so WHERE (or, at least when) to have meetings?

Sitting around the conference table just now with the principle of BlueKey – Julie Gordon White – we started talking about venues for meetings.

Before you find the back arrow on your browser, terrified by the idea of something deadly boring … here’re some of the thoughts we kicked around

Business lunches are challenging. People are at work, they have things on their desks – and on their minds – ‘n’ number of people are trying to get their attention by voice and texting and Blackberries are buzzing everywhere. In between trying to eat, there’s the nagging worry of ‘how long is this going to take?’

Meals at *either* end of the work day seem to be better.

-Breakfasts are inexpensive and the menu choices simple. While the whole load of workaday problems are waiting on peoples’ desks, they’re not yet engaged with them.

-Good things to say about dinner as well. People may be tired from the daily grind but they’re usually more receptive to more casual exchanges. (hint: avoid friday dinners – it’s too much like “thank GOD that week is over, oh… yoohoo… another double malt whisky over here fellah! “)  A friend of mine works at a nationally famous foundation and she claims that her monthly “dinner salons” have been the key to a LOT of great organizational planning. The short of it: she hires a caterer for simple snack food – and puts out the word “remember, this thursday is Cheryl’s dinner salon – come, eat, have a glass of wine, and schmooze with people in the Foundation you probably should know but have never had the chance!”  No presentations, no PowerPoint!”

(hmm… let me find out more about how she markets these evenings)

The POINT? It’s as old as civilization – breaking bread and talking over food and drink is something that reminds us that business is first and foremost, a matter of people interacting. Getting down to ‘bid’ness’ will happen, but having a ‘measure of the person’ your making deals with is invaluable. Sadly, it’s also something we often rush by…

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