Gone are the days when business was only conducted in the office. Now, business meetings are held in coffee shops all over the city and the café environment has become an important part of an entrepreneur’s business brand. This means you need to find a café that sends a strong message about your business. Choose the right surroundings – whether funky or sleek – and you will set the scene for a successful meeting.
Here are some tips for running an effective café meeting:
- Get to know the barista and wait staff. A good rapport with staff will ensure good service.
- Try to schedule your meeting outside the peak times of 7.30 am – 9.30 am and 11.30 am -1.30 pm.
- Restrict numbers to two or three people; any more and it can become too noisy.
- Dress like you mean business. A relaxed café does not mean a relaxed business look.
- Remember to carry enough business cards and stationery.
- Arrive five minutes early so you can organise yourself before the meeting starts.
- Choose a quiet table away from continual traffic.
- If you are meeting someone for the first time, place a business card or brochure on the table so they can find you.
- Use your laptop battery in preference to a power point.
- Mute or minimise your computer’s sound.
- Put your phone on silent mode and keep it off the table.
- Remember, it’s a meeting not a meal. Eating and talking at the same time can be awkward, so just order coffee or tea and, at most, a biscuit.
- Limit the meeting to forty-five minutes. If it goes for any longer, you should order more coffee.
- If you have organised the meeting then you should pay the bill.
Cosimina Nesci is an image consultant who is passionate about helping others realise their potential by looking and feeling their absolute best. She has transformed the lives of private clients and worked with organisations as varied as large retailers to individual business owners all with the same goal – getting their image/brand right.
[picture: VIVO Cafe Sydney]