In our connected and smart work spaces, business meetings are still an important aspect of work. While meetings are important, our modern times have seen a change in the format and spaces used for a business gathering. In fact, meetings can be held in all types of spaces—from a traditional conference room to a coffee shop. Why would you choose a conference room over a coffee shop or vice versa?
Meetings in a Coffee Shop: Pros & Cons
For a time, it was somewhat trendy to hold business meetings in a coffee shop. This has been especially true for remote workers, entrepreneurs and freelancers. Not only does a coffee shop (or similar space) offer a more relaxed place to meet, but you’ll be assured of an unending supply of coffee during the meeting too. The shop may also serve snacks and sandwiches, making this an attractive space to hold business meetings.
As with all good things, there are some downsides to holding meetings in a public area, such as a coffee shop or restaurant:
No available space: if the shop or restaurant is a popular spot, you may have a hard time finding enough spaces to accommodate your meeting attendees.
No support services: a coffee shop probably won’t be able to offer office services such as printing, a dependable and secure Internet connection, etc.
No confidentiality: in a public space, you won’t have much privacy to discuss important business topics.
Noise & distractions: public spaces, such as a coffee shop or something similar, are often busy and filled with noise. All the noise and distraction could make it difficult to hear and concentrate during the meeting.
Doesn’t look professional: if you’re trying to impress, holding a meeting in a cafe with a teaming partner or client may not be the way to go. A more professional setting gives the best impression.
Meetings in a coffee can be a good place for your next meeting; however, keep in mind that it’s best to avoid these spaces if your discussion needs to be conducted in privacy and you’re looking to impress. Coffee shops and other public spaces can also be a good choice if you’re a freelancer or a startup as these places can be easy on your budget but they may not provide the professional atmosphere you need.
Using a Meeting Room: The Benefits
Dedicated meeting spaces can give your clients and partners a good impression of your business, while providing a professional environment and making an excellent backdrop for a meeting. You’ve seen that there are a few downsides to holding a meeting in a public space, but what about using a meeting room? Can that be beneficial? Let’s take a look.
1). First impressions: giving your partners and clients a good first impression helps provide your company with a professional image. Conducting a meeting in a professional setting can earn you clients and new business, leading to company growth.
2). Privacy: unlike a public setting, a meeting room is a space created specifically to keep things private and confidential. You don’t have to worry about eavesdroppers. Sensitive information and the business deals are all safe within the walls of a conference room.
3). Focus: a conference room creates a quiet environment without distractions, which allows everyone in the room to focus. Not only that, but you’ll be able to hear one another, too. You can get down to business with ease, without the distractions and noise in a public space, such as a coffee shop.
4). Plenty of space: meeting rooms are generally large and offer plenty of space for your meetings. You can plan ahead for the number of people attending the meeting and be sure you’ll have enough space to accommodate everyone. The meeting can be held in a spacious room that lets everyone be comfortable and focused, while a small meeting can be conducted in a smaller space.
5). Connectivity: most conference rooms include WiFi, which allows you to use smart devices and other office equipment during the meeting. Not only that, but a dedicated Internet connection will be secure and safe for emails and other confidential communications, sharing sensitive documents and more.
6). Support services: along with dedicated WiFi, a well-appointed, modern meeting room can also include office support services. Say one of your clients needs to print out an important document during the meeting. With a conference room, you’ll have access to a printer to get that done quickly and efficiently. Other services may include catering (think coffee, donuts and more), projectors, staff to help with greeting, office support and more.
7). Professionalism: when you work in a modern setting such as a conference room, everyone expects the meeting will be conducted in a professional manner. Everyone understands it’s time to get down to business, even if the setting is somewhat relaxed.
What to Look for in a Meeting Room
Whether you’re creating your own meeting room space or looking to rent a conference room, there are some considerations to keep in mind. You’ll want a meeting space that works, so look for these features or build them into your office meeting room:
Flexibility: this is an often-overlooked quality in a meeting room—you want to keep it flexible. Create or look for features that make the room usable for different types of meetings. Opt for tables and chairs that can be arranged in different ways (U-shaped, theater or classroom style layouts), etc. Flexible conference rooms offer take advantage of the space and furnishings to provide you with the most optimal meeting environment.
Accessibility: look for conference rooms that are accessible for those who may have wheelchairs or other mobility issues. In addition, you’ll want to make sure the room is easy for everyone to find. Nothing is worse than being late to a meeting because you couldn’t find the room.
Support services: consider the types of support services you’ll need. More than likely, you’ll need a space that offers a secure high-speed Internet connection. Other considerations—will you need access to a printer, catering or kitchen facility, audiovisual tools, etc.
Conducting a business meeting is possible in a coffee shop; however, you’ll find more benefits by taking business to a meeting room. Not only will you and your company look more professional, you’ll have a more businesslike environment to have a true connection and interaction amongst attendees. A meeting room gives you the right atmosphere to take care of business, while making a good impression at the same time.
Funnily enough, here at Wizu we are specialists in providing professional meeting rooms that are affordable but don’t compromise on quality. Find out more about our vibrant city centre meeting rooms.