Picking Your Meeting Rooms

So you’ve had a million meetings and they’re all much of a muchness. You get in, do your pitch, say your piece, debate this and debate that, you conclude, you assign tasks, you close your notes and you’re back to work. Location doesn’t matter, the meeting room layout is a trifling detail; it’s about cranking it out, concluding and moving on. Maybe you’ll put a little bit more effort in for client meetings, break out some flasks of hot water and a few teabags, but yet again it’s the same old story – a meeting is a meeting.

Don’t let your internal meetings burn you out; getting it right for a client meeting can make the difference between new business and no business, so it’s in your interest to put your best foot forward when it comes time to meet. Here are our top tips for a successful client meeting, after all, a happy client is a client more likely to make the right decision.

If it’s a really important client, you might want to consider hosting the meeting away from your offices. Holding meetings at your offices can create a sense of ‘us verses them’, requiring them to travel to your offices and hold the meeting on your terms. Picking a neutral meeting place puts everyone on the same footing and neutralises the home advantage that can put your clients out.
A little luxury doesn’t go amiss. We all know buttering up the client with the royal treatment can go a long way. Perhaps the most luxurious gift you can offer a client that is coming a long way to meet with you is the chance for a residential conference. Residential conferencing is provided by some hotels, allowing their customers to stay overnight and host a meeting on the same premises the next day. The hotels are typically kitted out with all the modern necessities for a business meeting, including projectors, meeting tables, wireless internet and teleconferencing capabilities.
Seating arrangements are important. Having two separate parties sitting across from each other on a table will only create a sense of competition. Breaking up the order of play a little, a round table is more applicable if the meeting numbers are low. Mixing the seating up a bit, so each party aren’t huddled together defensively should again lessen that feeling of separation between your team and the client’s.

It pays to put effort into your meetings. Not only will it benefit your client meetings, but with a little more thought put into the structure of your own internal meetings, you might just find them more productive, more open and more efficient.

The author of this article works for a company that specialises in Conference Venues Oxford, Meeting Rooms Oxford and Conference Venue Oxford.

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