Looking for a new place to hold your next meeting? Try heading outside. A work session at a local park with plenty of fresh air and sunshine may be just what your staff members need to relax, get their creative juices flowing and increase their productivity. But don't just grab a few soft drinks and think you're ready. An outdoor meeting takes as much--if not more--planning than one held inside.
As vice president of operations for the International Franchise Association, Debra A. Moss plans a lot of meetings. Her advice:
- Reserve a spot with shelter. True, the goal is to be outside, but you also want protection from too much sun and the possibility of rain.
- Find out what else is going on. Be sure that other events scheduled for the same day won't distract your group.
- Arrange a comfortable work area. Does the park have tables? Do you need to bring chairs or blankets? Also, be sure the restrooms are clean and conveniently located.
- Take advantage of recreational offerings. Plan your agenda so participants can use the park's amenities during breaks or after the meeting.
- Plan food carefully. Make lists so you don't forget anything, and have plenty of coolers on hand so food doesn't spoil.