There are many things you need to take into consideration when you set up the meeting venue. It is often attention to the small details that make for a successful meeting.
The Essentials of Setting Up the Meeting Venue
The following is a list of essentials in setting up the meeting venue:
- Sufficient number of tables and chairs
- Power strips for laptops and other electronic devices
- Audio and visual set up
- Whiteboard with markers and eraser
- Verify the room temperature is comfortable
- Microphone for large meetings
- Verify room is located in quiet and private area
Get to the venue early enough that you have sufficient time to set up the meeting venue before the participants arrive.
Extra Touches That Will Make the Meeting More Meaningful
When it comes to adding extra touches, keep the purpose of the meeting in mind. The following is a list of extra touches that you can incorporate in your preparation to make the meeting more meaningful to your participants:
- Name tents already printed and set up on the tables
- Table with name tags for each participant already printed
- Projector on with a welcome message illuminating on the screen
- Signage outside the meeting room professionally done
- Keepsake or logo item at each place setting
- Music before meeting starts and during breaks
- Folder with all meeting materials inside
- Candy or mints at the tables
- Posters or visual aids posted around the meeting room
- Video playing relevant materials on the screen before meeting starts
- Coat rack during winter months
Choosing the Seating Arrangement
The basic seating arrangements that you can choose for the meeting are as follows:
- Conference Style Seating. This is the basic rectangular or oval shaped table and is good for short meetings with less than 30 participants. It is usually used for small training sessions and close interactions.
- U-shape Seating. In this setup the tables form a U shape. This setup is effective where face-to-face interaction is required but also accommodates larger groups.
- T-Shape Seating. In this setup the tables form a T shape. This setup is suitable for face-to-face and large group meetings. It allows for leaders to sit at the cross point.
- Classroom Style Seating. This type of seating is best when learning is going to take place, and the participants need to take notes. This style can be used for both large and small groups.
The following are some suggestions for seating arrangements based on the meeting type:
- Planning meeting: conference style seating
- Product sales training: classroom style seating
- Strategy sharing meeting: T-shape style seating
- Project update meeting: U-shape style seating
The physical arrangement of the meeting room should always focus on providing a comfortable set up where all participants can view the presenter, other participants, screens, flipchart and whiteboards.