When hiring an external meeting room, approach the task as if you were organising a wedding for a very demanding bride. Pay attention to the details and don’t leave anything to chance.
To help you, we have created a list of top tips for hiring external meeting rooms.
Select a conference centre with excellent transport links and within easy reach of major roads. Avoid city centre venues which will be difficult and problematic during rush hour.
Look for a nicely presented room with comfortable seating, natural daylight, blinds to control the glare on screens and windows that open. Check out the room layout options and the room capacity.
Make sure that there are no additional charges for using projection facilities, flip charts and conference paper. Also check that water is provided.
Whoever is leading the meeting will need time to set up and prepare. It is advisable to check that whoever is leading the meeting can get access to the room at least half an hour before the start of the meeting.
If the meeting lasts all day, make sure there is a communal area where your team can get a coffee and stretch their legs. This creates time and space to mentally refresh before continuing with the days business.
Amazing food goes a long way towards ensuring that your team feel valued and motivated. If you are looking for consistently good food, choose a venue that has its own chef. Venues who use outside catering facilities can be hit-and-miss.
Make sure the venue provides free, secure Wi-Fi so that your team can check e-mails and deal with important communication during the day.
Find a conference centre with free onsite parking. Where this isn’t possible, make sure you know the parking fees in advance. Parking fees can be expensive, so if your team reclaim expenses, this needs to be factored when comparing the cost.
This can be a minefield so look out for our blog dedicated to this subject. The most reliable projection facilities are provided by smart screen TVs, and no matter what anyone tells you, size does matter! Make sure that the screen is large enough for delegates at the back of the room to see clearly. For an average team meeting of 15 people, make sure the screen is 55inch. Make sure venue staff are available to help your colleagues set up and if you are playing a film clip make sure that there are sound amplification facilities available.
Visiting venues and discussing your requirements with a member of the events team will enable you to decide if the conference centre has the ability to go the extra mile to make your meeting successful.
A word of caution, only compare the costs of venues that meet your non-negotiable criteria and discount those that don’t make the grade. If you compare based on cost alone then you could find that you team are meeting in a cheap, cold room with technology that is problematic, staff that can’t help you and food that is mediocre. This is a situation to avoid…at all costs.