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Pros and cons of offsite meetings

31/01/20

No matter what kind of job you have, chances are you are involved in meetings. These are great for discussing opinions, solving problems and creating plans. Face-to-face communication with clients and employees should never be undervalued and can be much simpler than trying to communicate via phone or email. Having offsite meetings is becoming increasingly popular. Getting out of the office has a range of benefits and can actually improve the way you communicate with your team, as long as you plan these meetings sensibly.

Better technology

Pros and cons of offsite meetings

Tech can improve your meeting

If you visit a dedicated venue for a meeting, chances are they will have a range of technology that you won’t have in the office. Things like smart whiteboards, AV technology and projectors can all be very handy during a meeting and will often be provided for you. Having a few extra features can really refresh the way you have meetings and get delegates excited about the content. Technology can be used to make your meetings more interactive, and therefore engage your audience more.

A smart whiteboard is perfect for doing quizzes and surveys. For example, if you have a bigger group, you could use a poll on the whiteboard to ask for peoples opinions or preferences on something. Delegates can simply vote using their laptop or phone. If it’s a Monday morning and the energy levels are low, start off with a simple 5-minute quiz to get everyone’s minds warmed up.

Tech can be a distraction

Tech is great in so many ways but can also be a hindrance. If you have a malfunction in the middle of your meeting, this can cause a distraction. A few minutes of interruption can lead to delegates looking at emails and phones and then all the creativity and motivation you rallied up is gone. If your meeting is prestigious, a tech malfunction may throw you off your presentation and leave you floundering. Additionally, planning a meeting around all the cool tech you can use can cause focus from the actual content to be lost.

Change of scenery in offsite meetings

offsite meeting benefits

A fresh perspective

Repeating the same routine can become stale and leaves little room for inspiration or creativity, which does not help in any corporate meeting. A change of scenery can be exactly what your team needs to find new, fresh ideas for issues. It also stops meetings from becoming a mundane occurrence so delegates actually get excited about it. Having a trip out can be a morale boost for the team. This helps keep motivation and therefore work ethic high.

More meeting preparation

Holding an offsite meeting is obviously more preparation than simply holding it in the office. You’ll need to book ahead and ensure everyone has transport to the chosen venue. This involves more organisation and cost when trying to get everyone together. Realistically, you can only hold offsite meetings on occasion, as there is plenty to think about when planning an offsite meeting. Particularly if it’s an emergency or reactional meeting, as these would be better kept onsite.

Distractions for delegates

offsite meeting benefits

Fewer interruptions

In a bustling office, distractions to your meeting can be rife. With noise going on outside or people knocking, it can be detrimental to delegates focus leading to less engagement. In a dedicated meeting space, the rooms will be isolated to ensure no noise will distract from the meeting. It’s also likely that the guest list would be more calculated if delegates have to travel to get there. This means people won’t be there unless they really need to be. In theory, this should eliminate people checking phones, emails and talking because they don’t see the relevance of the content.

Loss of focus

Meeting in a new place which is outside the office can be a distraction in itself. A new place is bound to excite delegates and this can be utilised if they are focused but may end up in a loss of concentration if not. It may cause delegates to focus more on the setting than the content of the meeting. If you reinforce the importance of the meeting and why you are taking the time away from the office, you should be able to counteract this.

The final word

Deciding on whether your meeting is onsite or offsite very much depends on the type of meeting and occasion. A bigger meeting for your company, perhaps with an important client, may benefit from the extras that an offsite venue can provide. A smaller meeting which could be completed more efficiently would be more appropriate in the meeting room in the office. This is the best way to achieve the most positive outcomes and avoid the negatives of heading offsite.

If you are looking for the next venue for your offsite meetings, look no further than Ettington Chase. Choose from 15 flexible meeting rooms and benefit from a team who have a wealth of experience in hosting successful meetings. We are an easily accessible location just 15 minutes from Stratford-upon-Avon. Easy access to the M40 and 30 minutes’ drive to Birmingham International Airport makes for a great turnout. When your guests arrive, they are able to settle in straight away and make use of free onsite parking. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for more information.