Starbucks or Panera. Barnes & Noble or McDonalds. A library or a hotel lobby. Every day some business owners are trying to find the best public location to hold a meeting with their clients or partners. While there may be some advantages to utilizing public spaces, there are also some definite disadvantages. Consider the following:
- The old cliché remains true: First impressions count. Public spaces may mean little to no costs for you, but they can also project the wrong image to your client. Utilizing these spaces can suggest you aren’t serious about your business or services or that you are experiencing financial problems.
- Confidentiality: Depending on the nature of the meeting or the topics to be discussed, confidentiality may be a considerable factor when planning the location of your meeting. Be especially clear on the terms of any non-disclosure agreements that may be in play before choosing a public place.
- Strong, consistent connection: Many of these public spaces offer free Wi-Fi, but their signals are often weak or inconsistent. If you plan to utilize the internet for any part of your meeting or presentation, public spaces may introduce challenges and delays. They may also be less secure than a private network.
- Network Security: Public places often don’t have much protection on their networks. Simple measures such as Firewalls have reduced effectiveness on public networks to allow different types of connections. For some industries such as financial planners, real estate, etc. this can cause a major issue if you are transmitting personal information for your clients.
- Traffic and noise: While you may have strategically considered the best time to use a public space you ultimately have no control over the traffic that may come in during your meeting, nor the level of noise you may experience. Nothing is worse than having to shout your presentation over a crowd so your client has a chance to hear you.
- Presentation restrictions: Meetings in public places often mean limiting your presentation materials to a tablet or laptop. Bringing in a projector or whiteboard is often not feasible and, more often, not allowed.
- The problem with food: If you choose a location that serves food or drinks you are typically expected to make purchases. While it can be nice to have a snack or beverage with you during your presentation or meeting, they can also become distractions: mayonnaise that drips on your tie, food stuck in your teeth, indigestion, or small tables that lead to liquids spilled on your devices. You may want to re-consider meeting places that involve a lot of food and beverages.
A great, cost-effective alternative to public spaces is renting meeting rooms by the hour. Barrister Executive Suites can offer you convenient locations that provide spaces that are free of distractions. We have meeting rooms that include superior technologies to help support your presentation, and we can provide you with the privacy you need.
Today’s business climate is constantly changing, and so are your office needs. Barrister’s flexible lease terms allow you to be as agile as you need to be. Whether you need use of one of our prestigious addresses, occasional use of an office, or meeting rooms by the hour, we are here to help.
With our Virtual Office Programs, you receive all the benefits of a physical office at a fraction of the cost:
- Access to beautifully appointed conference rooms and fully furnished private offices for hourly or daily rental
- Prestigious business address and business identity
- Live receptionist to greet clients and visitors
- Mail and package handling
- Personalized call answering and screening
Learn more about our Barrister meeting rooms by the hour.