How to organise an effective business meeting for start-ups

When you work in or with a start-up, networking, regular meetings and business events are key for expanding your contacts, opening new doors, and seeking out fruitful opportunities.

As a start-up, you need to be on your A-game and regularly reaching out to prospective clients and investors, it goes without saying that it’s of utmost importance that you impress on your first meeting with a potential investor.

Preparation is key here, and in order to successfully plan and execute an effective business meeting or networking event, you need to consider these important points…

The Location of Your Meeting

The first aspect to consider is where your meeting will be held, of course, you could hold it in your office but if the décor and design leaves little to be desired then it’s best to steer clear.

Often, start-ups share co-working spaces or hip warehouses somewhere in the depths of East London, and whilst these might be cool and trendy, the chaos doesn’t make for a great meeting place. Instead, you could look into comparing deals online to find the best prices on everything from Liverpool hotels to conference rooms in Birmingham.

Some hotels that allow you to rent out meeting rooms or if you’re holding an event then you could consider hiring a function room to host your attendees. Either way, a hotel offers all of the necessary comforts and facilities you could need, plus the bonus of a comfortable bed for any guests that may need a stopover.

The Room Set-Up

You’ve found the perfect hotel location, and now you need to consider how you will set up the room for the most effective business meeting environment. You need to ensure the room is welcoming, and that seats are arranged in order for everyone to be able to communicate and engage.

As well as seating, you will need to think about the temperature, background noise, lighting and refreshments. No one ever said the world of business meetings was easy! You can discuss your options with the location you’ve chosen and they should do their best to accommodate you.

See if there is anything you can get included in the price of renting out the space but set some budget aside to cover the cost of teas and coffees or to have someone show your guests to the room when they arrive.

The Number of Guests

If you’re hosting a meeting or event then you need to consider how many people will be attending and have confirmed numbers, as opposed to a rough guess. This way, you can prepare accurately and put together enough materials to go around.

You will also need precise numbers for catering requirements, whilst you might not be putting on a three-course dinner, you do need to ensure you provide enough refreshments to go around, even if this simply involves soft drinks and biscuits.

Your Key Messages

If you’re going to be giving a speech, or simply just conversing during an intimate meeting, you need to have a solid idea of what it is you want to say and how you are going to effectively communicate your message. Practice makes perfect!

Write down notes, practice with a colleague and project yourself as a knowledgeable businessman or businesswoman.

An agenda is super handy and definitely useful to have for yourself and to distribute among everyone present. If you’re pitching, then it can’t be stressed enough just how important it is to rehearse your pitch, covering all areas and having prepared answers in your head should any questions arise from your audience.

You can never be over-prepared and no one wants to be caught out during an important business meeting.

With these elements in place, your meeting should be a great success with you winning over those investors or taking on a new client after wowing them with your professional space and confident presentation skills. Organising a meeting as a startup can be daunting, but careful preparation wins every time.

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