Lunchtime meetings can be a fantastic way to network, strategize with your employees, and formulate plans for the future of your business. More informal, relaxed, and arguably enjoyable than liaising in the office, they’re also a great way to utilise your lunch hour without cutting into the rest of your busy working day.
However, there is an art to holding a successful lunchtime meeting. Location, venue, and the people you invite are all key factors. If you’re looking for some top tips to help plan your next business tête-à-tête, then here are just a few of the things that you ought to consider.
The perfect business meeting fits conveniently into both parties’ days, and that means that it has to be within easy commuting distance for each of you. Try to choose somewhere that’s in the middle of both your bases, or a place where you each have business premises. It is best if this location is a major city, as these have efficient transport links for parties that won’t be driving, and convenient motorway access for those who will. Avoiding a long, drawn-out commute will ensure that you arrive fresh and ready to do business, rather than at the backend of a road-rage fuelled grey cloud, and can be back in the office before dinner.
The exact venue that you choose is also important, especially if you’ll be wining and dining existing or potential clients. It will have a major impact on how your business is perceived, so it’s best to choose somewhere exclusive, sophisticated, and capable of serving the most exquisite cuisine. Customer service should be second to none, and every one of your client’s whims should be able to be met. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, check out professional or local blogs such as LEO’s to find a hidden gem to wow with.
Your final consideration should be whom you’ll be choosing to accompany you. Lunchtime meetings are often slightly more informal than standard office encounters, so it’s important to choose wingmen that are capable of keeping your clients entertained, and building lasting professional relationships with them. Networking skills are key, yet it’s vital to avoid taking anyone that can be too sales-y. It’s particularly important that your chosen employees really know what they’re talking about, as questions are likely to be off the wall, making scripted answers impossible.
If you can successfully tick each of these three boxes, then you’ll have played host to the perfect lunchtime meeting.