If you lead and manage a large team who are based in different locations across the country, you are likely to be very familiar with the difficulties of finding suitable venue for your monthly meetings. No surprise really. There is a lot to consider and as the manager one of the biggest hurdles is finding a venue that your team actively LOVE visiting.
Finding this holy grail of meeting venues is well worth the effort as it makes your job so much easier. Not only does it help to ensure that all of your team attend, but it also creates a positive and productive atmosphere in which your team are engaged, enthusiastic and motivated towards achieving the companies next set of objectives.
The answer can be divided into two sections; your essential requirements, and subjective factors which leave your team feeling positive. Both elements are essential if you wish to ensure that your meetings are productive and successful. It is tempting to relegate the feel-good-factors to the side line, thinking of them as nice to have, but not essential. However as soon as you examine their intrinsic value, you may well reconsider this point of view.
How your team feel when they are at a venue influences their state of mind and affects their willingness to embrace the focus of your meeting. Choosing a meeting venue which has the ability to WOW your team sends them a clear message that you; their manager, value them. A valued member of the team becomes a powerful force for good, moving your team and company forward.
At Heath House Conference Centre in Uttoxeter, we believe that small gestures go a long way towards creating an atmosphere where your team feel happy and looked after. A warm welcome on arrival, coffee to help kick start your day and friendly, knowledgeable staff on hand to help you are all essential ingredients to the service that we believe your team deserve.
“If you are looking for a place where good customer service has not been forgotten, then look no more. Nothing seems too much trouble for these guys, I’d highly recommend them.”
If your meeting lasts all day, food plays an incredibly important role in helping your team to feel valued. Giving your team time to sit down and sharing a light lunch or an extravagant meal, provides an opportunity for them to socialise, relax, and mentally refresh, before continuing with the days agenda. At Heath House Conference Centre, we have developed an excellent reputation for providing business lunches that impress and delight our clients.
“If you require a meal for your clients this is the place to go, restaurant quality food which is always nice to impress your customers with. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them.”
Having our own team of chefs onsite enables us to provide consistently high-quality food which can either be served in our restaurant, or if you are on a tight schedule, can be served in your meeting room. It also ensures that all of the food we provide is high quality, so regardless of the option you select; from the simplest lunch to the most extravagant meal, you can be certain that your team will be provided with an enjoyable meal. It is a testament to the talent of our chefs that our clientele wax-lyrical about even our simplest lunchtime option; sandwiches and chips with new customers often commenting that they have ‘never had such amazing sandwiches’. Over time we get to know our customers and are able to tailor your meal (even if it is sandwiches and chips) to your groups likes and dislikes.
Creating this ‘feel-good factor’ cannot happen if the basis (non-negotiables) are not right. This second set of considerations provide a base which enables the feel-good factors to permeate.
Here is a checklist of considerations which it is advisable to have on your list of non-negotiable meeting room requirements. Each company and team is different, so you will need to decide upon their priority order.
If your team are going to spend one day a month working intensely within this environment, your meeting room needs to be a welcoming and pleasant environment. It should be light, airy, clean and above all comfortable. It is a good idea to check that the room has natural daylight, windows that can open to allow a welcome blast of fresh air when required, and that blinds are available to block out bright sunlight when you are using the projection screen. Ensure that you can control the temperature within the room. Ventilation and warmth are equally important. If your team are too hot, they might become lethargic, and if they are too cold they could potentially become miserable. Neither outcome is conducive to a productive meeting. All of our training and meeting rooms are clean and crisp, bathed in natural daylight with comfortable seating, windows that you can open and radiators with thermostatic valves. It is also a good idea to check where your meeting room is located within the building…what message does it convey to your team if the meeting takes place in a long-forgotten room at the back of a pub, or if they have to walk down endless corridors which have bedrooms off them. Thankfully, Heath House is a dedicated meeting venue so this is not an issue for our business customers. It is also sensible to make sure the venue has a break out area available where your managers can get a coffee and stretch their legs. This helps to keep people mentally fresh and on task.
All the IT in the world is pointless if you cannot use it effectively and easily, so finding a venue that has staff on hand to help you set up and answer any queries is essential. All of our meeting rooms are equipped with smart screens LCD projectors with integral sound amplification, so you can arrive, plugin your laptop, and you are ready to go. Our venue staff are on hand to iron out any teething problems. We have selected specifically large screens in order to ensure that delegates can easily see your presentation. Free, secure Wi-Fi is available throughout the building so your team can stay in touch with clients when you break for coffee. Each room has access to the internal telephone system, enabling you to call reception for anything that you require and enabling us to notify you when guest speakers arrive. Also available on site is a complete office backup system. We are able to provide last minute printing and copying, field calls from your head office, make calls for you…whatever is needed to help your day run smoothly.
Typically, your team will have to get up early, travel for varying distances, often experiencing rush hour traffic, so when they finally arrive at the venue, having a space to park is extremely important. Town centre sites often have no parking or require delegates to park in multi-story spaces which they have to pay for themselves, or reclaim through expenses. Having parked they then have to find their way to the venue on foot, often arriving feeling stressed and irritable rather than refreshed and ready to work. Heath House has onsite parking which is managed by our staff, so on a busy day a member of our conference team will meet you on the carpark and show you where to park your car. (And of course, our carpark is free)
For some, this is the decision-making factor. Finding a central location with excellent transport links, which is easy to find, can be crucial. Many companies make the mistake of looking for venues in the centre of a town or city which are difficult to reach during rush hour. Venues on the outskirts of towns can be hugely advantageous as your team will not have to negotiate the same level of rush hour traffic and grid lock. Heath House Conference Centre is located on the outskirts Uttoxeter which is a small market town in Staffordshire. It is just off the A50, half way between Stoke and Derby, in easy reach of M1, M6 and A38, and approximately 38 minutes for East Midlands Airport. Being seconds from a free flowing major trunk road, takes the stress out of your teams journey meaning that they arrive fresh and motivated rather than stressed and agitated.
All business decisions to a greater or lesser extent, are influenced by cost and at Heath House, affordability it central to the service we provide. Cost however should be seen within a larger context. The cheapest venue, can in the end prove to be the costliest option. A cheap room which is cold, with poor quality food and awful facilities can lead to low productivity, de-motivated people and an atmosphere of despond, wasting not only the room hire costs, but also the costs associated with your team’s time and more importantly, their motivation going forward. Not only do we provide a warm welcoming and attentive service, our room hire costs are designed to be very affordable.
One of the most rewarding aspects of running a meeting venue is getting to know our customers and understanding what they need and then delivering these requirements on time. Before you book a meeting room at Heath House, we will take time to understand your objectives. We are always willing to go the extra mile for you, so tell us what is important to you and we will do our best to make it happen.