Hosting a meeting is like inviting someone to your house.
You’re not a caterer but the way you host a meeting says a lot about how you run your business.
The goal is to have a comfortable environment so that the parties can hear each other and reasonably avoid distraction.
the goal is to have a comfortable setting conducive to open talk
Remember that meetings cut into your working time and take up a lot of energy.
- always offer a drink- water, tea and coffee is enough (nice to have biscuits or chocolates on the table but not a necessity- Nespresso or Ferrero Rocher chocolates leave a great impression). Because of the amount of times I’ve been to a meeting and have not been offered a drink, I often take a small bottle of water with me.
- easy access to pen and paper. You don’t want to scrounge around looking for the basic tools.
- fair room temperature and make sure the room is not stuffy.
- decently quiet.
- enough space to sit and write.
- neat area. I went to a meeting back in 2012 were I had to shove papers off part of the company’s desk so that I could put my notepad down. It was 7 years ago and I still remember how in-conducive and unprofessional that office was for a meeting.
- if you’re meeting someone for the first time, have a business card handy.
- have an agenda (either formal) or at least a concrete idea of what will be discussed. You should have a few of your own notes (or at least mental notes) of points you must raise. You must prepare somewhat, even if that means thinking it through while you take a stroll or have a cup of coffee before. It is important to get your thoughts in order.
- ensure that you are ready to meet when the time arises.
- allocate enough time but its important to set a time limit so that there is an incentive to stick to the subject. If the objective is not being reached, cut it short.
Nothing wrong with meetings in a casual setting like a coffee shop, I like light meetings in a relaxed environment. For a change in scenery I often suggest meeting at the coffee shop downstairs my office.