One of the common problems of smaller organizations is where to have their board meetings. Whether it’s an advisory board or nonprofit board meeting the location is important.
I attended an advisory board meeting last night. It was in a restaurant in a busy neighborhood. There were periodic interruptions by the waitress (she was just doing her job) and at one point we were all startled by a falling piece of art work. The food was great but the noise level made it hard to hear at times particularly since we were not sitting in a circle or U-shape.
Here are seven tips on using a restaurant for your meeting location:
- Make it a convenient location.
- Make sure it’s easy to park nearby.
- When possible hold the meeting in a private room within the restaurant.
- Measure the level of background noise on a typical time of day so you know what it will be like when you hold your meeting there.
- Make sure the shape of the table can accommodate all people hearing well.
- Make sure there is room for people to spread out their papers.
- Arrange with the wait staff how and when you want to be interrupted.
Even in private dining rooms sometimes there are issues with background noise and interruptions. Where do you hold your board meetings and what protocols do you follow to maximize the experience for all involved?
Susan C. Hammond, CPA, MST, is a consultant, business and leadership coach, author, and speaker and has served as a CFO/COO. She advises individuals, company CEO’s, and nonprofit executive directors and boards. She consults in the areas of advisory board formation, financial intelligence improvement, and board governance practices. Susan is the author of the Advisory Board Kit: A Comprehensive Guide to Establishing an Advisory Board and the new free e-books Developing a Personal Advisory Board and 30 Tips for Improving Your Financial Literacy.