Meetings – Are yours as effective as they could be? And the benefits of off-site meetings

We all spend a lot of time in meetings indeed a whitepaper prepared for Verizon, INFOCOM reported that business managers attend an average of 61.8 meetings per month, including 12.2 meetings that require travel, audio conferences, video conferences and 49.6 in-house or local face-to-face meetings. The research also revealed that 46 percent of the professionals polled claimed they attend more meetings today than they did just one year ago. According to the National Statistics Council, employees spend around 37 percent of their time on the clock in business meetings.

We all get asked to attend meetings on a regular basis and we all know that on occasion these meetings do not represent the best use of our time, personal experience suggests that despite best efforts; day-dreaming, shopping list compilation, jobs unrelated to the meeting can get done and prove to be more attractive options than the meeting at hand.

In the book, “Better Business Meetings,” Robert Nelson and Peter J. Economy suggest that more than 50 percent of the time employees spend in meetings is wasteful. This means that of the nearly 62 meetings an average business manager attends each month, more than 30 of them are a waste of time.

One way to possibly remedy this is to hold your meeting outside the workplace and enjoy the benefits of a change of environment that an off-site meeting  can create.  This can prove to be highly effective for employees as a change of scenery is shown to stimulate ideas, increase productivity, improve understanding, encourage communication and create the right environment for developing  better work relationships.

However, to ensure your off-site meeting works for you it is critical to plan and select the right location. Some meetings or events are more suited to smaller spaces while others are perfect for the’ big idea’ events. Other venues will work because they are centrally located, and transportation links and parking are straightforward, and others will work because they allow for employees to have social time together that does not involve work.

Guidelines to ensure your successful meeting include creating an agenda so you are clear in what needs to be achieved at your meeting. The timeline you determine needs to allow for a thorough discussion of topics and at the same time be flexible enough to accomplish everything and allow for some down time to ensure colleagues have some fun.

Ensure everyone attending is aware of the topics to be covered and prepare a fact book for each person so they read before and arrive at the meeting prepared.

Following the off-site event where all goals were achieved have your follow up procedure in place, so you can share the information with colleagues and next steps agreed.

Finally, when considering your off-site venue; equipment such as video and audio screens, TV’s, flip charts, break-out areas, plus first-class catering are all key elements needed to ensure your meetings run successfully and your time off-site brings real benefits to your  business.

If you are looking for the perfect venue for your next off-site meeting  perhaps you would like to consider The Old Bell Hotel in Malmesbury. We have two intimate meeting rooms that seat 16 in Library and up to 50 in the Garden Room. If you have not considered an off-site meeting now is the time to try. Feel free to contact us to arrange to view our facilities or request a quotation.