help yourself to the tea and coffee station and perhaps some shortbread, because lets face it after a morning like that, you earned it! 

So that’s my top 3 recommendations for a successful meeting.

- External meeting room with good facilities

- Yummy food options for regular breaks

- All the essential equipment that you have (and have not) thought of!

Dont forget if you are looking for a meeting venue we would love to help. You can contact the sales team on sales@hgwells.co.uk or 01483 712710.

Happy Meetings!

Categories: Organising your event