What are you looking for in a meeting room?
Perhaps now more than ever, as we immerse ourselves in the hybrid world that is life during a pandemic, we are considering much more than location and if it can accommodate our numbers when selecting a meeting venue.
Ask yourself a few key questions to begin:
What is the ideal structure of the day?
Is it a relatively short meeting, with coffee, tea, snacks upon arrival mid-morning, a one group/room meeting, and gone before lunch? Is it an all-day affair, requiring breakfast, lunch, and endless amounts of coffee and snacks? Will you have a number of small group discussions, as breakouts from the main session? Do these breakouts require additional rooms?
Who is your audience?
Do you have mostly internal guests from within your company? Do you have a keynote speaker that requires a green room of sorts? And, as is increasingly relevant, what is the breakdown of live versus virtual attendees? With a mix of live and virtual guests, do the guests need to interact through group discussions, or are virtual guests simply listening in?
By starting here, you start to build a picture of the meeting and the day. You can then easily answer questions from a venue surrounding how much space will you require, would you like additional space beyond the meeting room, and what technology and tools you may need.
After gaining an understanding of your audience and audience interaction from a technology perspective, you can evaluate your venue choices accordingly. For example:
- Are you recording the session to be shown at a later date? Be sure the room can be set up to record good quality audio and allow for optimal camera angles and placement.
- Are you live streaming the session for virtual viewers? Ask about the internet – is there a separate network that you can be on, is there a hardwired option and does that bring about camera location restrictions?
- Will you need a WiFi connection for all of your guests? Is there a multimedia presentation and therefore a need for projectors and/or screens? Check the sight lines for things like this from all seats in the room.
- If you are utilizing multiple rooms, is there any need for connectivity between them (an audio output in the lunch room, for example), and is this possible?
While typically all meeting spaces have the capabilities mentioned above, for some, much of the technology has to be brought in, which can result in additional costs for you. Built-in technology that is included in the room rental can not only save you money, but, usually the venue team is much more familiar with it which can help make your day go smoother. If you do happen to require additional technology requirements, ask the venue if they have a preferred provider (and be sure to check out our Navigating Event AV blog). Often, these providers are more familiar with the space and may have discounted pricing in place.
In short, the takeaway here is that technology has a growing presence in our meeting spaces. Not only is it important to pick a venue that can meet your needs and be within budget, but also it’s important to work with a venue that will make your day run with ease.