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Tips on planning a successful meeting

From the best times to serve caffeinated drinks to considerations for overnight stays, here are our top tips for planning a successful meeting.

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Handling dietary requirements

Pre-empt the fact some of your delegates will have various dietary requirements by designing menus that already incorporate some of the most common dietary requests. For example, ensure there are vegan and gluten-free options with every meal and snack you serve. Ask all delegates ahead of time if they have any dietary requirements so you can be organised about providing alternative meals. Discover our delicious menus.

Overnight guests

If your meeting involves an overnight stay, ensure your delegates will have everything they need. Access to reliable Wi-Fi and other business facilities are an absolute must, as is providing dinner and breakfast. Think about any added extras you can provide so that staying the night is a pleasant experience rather than a chore. For example, access to fitness and spa facilities goes a long way. Organising drinks and networking opportunities during the early evening, or breakfast networking in the morning, means delegates will maximise what they get out of the trip too. Discover more about overnight delegate packages.

Ice breakers and team building

Once you get delegates to your meeting, everyone will get the most out of it if they feel a little bit relaxed. Incorporating ice breakers and team building into the day will help people feel at ease with each other. The best ice breakers to start the session off are simple but effective. For example, start with a fun topical quiz, or give individuals 60 seconds to make something out of Lego. Introducing a longer team building element later in the day, such as a treasure hunt or problem-solving challenge, can create even more rapport. Explore team building activities.

Networking and activity

People often get as much out of meetings from the conversations that happen outside of the agenda, so provide opportunities in the day for people to network. Try not to make it feel forced, however. Setting up a comfortable break-out room where there is something to do, like a caption competition or virtual reality glasses, can take the pressure off.

Stay energised

As the day goes on, delegates can begin to tire and lose focus. Address this head on during the planning stages of your meeting. Choosing a venue that has natural light and the opportunity to have a coffee break outside is a great way to keep delegates feeling invigorated during the day. You could also plan an energising activity into the agenda, such as a yoga session, mini massage or guided mindfulness class in a tranquil spot.

Snack right

Food plays a vital role in the success of a meeting, and this applies to the snacks you serve as much as the main meals. Pastries and sugary treats may go hand-in-hand with tea and coffee breaks, but serving healthier snacks such as fruit and nuts too can keep delegates’ energy levels much more consistent throughout the day. Serving caffeinated drinks in the afternoon can also negatively affect delegates’ all-important sleep. Show them you’re paying attention to their wellbeing by serving coffee and caffeinated tea in the morning, and herbal teas in the afternoon.

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