What Should You Be Looking for When Renting a Conference Room?
Much has been written on the topic of Conference room space. With many entrepreneurs and small businesses foregoing permanent office space with conference rooms, they must find meeting space elsewhere. The use cases for Conference Rooms are myriad and include client and partner meetings, dispositions, brokerage signings, mediation sessions, and employee offsite meetings.
Some might say that the local coffee shop is the best place to meet. They are a bad idea, however, in many instances and include everything from distractions and lack of privacy to no conferencing or presentation tools.
Alternatively, the gut instinct of other entrepreneurs and small businesses is to opt for a hotel meeting space. But these also are bad ideas—starting with a cost that is 50 percent higher—or more—than a rented conference room. They also can present distractions and interruptions and lack the tools needed to execute a productive meeting. And if the hotel does have presentation tools such as microphones, podiums, speakers, and additional tables and chairs, they may charge extra for them. In this case, forget 50 percent higher. Rather, think 100 percent or more.
Even if you strike coffee shops and hotel conference rooms off your list of meeting space options, there are numerous providers today that offer rented conference rooms. How can you shift through the options to determine which one is best for you? Following are some of the key considerations entrepreneurs and small businesses need to ask when evaluating their options”
1. Conveying Professionalism
Even when employees are only involved, first impressions count. The importance is ratcheted up several notches when third parties such as clients and partners are involved. The rented conference room needs an address that demands professional respect. If it is location that is in a bad part of town or an area known as one where struggling businesses locate, then this perception will be attributed to your business. Tip: This is where using an established rented meeting room provider like Davinci Meeting Space can help, which has codified standards in place in terms of what rented meeting space is listed and what isn’t—with location one of the vetting factors.
2. Finding the Right Location
Location is important, especially in certain metropolitan areas that are clogged with traffic. The distance the participants are traveling to reach the rented conference room should not consume valuable time or create anxiety. If it does, then the success of the meeting could be in question before in even starts (think about first impressions per the above). Tip: Use rented conference room providers that have multiple locations in metropolitan areas. This enables you to find a location that works best for all your meeting participants.
3. Making It Easy to Book
If the rented conference room provider makes it difficult to reserve a room, then the likelihood the onsite logistics will be difficult is much greater. Businesses need to respect your time—both when booking a room and when using it. Thus, they need to enable you to book a room from the form factor of your choosing—website, mobile app, live web chat, text, or phone. Providers that offer all these form factors are digital-first businesses that understand the importance of customer experiences. Tip: Sometimes, you may not be able to make an immediate decision on a conference room and need to move between different form factors. Conference room providers that enable you to do so—without repeating everything you have already provided—get the omnichannel customer experience and likely extend that understanding to on-site interactions.
4. Greeting in the Lobby
Nearly all meeting participants arrive with questions and some level of anxiety. A lobby greeter is there to help them acclimate quickly and to answer any questions they might have. This also includes being available to pick up the phone and answer calls from participants who are in transit. Tip: Not every rented conference room provider has a lobby receptionist. Make sure this is the case before booking a conference room for an important meeting.
5. Tapping the Right Presentation Tools
Productive meetings require the right presentation tools—white boards, audio and video conferencing systems, flip charts, pens and paper, and projectors. Tip: Don’t assume that a rented conference room comes with the presentation tools you need. Make sure to ask when evaluating the different conference room providers.
6. Catering Food and Beverages
Any meeting that lasts more than an hour warrants beverages. Meetings that last more than a few hours likely require food—breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner, not to mention snack breaks. The last thing you need is a room full of hungry and drowsy meeting participants who are thinking about what they are going to get to eat or drink rather than the presentation or discussion. Tip: Look for a conference room provider that offers food and beverage catering options. They will focus on getting the food and beverages to the conference room, allowing you to focus on the presentation or discussion.
7. Leveraging Business Services
While not every meeting requires administrative or business services, many do—either expectedly or unexpectedly. Here, having a conference room provider that offers services such as photocopying, notary services, faxing, mailing, and collating of materials is a huge plus. Tip: If there is a chance presenters, participants, or you need administrative support, then make sure to find out if the conference room provider those capabilities and the cost associated with them.