From Seating to Heating: 5 Factors to Consider for Effective Business Meetings

5 factors to consider for effective business meetings
Having an effective meeting is as much dependent on people participating in it as it does on the surrounding environment in which the meeting is held. Proper environment can foster healthy dialog and quick decision making. It may sound trivial, but having the right room temperature or proper seating arrangement can sometimes be the difference between having a fruitful meeting versus the one where everyone departs thinking why they had the meeting in the first place and what they accomplished.

So, what factors do you need to take into account when arranging business meetings that are highly effective? Here are 5 important ones we have come across in no particular order:


1. Transportation

If people arrive at the meeting feeling tired they will have difficulty focusing on the meeting. It is important that they arrive on time and without having to go through lot of hassle. This is particularly important for those who are coming from out of town.

Make sure you prepare detailed directions to the meeting place from different locations. Let them know what parking options are available and how much they will cost. If some of the participants plan to take public transit give them details about the nearest transit stop, as well as walking direction from there to the meeting location. If there are large number of participants arriving from one location (e.g. hotel or airport) it is advisable to rent a shuttle.


2. Seating

How you arrange tables and seats can make a big difference in the meeting dynamics and participation. To some extent, seating arrangement also depends on the purpose of the meeting. If you want to encourage an open discussion, seating everyone at a round table is preferred. If you want to hold a meeting for decision making, using a rectangle table with the leader at the head is the most effective. With this arrangement, you may also want to place people of authority around the head and sprinkle people with opposing view-points facing each other. Having comfortable chairs are as important as internet access and phone connections.


3. Room Temperature

It is difficult to find the right room temperature that will satisfy everyone. Inevitably you will find some people who will feel cold and others who like arctic temperature. However, as a general rule, it is better to have cooler room, especially if you have large number of participants. Not only will the temperature rise when more people arrive, but cooler temperature will also keep people from nodding off.


4. Lighting

Having plenty of light is a necessity unless presenters need to use overhead projector. Make sure you have variable lighting control so that you can dim the light to desired level depending on the situation. Studies have shown that having a natural light in the room can elevate mood of the participants and encourage creative thinking.


5. Distractions

Nothing is worse than having participants who are distracted by surroundings. In this age of constant electronic notifications it is expected, and sometimes accepted, that participants will be checking their emails on their phone and computers during meetings. However, do not be afraid to declare no electronic interference zone when the meeting requires full attention of all participants.


Businesses spend significant time and money in holding meetings with large number of participants. By looking into these 5 factors you can ensure good return on your investment.


Karen Short is a business consultant of several years. An avid blogger, she likes to advise others by posting her insights online. Visit Rapid Office where you can find quality workstation chairs and get more ideas.

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  1. says:

    From Seating to Heating: 5 Factors to Consider for Effective Business Meetings

    The success of business meeting is as much dependent on surrounding environment as on participants. These 5 factors can help improve effectiveness of meetings.