By Jeffry Farman, past Global President, International Association of Conference Centres.
Your organisation decides to hold a meeting. A budget is set. Now where to hold it? In the office or at an external venue. Here are a few considerations for choosing an off-site venue.
1. Less distractions.
Facilitators often say in house meetings can be a nightmare. People turning up late because or work distractions. Breaks going longer than planned when office personnel intrude. Interruptions are less likely when meetings are held off-site.
2. Productivity and focus.
Some trainers believe when people attend offsite meetings, they're more fully engaged. Research has shown that attendees believe they are more productive when meetings are held outside of the office.
3. Face-to-face networking time.
Employees can be more comfortable working together off-site. Removal from the office environment blurs the lines of hierarchy and team divisions.
Team building exercises can be an important component of many off-site meetings, and for good reason. You find out the different strengths and weakness of your people in a way that’s often a whole lot of fun.
A meeting in-house may be “just another meeting.” But an offsite meeting can show attendees that this event is really special, building motivation.
6. Encourage creativity.
We've all been in conference rooms where we've met time and time again. When this happens, people tend to take the same seat and stare out the same window. By moving your meeting to an offsite location, you lift some of these barriers that stifle creativity. Offsite venues also enable employees to break out of their office personality and relate to one another in different ways, that can generate meaningful, creative ideas.