For most people, the first place that comes to their mind when setting up a business meeting is the nearest coffee shop. While coffee shops can serve the purpose, there’s the problem with them being the most clichéd meeting locations in history. They also tend to get noisy and crowded with people who aren’t there for business reasons. Here are four great alternative ideas to hold your next meet:
In her TED Talk, corporate director & author Nilofer Merchant said the average person sits for over 9 hours a day – more than the average 7.7 hours of sleep a person gets! Sitting down somewhere for this long is extremely unhealthy. Taking a walk may not be the most conventional ‘business’ thing to do, but it can actually help in having a better conversation. Pick up a takeaway coffee and head over to the park or the promenade. You’ll be surprised at how much more effectively you can communicate with some stimulation from a dynamic environment, rather than the static interiors of your office or a coffee shop. Having walking meetings is a big part of LinkedIn’s work culture. Walks are especially great for one-on-ones, and personalities like Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg have been seen on walk-meets several times.
“Aren’t libraries supposed to be quiet?” Well, the reading rooms are. Several libraries do have sections where you can talk quite freely, though, and being surrounded by great books can push your conversation to levels you’d never imagine. If you’re lucky, the library in your town might even have meeting rooms.
There’s a study that says that an average person’s attention span in a meeting is around 52 minutes, while an average meeting lasts 79 minutes. That’s 27 minutes wasted! How can we make meetings more fun? Beer. Beer is the new coffee. If your client loves a pint, hey, head over to your friendly neighbourhood pub and say cheers! Alcohol leads to more honest discussions than caffeine, don’t you think?
Have a car? Well, open the passenger door. You’ve probably seen people have meetings in their cars in movies – billionaires holding a glass of champagne in the back seat of a limousine, talking to their business partners. What’s to stop you from having a meeting in your car? Go for a panoramic drive with your clients, it doesn’t hurt to try something new. Being outside stimulates your senses more than you know. Fresh air means fresh thoughts!
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