Meeting room rentals are not all created equal, which can make it difficult to find just the right spot for your business needs.
From a board meeting or corporate presentation, to a quarterly planning and team brainstorm session, landing the perfect meeting or conference room can spell the difference between a productive meeting and one that has your team constantly looking at the clock.
To help you find that perfect space, we've identified four, non-negotiable amenities that any meeting room worth its salt needs to have in order to make meetings a success.
When it comes to a meeting space rental, first impressions are everything.
Similar to how people make snap judgments about others within seconds of meeting them, we make the same judgments about the physical space in which we work. If our environment is unappealing or uncomfortable, it subconsciously affects our mood and productivity. And since meeting rooms are where businesses and teams come together to get work done, it's critical that the aesthetic be clean, energizing, and uplifting.
Here are some key factors to consider when choosing a meeting room rental:
Let there be light!
Natural light is one of the most important factors in fostering a pleasant, inviting space. Make sure the meeting space has windows that allow ample light or uses daylight bulbs to help keep your team feeling awake and energized throughout the day.
Green means go.
Plants make a massive difference in the overall atmosphere of a meeting space. Not only do they help purify the air, but they add a touch of nature to an otherwise sterile environment.
Comfort is crucial.
Meeting spaces are for work, but we can almost guarantee your team won't accomplish its goals if the space they're in isn't comfortable. Make sure to consider the comfort levels of the chairs, tables, and even room temperature.
2. Blazing Fast WiFi
These days you'll be hard pressed to find a meeting room that isn't equipped with WiFi, but because workplaces are so dependent on access to the internet, this is a no-brainer when it comes to considering meeting room rentals.
If you're planning on screen sharing your meeting, video conferencing, or connecting with coworkers outside of your meeting space, you need to make sure that the WiFi can handle it. This is even more important if you're working alongside a large team where everyone needs access to the internet at the same time. If the WiFi crashes at any point, you'll lose valuable time in your meeting.
But you also need more than just fast WiFi. It needs to be hosted on a secure network-especially if you're working on company documents or confidential information. Be sure to ask the meeting room owner what level of encryption they implement on their wireless networks. Ideally, you're looking for a WPA 2 (WiFi Protected) network to protect your and your team's tech from possible bad actors.
3. Screens and Whiteboards
Online collaboration tools have come a long way, but you simply can't beat having everyone looking at the same information on a single screen or keeping track of a brainstorm session on a large whiteboard.
Whiteboards and screens help make meetings more productive by keeping everyone on topic rather than caught up with side conversations or filtering through their browser tabs to find the right page. They're also valuable for facilitating better conversation. When people can see what is being discussed, they're more likely to understand it and contribute ideas of their own-helping to save time and ensure meeting efficiency.
When considering whiteboard and screen availability at a meeting room rental, make sure to ask the following questions:
- What hookups do I need to easily connect to projector screens and monitors?
- Are we responsible for bringing dry erase markers and other writing tools?
- If we're using the room for multiple days, can we leave our notes on the whiteboards overnight?
4. Coffee, Tea, and Snack Availability
We saved this one for last because, frankly, we don't think you can have a proper team meeting or working session without some form of snacks or beverages available.
Coffee and tea can help set the tone for any meeting and be a great way to help attendees ease into conversation and meeting participation. Plus, providing delicious pick-me-ups throughout the meeting or work session can help keep everyone focused on the task at hand-instead of a grumbling stomach.
Be sure to ask the space coordinator if catering or snacks and beverages come standard with their meeting room rentals, or if it's an additional fee. If you're allowed to bring your own, then follow up with a question about where you can store your food items during the meeting-such as if a kitchen is available, or if each room comes with cabinets and/or refrigerator.
Summing Up: It's all about the space.
Successful meetings are the result of two things: 1) a motivated, task-oriented team; and 2) a comfortable, empowering meeting space. When you're considering where to host your next business meeting or work event, keeping these four key amenities top of mind will help you easily identify spaces where your team can do their best work.
Keep in mind that photos and websites can only show you so much of a meeting space. To get a true feel for a meeting room environment, take the time to visit the location in advance and take a tour.
At The Pearl Works, we're always ready to show you and your group around our beautiful, professional facility. Nestled in the heart of downtown Monterey, we're just a few blocks from Monterey City Hall, the library, and some of Monterey's top locales for food and drink and even the beach!. And with a variety of meeting rooms available for rent by the hour, you're guaranteed to find just the right fit for your budget—whether you need a large board room, or space for intimate, smaller meetings.
This blog was written by Sam Salerno.
Sam is a contributing member of The Pearl Works and a copy writing king!