Outdoor meetings have become more popular than ever, and for good reason. They provide a change of scenery, fresh air, and the chance to soak up some vitamin D while getting work done. And who doesn’t love a good excuse to leave the office?
But hosting an outdoor meeting takes a bit of planning and preparation. In this article, we’ll explore how to host an outdoor meeting that will be productive and fun.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Choose the Right Location
When choosing a location, it’s essential to consider the purpose of the meeting. Are you brainstorming new ideas, or discussing a sensitive topic? A brainstorming session might benefit from a relaxed, natural setting, while a sensitive topic might require a more private, secluded location.
Accessibility and comfort are also crucial factors to consider when choosing a location. Make sure the location is easily accessible and has amenities such as seating, shade, and restrooms so that attendees are comfortable.
Plan for the Weather
Planning for the weather is crucial, especially considering how unpredictable it can be in the UK! Here are a few ways to prepare:
- Keep an eye on the weather forecast leading up to your meeting day.
- Have a nearby indoor space available, or consider rescheduling if the weather is particularly severe.
- Consider providing shaded areas for attendees to sit under, or opt for a location with natural shade, like under trees or umbrellas.
Provide Comfortable Seating and Equipment
No one likely wants to stand or sit on hard, uncomfortable chairs for hours. Here is what you can do to make sure your attendees are comfortable and focused:
- Whether it’s picnic tables, benches, or comfortable chairs, make sure the seating fits the expectations or demands of your meeting.
- Provide any necessary equipment, such as tables, chairs, and audiovisual equipment.
- If your meeting is long, consider providing breaks so attendees can stretch their legs and refresh their minds.
Consider Catering and Refreshments
The key to successful catering is keeping attendees fueled and focused while avoiding any unwanted food comas. So, keep it light and refreshing, and don’t be afraid to add some personality to the menu. Here are some tips to get started:
- Keep it Simple: finger foods, sandwiches, and salads are always a hit.
- Accommodate Dietary Restrictions: have options for vegetarians, vegans, and those with allergies.
- Don’t Forget Snacks: granola bars, fruit, and trail mix are healthy options to energise attendees throughout the meeting.
Set the Agenda and Goals
With a well-planned schedule, you’ll be able to keep everyone on track and ensure that you achieve your goals. Take the time to:
- Determine what you hope to achieve, ensuring these goals are specific and achievable.
- Create your agenda by listing the topics you want to cover.
- Be sure to share the agenda and goals before the meeting. Send it out to all attendees ahead of time so that they can come prepared with any questions or comments.
- Sometimes, things don’t go as planned, so be prepared to make changes to the agenda as needed, but try to stay focused on the overall goals of the meeting.
While hosting an outdoor meeting provides a refreshing change of scenery, it doesn’t mean sacrificing engagement and interaction with your attendees. It can be an opportunity to engage them creatively and make the meeting more memorable.
Start the meeting with a round of introductions, allowing everyone to share their name, role, and fun facts about themselves. This can break the ice and create a relaxed atmosphere.
Use Icebreakers and Team-Building Activities
Incorporate games and activities that are relevant to the meeting’s purpose. If the meeting is about team collaboration, consider a team-building exercise or a group challenge that requires everyone to work together to solve a problem. You can also provide opportunities for attendees to network and connect.
Use Digital Tools To Promote Engagement
Use gamification to make the meeting more interactive and engaging. For example, create a leaderboard for attendees who answer quiz questions correctly or participate in team challenges.
Follow Up After the Meeting
After the outdoor meeting has concluded, following up with attendees is vital to ensure that any action items are being addressed. Here are some tips to help you do that:
- Send a summary of the meeting: Send out an overview of the main points of the meeting and any action items that were discussed. Keep it brief, but make sure to include any essential details.
- Follow up with attendees: Reach out to attendees individually to follow up on any action items assigned to them. This shows that you value their participation and are committed to following through on any commitments made during the meeting.
- Use feedback to improve future meetings: Ask attendees for feedback on the meeting and use that feedback to improve future sessions. Consider sending out a survey to gather feedback or simply asking attendees for their thoughts in a follow-up email.