Unlocking Productivity: Exploring Offsite Meeting Rooms in the UK

Exploring the Power of Offsite Meeting Rooms

In today’s modern world, meetings are an integral part of most people’s working life. Meetings (if undertaken well) are key to communicating effectively, solving problems and building relationships. These days however, there is a tendency to book a meeting for anything and everything, which can de-value the benefits of meeting as a group! Meetings can feel a real drag, particularly if they are not facilitated effectively. Many people will relate to the feeling of dread when another meeting invitation pops up in the diary.  In this article, we will explore how offsite meeting rooms can be hugely beneficial in terms of productivity, efficiency and team work. By conducting a meeting in a neutral or fresh location, attendees are often re-inspired, more united, and as such more likely to achieve the objectives and goals set out for the meeting.

Finding the Ideal Offsite Meeting Room for Hire in the UK

So, the decision has been made to hold the meeting offsite and the question arises – but where? It’s key to make sure that the offsite meeting location will achieve maximum productivity. When searching for an offsite meeting space in the UK, there are several things to consider:

  • Location – Ensuring that the meeting space is easily accessible for all meeting attendees is critical. Is there a train station nearby? Can the meeting space be accessed easily by car, and is there parking available on-site or at the very least, nearby? Are there cafes or shops available on-site or nearby for attendees to grab a bite to eat during the rest breaks? Considering location in your search helps to avoid logistical challenges and encourages maximum participation in the meeting.
  • Space – Ensuring that the meeting space is fit for purpose and is in keeping with your company image is key. Does the space feel professional? Does it represent what your business stands for? Making sure that it does will help to make your meeting attendees feel comfortable and more likely to engage fully with the meeting.
  • Technology – More often than not, offsite meetings involve presentations and training sessions. Does the meeting venue have sufficient technology that will enable you to deliver engaging presentations? Is there access to high-speed WiFi and any audio equipment that might be required? Ensuring that the meeting room is appropriately equipped with the correct technology will ensure an efficient meeting with highly engaged attendees.
  • Capacity – The size of the meeting room is SO important as it ensures that your attendees are comfortable. Is the room large enough so that attendees have adequate space and comfortable seating? There’s nothing more uncomfortable than being squashed in with colleagues all day! Overcrowding can lead to reduced productivity and a negative experience for attendees, so make sure the meeting room that you book is adequately sized.
  • Pricing – When choosing offsite meeting rooms, it’s important to consider the cost of the space and the return on investment that paying out for an offsite meeting room brings. Evaluating the price of the meeting room in relation to the expected benefits ensures that the meeting room provides a suitable environment to achieve the desired objectives without exceeding the budget. It’s important not to skimp though. Choosing a cheap meeting room that is too small, lacks necessary amenities or is tricky to locate will have the opposite effect of what you are trying to achieve!

 

If you’re looking to host an offsite meeting in Oxfordshire, we’ve found a helpful website, that  includes a directory of meeting spaces in the area. Of course, we’d be delighted to help you here at Bloxham Mill, where we have five meeting rooms suitable for meetings of 2-40 people.  With a professional, inviting atmosphere and technically equipped meeting spaces, Bloxham Mill is the ideal setting for your offsite meeting.

Planning a Successful Offsite Meeting: Tips and Best Practices

If you’re going to the effort of organising an offsite meeting, it’s important to ensure that it is a success and the goals of the meeting are fulfilled. But, how to plan a successful offsite meeting? When the objectives of the meeting have been defined, it’s time to identify which key participants should attend the meeting. Consider which essential stakeholders will contribute to the discussions, provide valuable insights, and help achieve the desired outcomes. 

Once you have clearly defined objectives and key stakeholders agreed, you can begin to plan the agenda. When developing an agenda, pay special attention to the topics and any necessary activities that will take place. Consider the timings for each section and allow for any icebreakers (we all love these!), networking opportunities and refreshment breaks.  Makes sure to share the agenda with the attendees ahead of the meeting so that they have adequate time to prepare relevant contributions.

Holding a meeting offsite should naturally capture the attention of your attendees as they are in a different environment. It’s important though, to maintain their interest and engagement throughout the duration of the meeting. To avoid attendees snoozing after lunch (!), plan activities that encourage active participation by making sessions interactive and encouraging discussions. If technology allows, consider using tools such as online surveys or live polling. Incorporating breakout sessions into the agenda is another great way to engage participants and promote collaboration.

Next comes selecting the venue. In doing so, consider the points explored above, paying special attention to logistical details such as transportation, accommodation, available technology, and catering options.

offsite meeting rooms

Dressing Appropriately for an Offsite Meeting in the UK

The phrase ‘offsite meeting’ might send some into an outfit panic – ‘what to wear to an offsite meeting?!’ Too formal, and you feel out of place. Not formal enough and you feel unprofessional. Dressing appropriately helps to establish a positive first impression and demonstrates your competence. As a rule of thumb, err on the side of caution and opt for clothing that is more formal than less. A formal outfit can far more easily be dressed down than a casual outfit can be dressed up. If you are attending an offsite meeting, aim to present yourself in a polished manner in well-fitted (ironed!) clothing. Most importantly, choose clothing that makes you feel comfortable, confident and ready to engage in a professional environment. 

Running a Great Offsite Meeting: Strategies for Success

One of the main reasons for choosing to undertake a meeting offsite is to encourage more active participation and collaboration between attendees. Here are some top tips on how to run a great off site meeting:

  • Set clear boundaries and expectations at the beginning of the session so that attendees are clear on what is expected of them ahead of the session. Setting clear goals at the beginning helps attendees to work collaboratively to achieve the intended results.
  • Facilitate discussions so that all participants are able to contribute and so that no one gets bored half way through. A great way to do this, is through facilitation techniques such as round table discussions or brainstorming sessions so that everyone gets an opportunity to contribute their ideas. By including this in the agenda ahead of the meeting, attendees will have time to adequately prepare and be far more likely to provide input in the meeting.
  • Incorporate icebreaker activities. Although they can be nerve wracking, ice breaker activities are a fantastic way to remove any awkwardness and provide an opportunity for attendees to get to know one another a little better. Ice breakers are particularly helpful if team members don’t know one another that well or if they work in different teams/departments.
  • Provide time for people to break out and network in a less formal environment. By doing so helps participants to relax and build rapport with one another in a less formal setting. These relationships can then be leveraged during the more formal meeting environment; attendees will be far more likely to contribute and engage with someone they have built a rapport with.

Leveraging Offsite Meetings for Increased Productivity

As we have explored in this article, offsite meeting rooms, if selected wisely, can enhance productivity, efficiency, and teamwork. By stepping away from the traditional office environment, where meetings can often seem monotonous and uninspiring, and moving to a fresh environment, you will likely find that attendees are reinvigorated and more willing to achieve the meeting objectives.

When searching for offsite meeting rooms, it is crucial to consider factors such as location, space, technology, capacity, and pricing. Choosing a location that is easily accessible and aligns with your company’s image sets the tone for a successful meeting. Adequate space, equipped with the necessary technology ensures seamless presentations and engaging discussions. And don’t forget to include price in your consideration. Choose a venue where the expected benefits are achieved within budget.

If your organisation would like to learn more about booking offsite meeting rooms at Bloxham Mill, a stunning venue, surrounded by rolling Oxfordshire countryside, drop Louise at Reception an email and she’ll be pleased to show you around: reception@bloxhammill.com.

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