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.

  1. 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.
  2. easy access to pen and paper. You don’t want to scrounge around looking for the basic tools.
  3. fair room temperature and make sure the room is not stuffy.
  4. decently quiet.
  5. enough space to sit and write.
  6. 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.
  7. if you’re meeting someone for the first time, have a business card handy.
  8. 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.
  9. ensure that you are ready to meet when the time arises.
  10. 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.