Quirky places to hold startup meetings

- January 8, 2014 3 MIN READ

Startup meetings usually involve mocchiatos, laptops and cafés around the corner. But creativity can crop up in the most unusual circumstances – even a Jack Johnson concert, as we’ve been told by Beat The Q Co-Founder, Adam Theobald. So why not try something a little different when conducting a team meeting?

A wise man once said a change in environment enables a change in thought processes. (It was actually from an episode of House MD). We at Shoe String think the following places, which are a little out of the ordinary, may be interesting choices for holding meetings.

Rural farm

There’s nothing like a bit of cow milking and sheep shearing in the arvo to figuratively stir up some neurons. You can also lie on a paddock and enjoy the lack of noise and pollution in the atmosphere. Road trip, anybody?

Lawn of the lawn bowls

Coorparoo-based digital publishing startup, Liquid State organised an event last year called Startup Barefoot Bowls where Brisbane based businesses met, played and shared their experiences at a local lawn bowling club.


Startup Barefoot Bowls

According to a press release, Liquid State CEO Philip Andrews felt the unusual choice of activity suited the startup culture in Brisbane: “Networking events can be a bit too corporate and we wanted people to let their hair down, so we thought barefoot bowls would be perfect.”

The thought of lawn bowling may sound like a bore, but for those willing to give it a go, the Clovelly Bowling Club might be of interest. The bowling lawns are located on top of a cliff! 

Rainforest Trail

Walk and talk, and enjoy the greenery in your surroundings. An Australian interior plantscaping specialist, Ambius, says we all have an innate desire to be connected with nature – a condition called ‘biophilia’. But with many of us working long hours in closed environments, surrounded by synthetic materials found in furniture and computing technologies, we lose that connection, and this can negatively impact our health – decreasing creativity and productivity.

Dr. Fraser Torpy from the University of Technology Sydney conducted his own research which revealed that indoor plants can reduce stress and negativity by up to 60 percent and improve productivity by up to 30 percent. If that’s the case, then imagine what a rainforest trail and a thinking cap can do.

Lost Cave

Caves are nice, cosy and secluded – perhaps not suited to founders who are claustrophobic. Those who are welcome to the idea may enjoy looking through a cave hole, and letting thoughts ponder into the abyss.

Hat Cave in the Blue Mountains sounds pretty charming:

“Hatter’s Hideout transects a deep mountain gorge, with lush cool temperate rainforest to natural bonsai in wind swept heath; to woodland with panoramic views across the World Heritage Area and home of the prehistoric wollemi pine.

“Set amidst towering escarpments, the Hat Cave is a huge sandstone cathedral, sculpted by nature to provide an ideal bushland retreat for modern cave dwellers (troglodytes). The natural acoustics are a musicians dream.” (www.hattershideout.com.au)

Theme Park

Round and round, and away we go. If you’re not afraid of heights, a Ferris Wheel cart might be good place to hold a meeting. Problem is, rides cost around $20 for five minutes. Then again, you can use it as a timer. Ready, set, go – you’ve got five minutes to come up with a brilliant plan.

According to the article, How to run your meetings like Apple and Google, penned by Sean Blanda on 99u.com, “The meeting should have an end time [because] constraints breed creativity.” Add to that a Ferris Wheel and childlike optimism, and you’re pretty sweet.


Random, but why not? You can stand atop a lighthouse and enjoy the view of the ocean which discussing business strategies. As far as lighthouses go, Australia’s got some pretty neat ones.

It doesn’t really matter what environment is chosen. The point is to try something different every now and then. The same scenery can put us in a twisted time-warp.