Planning a successful off-site meeting comes with a lot of hard work, and you want to ensure that it all goes off without a hitch. There is nothing worse than a meeting spent trying to work through technical issues or one that strays far from the original purpose of the discussion. Keep these tips in mind when planning your next off-site to make the most of your coworking meeting space.
Work with coworking space staff to determine your needs
The requirements for a successful meeting vary from person to person, so it’s important to communicate with the coworking space staff about your needs. Will you need someone to help you set up the room? Will you need access to the room before or after regular business hours? Let staff know so they can help you plan accordingly. This is also a good time to ask them about Wi-Fi access and A/V equipment usage with your particular room. Do you need special tokens or log-ins for you and your guests to access the Wi-Fi? Will you need help setting up your presentation?
Test the tech
To that point – if you’re planning on showing visuals during your meeting, make sure you can get your presentation up and running beforehand. We’ve all been to meetings where the first twenty minutes were spent trying to figure out technical issues, and when you have a set amount of time in your meeting room, it’s crucial that you get straight to business. It’s a good idea to arrive to your meeting room early to get set up and test out the equipment. That way it’ll be smooth sailing once your meeting actually starts. Your guests will definitely thank you!
Arrange for catering
If you’re catering your meeting, you’re in luck – you’re not limited to any one source for catering when it comes to coworking spaces, and many coworking spaces have plenty of nearby restaurants that can satisfy your attendees. Be sure to let the coworking space staff know whether you’ll be expecting catering so they can help point the delivery person in the right direction. Access to a full kitchen (including free coffee and tea) is another added perk that comes with coworking meeting rooms, so you and your guests don’t have to worry about making a Starbucks run beforehand.
Make it easy to find
For meetings in a shared building and/or on upper floors, it’s a great idea to put signage up that indicates where your attendees need to go. Ask the coworking space if they already have such signage for you to use (they often do), and if not, you can easily print some up.
Arrange the room
Are you hosting a presentation? A roundtable discussion? A brainstorming session? You’ll want to arrange the room based on what you’ll be doing. Take advantage of any moveable seating options – some coworking spaces even have modular tables that can be configured based on your needs. Don’t be afraid to move things around and make the space work for you – just remember to put things back in their place before you leave.
Have a game plan
This is the most crucial piece of any successful meeting. All the catering and room arrangement in the world won’t help you if you end up spending the meeting off-task. Setting a meeting agenda before you arrive is the best way to make the most of your time. We’ve all been in meetings that lack structure, and while that’s great for a brainstorm, it doesn’t work so well if you have specific action items you need to tackle. State the objective of your meeting when you begin so that your attendees are all on the same page. It’s also helpful to have a running document with next steps for specific attendees to send out after your meeting wraps up.