Six ways to survive a dull meeting

It’s an unfortunate fact of working life that some meetings are less riveting than others. We’ve all found ourselves feeling trapped in a tedious, seemingly endless meeting when we have a long list of tasks we need to get back to, which is especially frustrating when the discussion relevant to us has ended.

But rather than seeing a meeting simply as a boring obstacle to getting on with work, it helps to see the opportunities it can offer. Next time you find yourself in a meeting you’d rather not be in, resist the temptation to doodle or plan your next meal, instead draw on our tips for making meetings productive, not painful.

Know the agenda

You can’t gain anything from a meeting if you don’t know what it is about. Make sure you have a copy of the agenda in plenty of time ahead of the meeting, and if you’re the one responsible, that everyone else does to.

Familiarise yourself with the points for discussion and make note of any questions you need answering or decisions you want to be made. Having a set of objectives you want to achieve will help keep you focused.

The Brewery, Venue

Switch things up

Many meetings, particularly regularly weekly or monthly ones, follow the same order of proceedings every time, creating predictable lulls in which people find it all too easy to tune out.

Avoid this by suggesting a change to the order of talking points, for example, starting with the most interesting or contentious subject rather than with a review of the previous meeting’s minutes. This will hopefully get everyone involved in a lively discussion straight off the bat, instead of switching off.

 

 

Take a stand

Take our last suggestion one step further and try a standing meeting. This type of meeting is really only suitable for short periods of time but if you want to speed up proceedings, this can be a great tactic.

Or to really shake things up, propose everyone in the meeting moves one seat to their left every five minutes. Although this approach risks messy paperwork and spilt drinks, it’s sure to keep everyone awake!

Make a name for yourself

It’s not always possible to change the structure or direction of a meeting, but there are other ways to make a dull meeting work in your favour, even if the topics don’t involve you.

Meetings can be a great opportunity to interact with others in your company who you may not often see face to face, especially if yours is a large organisation. In this case, many of your colleagues may not really have any idea about you or what you do, and vice versa, so taking an active role in the meeting can be a way to do some potentially valuable cross-departmental networking.

 

Pick up body language cues

Another beneficial activity you can use in a meeting is to observe your colleagues for body language cues that can tell you more about what they’re thinking. For example, crossed arms can indicate that person is closed off to what’s being said, while a tilted head can suggest receptiveness to the discussion, as they are subconsciously exposing the vulnerable neck area.

Everyone has their own physical habits and quirks, but recognising these in your colleagues can help you read between the lines when debating best practice or looking for a solution to a problem. A better understanding of those you work with can only improve your professional relationships.

Find a fantastic meeting venue

Finally, it has to be said that holding your meeting in a beautiful, comfortable and well-equipped venue is one of the best ways to ensure the participants stay engaged. For important or lengthy meetings, team building sessions and conferences, getting out of the office and into a neutral space is a must.

When you hold your meeting at The Brewery you’ll be able to choose from six stunning meeting and conference rooms of various size and level of functionality. All of our meeting spaces come with high-speed Wi-Fi and a built-in DB audio PA system, as well as premium tableware and customisable electronic signage.

With the option to add delicious bespoke food and drink and audio-visual support through one dedicated point of contact, The Brewery can offer an historic central London meeting venue like no other.

If you’re planning an business meeting or conference, take a look at our conferences and meetings pages or talk to us today about how we can make it the best yet at The Brewery.

Why choose London?

No matter what sort of event you are holding, be it a conference, exhibition or wedding, the location you choose is vitally important. We’re really proud of being based in the heart of the City of London. We love our city and think it offers everything you could want for whatever you need. Here’s our top reasons why London is brilliant:

London is really easy to get to

It might sound a little unsexy but one of the great things about London is its excellent transport links. If you are travelling within the UK the train network into the capital is regular and reliable while air travel into London is also great no matter where in the world you are coming from.

Once in London The Brewery is really easy to get to – we’re close to Liverpool Street, Moorgate and Barbican stations which can be reached via a variety of the tube lines. Travel around London is really simple – you can get an Oyster card so that you just tap your card for payment on tubes and buses.

The roads aren’t too bad either, and if you are driving yourself then while we don’t have parking on site we are really close to the NCP public car park at The Barbican.

There’s an amazing history

The City of London has some wonderful landmarks to visit no matter what your interests are. One of the most iconic landmarks is St Paul’s Cathedral, a sight which can be seen from all over the city but is well worth a visit to take in the beauty close up. We also have our royal connections with Tower Bridge and the Tower of London both close by. Did you know you can go inside Tower Bridge and even walk across the glass floor allowing you to see the cars crossing beneath you.

Great places to stay

London has a plethora of wonderful hotels for your guests to stay and with the great transport links you can stay anywhere in the Capital quite easily. There’s some of the world’s most well-known hotels in London such as the Ritz and the Savoy but there’s also something for any budget. For your guests attending an event at The Brewery, we recommend the nearby Montcalm London City hotel which offers fantastic comfort and luxury in a great setting.

Wonderful food and drink

London is a foodie paradise, where a wealth of traditions and customs has come together to create a diverse range of restaurants to suit any palate. Some of the world’s most well-known chefs have restaurants in London including Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal. For a bit of history, visit The Jamaica Wine House which is now a pub but was London’s very first Coffee House. Opened in 1652, Samuel Pepys was a regular.

Shop ‘til you drop

London is also an iconic shopping destination allowing the guests at your event to grab some great bargains and a souvenir before heading home. Famous locations like Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street are great but in the City of London you can find all you would need with great shopping areas including One New Change and Leadenhall Market.

If you think London is the place for your event, then The Brewery will be happy to help you. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you.

