Organising business trips requires a lot of logistical tinkering. From booking trains or flights, to finding a hotel that suits both the budget and the boss, you’ve probably honed your skills.
But as you’ll know, perhaps one of the most critical determining factors of the successfully planned business trip is finding a meeting location that is not only practical but also sends the right message. A hotel meeting room sends a very different message to a quiet private table in a renowned restaurant. And what about all the other options in between?
We take a look at some of the most popular options and weigh the pros and cons of the conference room vs. the wine and dine approach.
The Impressive Meeting Room
With a boss that travels a lot you’re probably getting to know a lot of different meeting venues across the country. But rather than keeping your ear to the ground and hunting down the perfect space yourself, you can turn to a national service to make it easier.
Serviced office companies like i2 Office, in addition to office space, usually also have business lounges and meeting rooms available to rent.
Finding a brand you trust and relying on them for meeting spaces can cut down a great deal of your search time. You can rest in the knowledge that the meeting rooms can be booked at your leisure and will take place in prime office real estate spots in each city.
With a trusted company, you can also guarantee that you’ll have all the equipment you might need for your meeting. As conference and technical event production experts Perception have advised, an ill-equipped meeting room may leave your team unable to perform certain functions and could even undermine the meeting.
The meeting room is an essential if the meeting is between a large group of people – a restaurant or cafe would become far too hectic.
It is also the best option for serious clients that want to get down to business. They do not want to be taken on the town, they want to get things done. These clients or potential business partners will benefit from your boss putting their most professional foot forward and thus a well equipped meeting room complete with business lounge facilities can be the best venue for such meetings.
The Right Restaurant
It’s always nice to have an excuse to go down to a Michelin star restaurant and make business meetings as pleasant as possible. However different clients and situations are going to require different approaches. Once you’ve asked your boss for details on the ‘who, what and why’ of the meeting you can make an informed decision on the where.
If the meeting is intended to close a deal then a restaurant with some prestige makes a great impression – but it also needs to be quiet. If people have to shout over one another nothing is going to be achieved to anyone’s satisfaction.
If the meeting is being attended by people from overseas who perhaps want to mix some pleasure with their business then dinner somewhere sophisticated followed by drinks in a classy establishment can be ideal.
You can find plenty of lists online if you need some restaurant venue information such as the Business Insider’s list of the best restaurants in London for meetings.
Business Brunches and Lunches
If there are things to be shown at the meeting then the likelihood is your boss will need a device such as a tablet or laptop. For the device to work there needs to be a good internet connection. This isn’t particularly practical for a restaurant meeting and is much more suited to a lunch or brunch.
Find a cafe with a tried and tested strong WiFi signal. The venue will work like a meeting room but with a much more casual feel that is ideal to meet with individuals like freelancers.
As many business people (and PAs!) run on coffee, brunch is best had somewhere that can get coffee just right with some delicious homemade pastries or sandwiches to suit everybody’s needs. Business brunches are a favourite with startups, cool tech companies or those based in the trendy side of town.
Resources like Time Out can become essential when looking for the ‘cooler’ type of cafe alongside reviews and lists from The Guardian and The Telegraph. But if it’s in your locality you may wish to pop down yourself to check the coffee and cake quality alongside the strength of their WiFi to avoid mishap or disappointment.