How to Find the Right Meeting Room in Any City
Work in the 21st century is a global affair. Through tools such as Slack, Trello, Google Docs and video conference apps, professionals can easily communicate with collaborators around the world. But sometimes you need to connect in-person in a meeting room.
The remarkable growth of the coworking and shared office movement makes finding a meeting room fairly easy. You don’t want just any meeting room, however, you want the right meeting room. If it’s too noisy, meeting attendees may be distracted; if it doesn’t have the technical equipment you need, your presentation will suffer; if the amenities are lacking, you may have hungry, irritated people on your hands.
Whether you need a meeting room for a client pitch, a workshop or a team gathering, there are tips to find the right meeting room in any city. Here are 10 of our favorites:
1. Get the Right Size
If the meeting room is too small, people will be cramped and uncomfortable. If it’s too large, the empty space can be distracting. Find a meeting room that’s just right for the group size you expect.
Make sure the seating is abundant and comfortable—especially if you’ll be spending long stretches sitting down. No one wants to sit in a folding chair all day.
Is the meeting room far enough away from the common areas, and other meeting spaces, that you can focus without distraction? If the room is sufficiently soundproof, it shouldn’t matter where in the space it is. If it’s not, make sure the noise from the surrounding spaces won’t interfere with your meeting.
4. Tech and Tools
Does the meeting room have everything you’ll need? Common meeting room tools include a projector, a conference room phone, a large monitor for those joining remotely, a whiteboard and speakers. Avoid technical issues by ensuring ahead of time that the space offers the connectors to hook your laptop up to their system.
Meeting room rates vary depending on size, location and demand. Make sure the room rental rates match your budget. You can do this, in part, by ensuring that the room size suits your needs. You don’t want to pay unnecessarily for a large conference room if you only need a meeting room for two.
Will there be someone on-hand to let you into the room and give you an overview of the tech and amenities? These people can be invaluable if you run into an issue.
Will you have convenient access to the building? Will you be able to easily let people in and out of the room and building? If you start early in the morning or run late into the evening, will there be someone there to let you in and out? Work these details out ahead of time so you’re not left monitoring a door when you should be starting your meeting.
Make sure the meeting room is easy to find, easy to get to and has sufficient parking or transit options. For longer meetings, make sure there are places nearby to eat in case people need a lunch break.
9. Coffee and Tea
Having coffee and tea available is nice—especially if your meeting is long or starts early. Find out what the space offers, whether you’ll have open access to it, and where to find cream and sugar.
With the abundance and variety of shared spaces, there are many different meeting room options to choose from. Make sure that the meeting room and the larger space and community itself suits your style and comfort. If your client expects a traditional office setting, make sure you don’t rent a meeting room with graffiti on the walls; if they prefer a bit of creativity and edginess, don’t rent a stuffy meeting room in a sterile office building.
Cat Johnson is a writer and content strategist focused on coworking, community and the future of work. Publications include Shareable, Yes! Magazine, Mother Jones, Triple Pundit and GOOD. She’s the author of Coworking Out Loud, a guide to content marketing for coworking spaces. Follow Cat on Twitter: @CatJohnson