A constant flow of meetings in the same office environment or - even worse - via a screen all day every day, can become quite dull and boring. Holding meetings at an offsite venue can breathe new life and productivity into discussions and brainstorming sessions.
What Is an Offsite Meeting?
An offsite meeting is a meeting that takes place outside of the office at a different location.
When meetings are conducted outside of the office, they typically become more engaging and enjoyable. It is even seen as an effective way to build company culture.
For many, offsite meetings uplift employees with the change in scenery and environment.
Why Have an Offsite Meeting?
Offsite meetings can be used for a variety of purposes and can be really effective at boosting employee productivity and engagement.
Changing your employees’ work environment every now and then can be beneficial for productivity because employees will be more engaged in a fresh, new setting. Employees often find a different headspace which can be helpful when brainstorming or problem solving.
Getting out of the office to an offsite meeting can also foster new relationships as it encourages employees to talk to - and work with - colleagues that they haven’t had much chance to converse with before.
Benefits of Offsite Meetings
There are many benefits to taking your meeting to an offsite venue for you and your team, but it is important to weigh up the benefits to ensure you get the return you are seeking
Sometimes employees may hold the opinion that meetings are unproductive and inefficient. Offsite meetings help combat this by providing a new fresh environment to help boost productivity.
A change in the physical environment can make all the difference when brainstorming new ideas, as having meetings in the same office space can often starve the brain of stimulation.
Provides a Morale Boost
A lot of offsite meetings often include fun and entertaining exercises and some form of food or drinks service. This usually gets employees to feel excited about their meeting and wanting to be engaged.
Sometimes investing in some good food and a welcoming setting can be all that is needed to give a morale boost for those attending.
Offsite meetings provide a great opportunity for everyone to express their ideas and opinions.
Nothing works quite like meeting in person. When a group of employees share the same physical space, you can pick up on small non-verbal indications that would otherwise be missed over the phone or via video chat.
Access to the Best Technology
With the right venue to support you, you won’t need to sweat the small stuff as they’ll help to avert any possible technical difficulties and support set up.
Gives a New Perspective
A change in the physical environment can be hugely beneficial when brainstorming new ideas or problem solving. Having meetings in the same office space at similar times of day can leave the brain under stimulated.
Factors That Impact Engagement in a Meeting
It’s all well and good taking your meeting offsite but it’s important to look out for the factors that impact engagement in meetings.
The Quality of Technology Being Used
Whether it’s a bad internet connection, poor microphone quality or disconnecting video feed, tech problems detract from meetings, affecting engagement.
Reliable technology maintains interest level and keeps people engaged. Ensure that the venue has adequate AV provision and a team of experts to help.
Meetings Without a Clear Purpose
Meetings without a clear agenda often impact engagement, and tend to run on much longer without direction, which can quickly lose the interest of the people attending.
If you stick to an agenda you’re more likely to hold the engagement of the attendees far longer because they know what to expect and can be held to an itinerary.
Lack of Contribution
Often meetings that do not ask for participation or contributions will experience far lower engagement of those attending. Sometimes attendees will switch off or become less engaged when they know they won’t be required to participate or contribute in some way. Make sure you incorporate interactive elements into your content that will help engage your audience.
Not Inviting the Relevant People
Inviting people to meetings who are not relevant to the subject matter can often impact engagement because the meeting topic(s) are not of interest to some attending.
Focus your guest list and make sure to invite only the necessary people to a meeting, specifically those who the subject matter will be relevant to.
Tips for an Engaging Offsite Meeting
To make offsite meetings engaging, maintain that engagement and get the most out of the hired venue, there are several factors you can incorporate to keep people engaged.
Introductory Small Talk and Introductions
Before the meeting starts, getting people to connect and share personal anecdotes has them engaged from the get go. This is particularly important for any remote workers where it is even harder to keep them engaged.
Getting everyone to introduce themselves (if they don’t know each other already) and engage in chit-chat with one another has them engaging before the meeting even starts. Ice-breaker exercises are a great way to start too.
Outline Meeting Goals
Outlining the meeting goal(s) when starting the meeting reminds and keeps people engaged with the topic.
If using a slideshow format, start the meeting with an initial slide with the meeting goals and topics to be covered throughout the meeting so that people are clear on the topics at all times.
Give People Activities
If the meeting is particularly long, it may be beneficial to include some team building or brainstorming activities. This breaks up long meetings and maintains engagement in those attending.
If you’re interested in learning more, check out our article on team building activity ideas.
Ask For Contributions
Asking directly for input and contributions helps people to feel engaged. Having a meeting where everyone feels like they can contribute is vital to engagement.
Boring meetings are tough to sit through and they cause engagement to diminish quickly. Keep your meeting interesting with lively interaction and good visuals.
Plan breaks that allow people to mingle and socialise too.
Interested in Holding an Offsite Meeting?
When finding a venue for your offsite corporate meetings, the right venue will showcase your organisation as a professional, modern business that cares about its employees and customers.
Our meeting rooms do just that, serving not only as a venue but as a service to ensure your meeting is delivered seamlessly.
Our meeting room venues are located in Westminster London, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire and Bristol, and are joined together by our high standards of customer service, our appreciation of the needs of meeting organisers and our tasty food.
To discuss your meeting room venue hire requirements, don’t hesitate to get in touch and let us do the rest.