As a working professional, there are going to be times when you have to run out-of-town work meetings. While this may be uncomfortable for many people because it's out of their familiar comfort zone, this doesn't mean that it's impossible. In fact, it's a great way to show that you are more than competent to hold the position that you currently possess. To manage an out-of-town work meeting is not an easy task, but with these tips, you'll be able to flawlessly execute the task.
Print Physical Handouts
Yes, it's very noble and wise to do your part to decrease your carbon footprint. Yet, in this digital age, it's really helpful for attendees to have something tangible in their hands. You can decrease the number of printouts you need by making sure they include important information that your attendees need to remember. If there is a worksheet you need them to fill out, make sure it's printed out before the meeting as well. Sort the papers and place them in front of each chair when your attendees walk into the meeting.
Get Referrals for Excellent Catering
When people have been sitting in a meeting for hours, they deserve good food. Get referrals for great catering within the area at the right rates. This one detail can make a major difference in the experience of the attendees.
Reserve a Shared Office Space or Meeting Room
Professional meeting spaces set the tone of a meeting more than a hotel does, so consider a co-working space or a meeting room for your next meeting. Do your research online to find different co-working spaces in the area. Because so many people telecommute, more co-working spaces are popping up in many major cities, so it's not difficult to find one. Think about the number of people who will be attending the meeting, then find a space that accommodates everyone. It's also wise to find out if they have different amenities beyond Wi-Fi like printing, kitchens and so forth. This will help you as you prepare for the meeting.
Work on Engagement
If the meeting is in the early morning hours, it can be difficult to sustain their attention because they might be tired. If your meeting extends into the early hours of the afternoon, people tend to get sluggish because they've been in a meeting for a long time. Knowing this, be intentional about working on engagement with your attendees. Ask questions. Watch your intonation and presentation style. You want to always keep their attention.
One of the things that gets a lot of people into trouble is pride. Because they feel like they should know it all, they don't ask any questions. Even with all of these tips, don't be afraid to ask questions. Don't be afraid to get a referral. Ask the right questions and know that you are capable of running an excellent meeting.