Effective, Creative, & Successful Approaches for Running an Offsite Meeting
Are you looking for creative, yet effective approaches to offsite meetings? An offsite meeting can be useful for building solid working relationships, improving efficiency, and creating a positive work environment. It can also be used to determine an important strategy or discuss a new direction for the company. However if not planned properly, a business meeting could turn into a lethargic, unproductive, or even hostile event where employees aren’t quite sure what they’re supposed to do or how they can add value. With a little consideration, you can make sure that your company’s offsite meeting is a success.
Offsite meetings may be necessary for various reasons. Team building events, for example can inspire compromise and help a department work together more efficiently. An offsite meeting may also just be an excuse to get out of the office to reward employees for a job well done. Whether the meeting is strictly business or a little bit of fun, there are a few things you can do to ensure a successful event.
1. Professional Facilities
The first step in planning an offsite meeting is deciding the best venue to trust. Forefront Center for Meetings & Conferences, for example, specializes in corporate meeting spaces. This is a business-only facility which will provide a professional environment to meet and allow for maximum productivity. Rooms can be customized for groups from 2 to 170 attendees. The staff will also be at your service making sure that all of your needs are met, including meals and refreshments. Gourmet meals can be provided for full or half day events. Unlimited soft drinks, water, coffee, and quality snacks are also available during breaks. The first step towards having a productive meeting is certainly scheduling it in the right place, and a meeting space like Forefront Center has all of your needs covered.
2. Convenient Location
When a group meets, location of the event is also very important. It needs to be convenient for all of the participants, even ones who are potentially coming from out of town, so easy access to the airport and local public transportation is a must. Parking is also a concern for those driving to the offsite meeting. For example, in downtown Boston parking may be limited and expensive. Instead, choosing a location that is just slightly outside of the downtown area, like the Forefront Center in Waltham, means there will be less parking hassles. Forefront Center is conveniently located close to Boston and just 30 minutes from the Logan Airport. Parking is plentiful and everyone can reach the location with ease.
3. Creativity-Inspiring Technology
Any meeting space needs to have the technology on hand to make the meeting run smoothly. You don’t want a bunch of people huddled around a computer screen or trying to explain something that could just be pulled up on the monitor. Make sure your offsite meeting has the right presentation or discussion equipment available. Flip charts and whiteboards should be available when they meet for brainstorming or recording ideas. Display what’s on the leader’s laptop on a large screen for everyone to see so the group is always on the same page. These little things can make a huge difference. Instead of struggling with subpar equipment, your employees will sail through discussions and onto smart, productive ideas.
Forefront Center has everything you need for a successful offsite as far as technology is concerned. From high-speed wireless internet access, high-lumen LCD projectors, and high-resolution screens and monitors, to wireless microphones and even an on-site AV technician, you can be confident that at very least the technology portion of your meeting will be stress-free.
4. Impartial Facilitators
Depending on the event, it may be beneficial to bring in an impartial facilitator for the meeting. There are trained facilitators that can help you get the most out of a meeting and help the group move to a compromise more quickly. Anyone from the organization that is leading the meeting will likely have a stake in the end result, or a pre-conceived idea as to what he or she thinks is best. An impartial observer’s only goal is to come to a well-thought out solution or strategy. This can be a great way to get more out of offsite meetings.
5. Team Building Exercises
Some of the top companies use different exercises to bring executives together towards a common goal. Team building, for example, can help build solid working relationships, improving efficiency, and creating a positive work environment. These events could be as simple as a lunch or dinner, or even a fun outing like a baseball game or a movie. Regular team building events can help make everyone feel more cooperative when a strategic offsite meeting comes about.
6. Out of the Box Thinking
An offsite meeting is a great time to get out of the day to day and say, “what if?” What if we didn’t have challenges with technology? What if we had more money in the marketing budget? What if we restructured the departments? Sometimes ideas that don’t fit into the corporate box of day to day tasks suddenly seem possible when the team goes to another location and focuses on a question or an issue in isolation. Obviously some ideas won’t pan out, but that’s what brainstorming is all about. Get creative and say that no idea is a bad one. You’ll be surprised at what the group may come up with and it just may be the best solution yet.
7. Plan for Follow Up
Often very smart, successful groups will get together, come up with amazing ideas, and then fail to follow up. Make sure someone is responsible for recording the ideas that reached consensus, distributing meeting notes, and following up on the action items. Don’t let all of that important brainstorming go to waste. Before you even begin, make sure there is a plan in place to put the ideas into action.
Whether you’re trying to brainstorm for a new marketing campaign, reorganize a company, or come up with the next big thing, by following these simple steps you can ensure a successful offsite meeting.
Consider the Forefront Center for Meetings & Conferences for your next offsite. Not only is this professional, yet comfortable facility conveniently located; it also has state of the art technology, customizable meeting spaces, and the very best in audio visual presentation equipment. Your team will be comfortable and inspired to make the offsite meeting as productive as possible, while their needs are met by our attentive staff.