“Off-site meeting” is a buzz phrase in the corporate setting. Many businesses are getting in on the trend and organizing even small gatherings outside the office. They are taking advantage of movie theaters that offer private cinema hire, restaurants with small conference halls, and other venues they can rent for this purpose.
But hosting corporate gatherings out of the workplace is not merely a trend that is expected to go away in a year or two. This type of meeting will continue to be a popular option since it offers these benefits:
When employees attend meetings outside the office, they won’t be interrupted by the other staff. They will deal with fewer distractions, which means they can concentrate on the meeting fully. Because of this, more issues will be dealt with and the output will be higher.
With the attendees out of the formal, “stuffy” office environment, they will be more encouraged to speak up and share what’s on their mind regarding issues in the workplace. They will also be more likely to give suggestions to fix these problems. Moreover, the attendees will feel more comfortable speaking with everyone in the room.
Since off-site meetings facilitate open communication, the attendees will be at ease collaborating with their co-workers. The gathering will also give the employees who have never met each other personally the chance to be acquainted and to work together even if it is only for a short time.
An off-site corporate gathering will enable you to vary your meeting style and try something new. Since it is a different environment, it is the perfect opportunity to provide interactive learning to give the attendees additional training or a refresher course.
Although there are several possible options for off-site meetings, the cinema is one of the best venues you should consider.
Choosing it for your venue offers the following advantages:
With a huge high-definition silver screen and excellent surround system, you won’t fail to impress the attendees. You won’t have a hard time getting and keeping their attention either when you use the available AV system to show the event speaker’s presentation.
Additionally, if the screen has a ramp, anyone who has the stage will be able to command attention easily and quickly.
If you hire a movie theatre that has stadium seating, reclining seats, footrests, and drink holders, you will ensure your attendees’ comfort throughout the meeting.
With this type of seating arrangement, everyone will be able to focus on the speaker and the presentation on the screen. Since the attendees are comfortable in their chairs, they will more likely speak during an open forum or at any time during the meeting.
Meetings at a cinema will be more enjoyable and memorable when the attendees can eat and drink movie theater food and beverages.
Everyone will enjoy munching on popcorn, hotdogs, or burgers and drinking soda during the break, or even while an informal discussion is ongoing. If you choose the right theater, you could even have a course meal served during lunch. You can request for coffee or tea to be served as well.
Finally, feeling stressed out and exhausted will be the last thing the attendees will be experiencing when they enter the movie theater. With their work physically far away from them, they will feel at ease and relaxed throughout the meeting.
And, as already mentioned, with the more laid-back ambience, all attendees will be more focused, engaged, productive, and collaborative. This will spell success for your meeting.
To ensure the success of your first meeting at a movie theater, follow these tips:
If the meeting is open for all, you need to confirm the final number of everyone who will be joining weeks before the actual event. Doing a headcount will help you choose the right theater to hire which can accommodate all the attendees and the catering area.
In case the meeting will only be attended by a selected number of employees, you can hire a smaller theater. This will make for a more intimate affair which will encourage better communication and collaboration.
Although you will have the meeting at a not-so-formal site, it doesn’t mean you simply wing everything.
While planning the meeting, identify the objectives you want to achieve. These could be to come up with solutions for recurring problems or to give employees a retraining course. Make sure these objectives will be included or incorporated in all the discussions and activities so that this event will be productive.
Setting your goals at the start will also help you quantify the result of the meeting.
Creating an agenda beforehand will ensure the smooth flow of all activities that will take place during the meeting. You can also add all the crucial topics or issues that need to be discussed or touched on during this event so that you won’t forget them.
If you want the attendees to know what to expect during the meeting, email them a copy of the program two or three days before the event.
The meeting won’t be productive if the guests are hungry and parched.
You can arrange for the cinema staff to prepare the snacks, beverages, and meals that will be served during the meeting. By doing so, you will avoid the hassles of looking for a caterer which will mean additional work on your part.
However, make sure you give the right number of attendees to the theater or concession stand manager or staff so that they will know how many snacks and meals they need to prepare.
Lastly, since you want the meeting to be enjoyable in addition to being educational and productive, you need to prepare activities that will entertain and amuse the attendees.
Prepare icebreakers and team-building activities that everyone can enjoy. Try to choose ones that are tried-and-tested crowd-pleasers so that all attendees will be interested in participating.
And since you are at the cinema, if you hired a theater for a whole day and you know you will finish the meeting early, find out if you can have a private screening for a particular movie. You will end the event with a bang, and your attendees will love this surprise.
Meetings at a movie theater can be as fun as team-building events or even parties. As long as you choose the right venue and plan it well, your corporate gathering will be a smashing success.
Paul Fox is the Director of Roxy Cinemas under Meraas Group/DXB Entertainments. Roxy Cinemas currently has five Dubai locations: The Beach, La Mer, City Walk, Box Park, and Bollywood Parks.
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