Expert view: Meet in or meet out

Tom Cobden, Marriott Preston director of sales, discusses the best way to organise a productive.

Tom Cobden MarriottThe days of leisurely lunch meetings hinged around fine dining and an early finish are long gone. Yet there remains a demand and good reasons for businesses to consider offsite gatherings.

One of the main purposes for offsite meetings is to create focus. Avoiding day-to-day distractions frees time to develop ideas, resolve issues and move forward.

And, with this as an objective, taking your people out of the office to meet shouldn’t be a chore. Here are 5 tips to the perfect successful offsite meeting.

1 Start early. Pro-active organisers start early and provide their people with a light bite to eat on arrival. This means meetings can start on time and the delegates are energised.

2 Communicate an agenda. The best meetings are when everyone involved knows the subjects beforehand.

3 Choose the right venue and room. Always know where you are going before the meeting is announced. Visiting conference centres and hotel venues is essential so you can decide that the environment is right for your people. There is no point in booking a 15th floor meeting room with no natural daylight for a group of farmers – they won’t appreciate it!

4 Have fun. Good content for your meetings is essential but creating fun generates memories. Ask your venue for ideas on what they can do to help. A good venue will have a lot of ideas that cost little or nothing but make all the difference to a memorable day.

5 Get feedback, it’s critical. The importance of feedback on content, agenda, venue, location, environment, and any other element, is great for improvement. Good feedback is a also a great tool when asking your boss if you can spend their money on your next offsite meeting.

At Preston Marriott, meetings are our business. We listen to our customers so we can learn what works well and what doesn’t. You don’t have to be a meetings specialist to make your gatherings special. Let us know what you need and we will help you achieve it. Tom Cobden Director of sales Marriott Preston