How technology can aid your event

The way in which a business holds events and conferences says much about its ethos and creativity, so when you’re planning an event, the last thing you want is to give the impression that innovation is at the bottom of your list. In this age of instant information and limitless connectivity, a company event showcases more than just what’s on the agenda; it can be an opportunity to establish your business as an authority in your field, demonstrate your business links and outline your strategy for the future.

With a business event booked at The Brewery, you can be sure of a venue with the wow factor, state of the art audio-visual support and high speed Wi-Fi, but what other technology could you use to ensure the best possible impression and the most memorable presentations?

Here we’ve gathered a list of the most cutting edge techniques your business can use to inform, engage with and entertain your guests at your next event or conference.

Live streaming

Events or conferences that have the potential to appeal to more people than can be hosted can reach a far wider audience through live streaming.

Presentations, Q&A sessions and more can be captured by a camera operator, encoded and played live through a secure online streaming partner, available for viewers anywhere to watch on any internet-connected device.

 

Social media interactivity

These days any company worth its salt posts updates from their own conferences and events, but have you thought about how interacting with your guests through social media can help you measure how well your event has been received?

Decide on a designated event hashtag and encourage attendees to use it in their posts, try creating a mobile survey or quiz to evaluate engagement during your event or set up a game or networking competition to get people involved. For example, challenge your guests to take pictures of themselves with certain people from the event or put up a prize for the first person who collects 50 business cards.

Event apps

Taking smart phone interaction one step further, a mobile app created specifically for your event or conference can really set it apart. After all, your guests don’t go anywhere without their phones, so your event app can act like an event guide in their pocket, with your agenda, room layouts, social media links, downloads, surveys and more at their fingertips.

What’s more, you can personalise the experience of your event for each attendee, with customisable options and preferences.

 

Virtual reality

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies are making their way into more and more areas of everyday life, and business events and conferences are no exception. Nevertheless, VR headsets still cause a buzz and should guarantee a high level of interest and interaction. VR is a great way to demonstrate a product that’s too big to be displayed at your event, or can be used to give attendees a virtual tour of an off-site environment.

Touch screen technology

Breaking down the wall between a laptop and connected monitor or projector, touch screen technology allows a presenter to interact directly and instantly with the display the audience is looking at. Screens can be as simple as an interactive whiteboard allowing one or more users to write on a plain white surface with a finger or stylus, or as comprehensive as a colour HD monitor or full scale video wall.

This kind of technology does away with the need for flipcharts and enables presenters to annotate, alter and add to pre-designed conference materials right in the middle of your event.

 

And finally…

We love this idea. Guaranteed to maintain engagement through any Q&A session, we think a throwable microphone is an essential addition to any business event or conference. This fun and clever idea keeps up the momentum of audience participation without the need for the presenter to shout across the room, or for a designated microphone holder to run from person to person. It also ensures your audience pays attention, at risk of being caught in the crossfire!

If you’re planning an event or conference for your business, take a look at our Conferences and meetings pages or talk to us today about how we can make it the best yet at The Brewery.

Matching your wine to your food

 

As with so many things in life, a successful event is all in the detail. Arguably one of the most important things to get right to make your event successful or memorable is to ensure that your guests’ dining experience is faultless. At The Brewery, we understand the extent to which a wine can enhance your enjoyment of food and conversely, how the wrong wine can be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

Our team pride themselves on their ability to recommend the perfect wine to compliment your choice of food at your event. We make it our mission to find wines that you and your guests will love and choices which will suit your menu to a tee.

In advance of your event, we’ll offer you a private tasting experience in our glass tasting room with one of our team of expert chefs. With a perfect view of the kitchen, you’ll see your food prepared and try a selection of seasonal dishes along with our recommended hand-picked old and new world wines, until you have a menu you simply can’t wait to savour.

Here we’ve gathered some of our tips for creating a food and drink menu that works in perfect harmony.

 

Find a crowd-pleaser

Most people will be one of two types; a white wine drinker or a red wine drinker. You may want to offer a wine of each variety that has a broad appeal and pairs well with most food, but there are a few hero wines that may be able to convert even the most die-hard red or white devotee.

Generally speaking, Sauvignon Blanc is a very popular white wine that pairs well with most foods, including salad, seafood, soft cheese, poultry and pasta. As for reds, Pinot Noir is very versatile, suiting red and white meat dishes and even salmon. Its lightness and higher acidity also means that it can appeal to white wine drinkers too. For a white wine that’ll keep your red wine drinkers happy, try a full-bodied wine aged in oak, such as Chardonnay.

 

Think pink

It’s not surprising that rosé is growing in popularity at events of all kinds. It pairs well with nearly everything, especially seafood, shellfish and light summery foods such as quiche and soufflé.

Rosé has the added advantage of appealing to lovers of both white and red wines, yet doesn’t have the heaviness of red and its pretty blush colour will look beautiful on your tables. When choosing a rosé, start with varieties made from your favourite red wine grape.

 

Mix it up

It’s completely up to you whether you serve a different wine with each of your courses, but doing so can really elevate your event’s menu. At The Brewery we can provide a meal of up to six courses, giving you the option to serve a wonderful variety of accompanying wines.

The golden rule when serving a mix is to vary the body of each wine, move from lighter bodied wines through to heavier ones with the main course. Think about the richness of the food; in general lean meats go well with lighter wines and richer food, such as red meat, cheese and creamy sauces, are well paired with highly acidic whites or reds with high tannin levels.

Finally, they say that ‘if it grows together, it goes together’, so consider serving food and wine from the same region, such as a Tuscan feast with a Chianti or a Galician fish dish with an Albariño.

If this has got your mouth watering, download our Food and Drink brochure and contact us today to find out how we can find the perfect pairings for your next event.