The location of your meeting is the stage upon which your corporate story is enacted. Alongside technical considerations of numbers and amenities you need to decide whether that story is best told in a location that says Royal Albert Hall, Jazz Bar or Stanbrook Abbey.
There are many resources available to aid in choosing the right space. Wiley’s ‘For Dummies’ series has a cheat sheet online, and an article that highlights 5 key areas: Transportation, Seating, Heating, Noise and Distractions and Lighting.
You should also make sure you have access to the necessary technical equipment, amenities such as bathrooms, water and even a café.
While there is a great deal of advice about choosing the right location in terms of utility, perhaps the words of Thomas Szasz offer the wisest instruction in terms of that location suiting your company: define or be defined.
Avoid conventional definitions of utility, practicality, luxury or class and aim to find a place that highlights your company’s USPs, illuminates its character and on a subtle level promotes its values. Aim for the unique, be specific, and provide detail.
You may think that the environment where you deliver your corporate meeting is secondary to the quality of the content you deliver but you’d be wrong. Whatever comes out of that meeting, whether it’s a new partnership or a revolutionary product design, the thing that people will most readily remember, the thing that will lend your meeting it’s essential character, is the location.
Over recent years, a great deal of research has been conducted which demonstrates that the physical architecture of your company is the most readily recalled aspect of your company after product images. Speeches, mission statements, pitches – these things just don’t stick as easily, and are recalled only through the filter of what your location and your product look like.
The location you choose is an essential ingredient not just of a successful meeting, but also of a tightly themed and well-knit corporate image. As much as your speakers will be ambassadors of corporate identity, the space itself is an ambassador of your corporate image.
The location should, above all, signify, embody and represent the best aspects of your corporate image. The space should say, in a split-second, everything about your company that you want people to remember. It should set-the-scene by instilling positive associations between the members of the meeting and the company as soon as they walk through the door.
To keep it simple, you need only remember DHAPPER
Note characteristics of your company, the meeting, and the aims of both
Fuse the aims, framing them in the context of the location
Small props, such as flowers in the colour of the company logo, can enhance your story
See the meeting as part of the ‘bigger picture’ of your company’s persona
All the little details are endorsements of your company’s values
Engage the audience members. Personalised name cards in something grander, but not necessarily more expensive, than marker pen can go a long way.
Pictures speak a thousand words, and this visual representation of your company will make an indelible impression.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Office Now