Meetings. They take up the majority of your workday, and more often than not, they’re held in the same grey, windowless conference room with the broken projector and leftover carafes of coffee.
But why has this become the standard? Why not reinvent the meeting? Take it somewhere new and create an environment conducive to creativity, positivity and profitability!
Here are our suggestions for the 5 best meeting locations outside of the office:
1. Coffee Shop or Wine Bar
Coffee shops are the perfect place to hold a quick meeting, especially when said coffee shop also serves wine. Meetings can be scheduled in the early morning for a caffeine boost or toward the end of the day for a seamless transition to happy hour! Regardless of the menu, grabbing a beverage with your co-workers or client requires minimal time and monetary investment, but is the ideal setting for professional and personal conversation.
PRO TIP: Arrive early if you want a seat near the power outlets.
OUR FAVORITE: Oddfellows Cafe & Bar in Seattle, Washington
Photo by: Lauren Cunningham via Instagram
2. Co-Working Space
If you’re looking for something that mimics a professional office environment, but in a less-traditional and more collaborative way, check out your local co-working spaces. These open concept work spaces have become increasingly popular in the past few years. According to Forbes and a report released by The Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020 about 65 million Americans will be freelancers, temps, independent contractors and solopreneurs, making up about 40% of the workforce. Co-working spaces provide a perfect outlet for those in need of a refreshed meeting space, and according to deskmag, there are 4.5 new co-working spaces opening per weekday!
PRO TIP: Check to see if the facility has both private and public workspaces. Private rooms are smaller, but great for your more private conversations.
OUR FAVORITE: CoCo in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Photo by: Coco
3. Local Brewery
Breweries are in the midst of a revival. According to Bart Watson at The Brewers Association, 2014 marks the first time since the 1870s that there are more than 3,000 breweries operating in the United States. They’re just the right setting for a more casual, relationship-building meeting with your co-workers or clients. Grab a pint, play some semi-competitive ping pong, and avoid the monotony and lack of emotion associated with endless email chains.
PRO TIP: Limit your consumption, especially while on the clock. Beer is delicious, but balance professional with personable at all times.
OUR FAVORITE: Rhinegeist in Cincinnati, Ohio
Photo by: Rhinegeist via Facebook
4. Neighborhood Eatery
There’s no better way to host a meeting than over a tasty, well-cooked meal. Swing by your favorite lunch joint for a sandwich, or grab a few small plates at the tapas place around the corner. The options are endless, and after eating something delicious, your client will most definitely be in the mood to negotiate.
PRO TIP: Don’t order messy or super spicy food. That saucy pulled pork sandwich looks great, but unless you can eat it with a fork, stay away. Don’t allow the meal to hinder conversation.
OUR FAVORITE: The Spotted Pig in New York, New York
Photo by: The Spotted Pig via Facebook
5. City Park
City or neighborhood parks are the perfect place to enjoy a weekday meeting. Being outdoor gives you the opportunity to experience your city firsthand – a fresh, vibrant oasis in the middle of your busy workday. If you’re lucky, you’ll find just the right spot – under the shade tree and close to the food trucks!
PRO TIP: Pay attention to the weather report. No one wants to get themselves or their clients stuck in a impromptu rain storm or heat wave.
OUR FAVORITE: Hyde Park in Sydney, Australia
Photo by: Greg O’Beirne
Scheduling meetings can be stressful, but with a little creative thinking, that 2-hour client connect can be something to look forward to instead of something you dread. Where are some of your favorite places to meet? We’d love to add them to our list!