Stepping outside, breathing in the fresh air, and organising outdoor meetings are all the rage right now. Sure, perhaps it might have had something to do with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, or it even might have had something to do with the glorious weather that the summer months (sometimes!) bring to the UK. Either way, the idea of hosting more outdoor meetings seems to be catching like wildfire, and it seems to be bringing a lot of questions.
To help you out, we’ve decided to let you know absolutely everything you need to know about outdoor meetings, and what they might mean for the future of business meetups. From the benefits of them to planning them, outdoor meetings can be a fun and exciting way to connect with your team, and we want to help you make the very most of them. Discover just how outdoor meetings can be beneficial to you with our ultimate guide.
Benefits of Outdoor Meetings
Health Benefits of Outdoor Meetings
When it comes to meeting outside, there are plenty of reasons for doing so. Yes, of course, you have the slightest of opportunities to catch the slightest of suntans come the summer months, but there is actually a tonne of health benefits to taking your meetings in the great outdoors. Getting out and being at one with nature is recommended by practically every single medical professional there is and is guaranteed to do absolute wonders for both your mental and physical wellbeing.
According to Mind, spending time in the wilderness is actually scientifically proven to improve your mood, reduce negative or stressful emotions significantly, and even help to make you feel more confident within yourself. Taking a little bit of time to connect with your team members in the leafy embrace of nature is bound to strengthen your connection even deeper, as opposed to crowding around a conference table in a stuffy office space.
Outdoor Meetings are Time Efficient
As well as being fantastic for your physical and mental health, outdoor meetings are also incredibly time-efficient. Meeting outside is great for last-minute meetings where you couldn’t quite book a space in time. However, after spending five minutes outside, thoughts of ever wanting to meet indoors will be surely far, far behind you!
If you go into your meeting with clear goals and an agenda to follow, you can simply launch into your points and go from there. No need for small talk and entry-level conversation; there are no rules when it comes to outside meetings, so you can entirely make up your own. Meaning that, potentially, you can cut out a lot of time you might’ve otherwise wasted. Bonus points if you don’t even need to stop moving and keep your meeting completely and utterly mobile.
How Do I Plan Outdoor Meetings?
When it comes to planning outdoor meetings, the world is well and truly your oyster. Of course, if you still fancy keeping things a little bit more traditional, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t keep to the original script.
Have someone take notes, discuss the agenda in a calm and confident manner, just do so in the sunshine! However, an outdoor meeting is far from traditional, so why not play around with it? Whatever you choose to do, just make sure that the style is perfect for you and your team, and you’re on to a winner.
Have a Backup Plan
The British weather is always unpredictable, and if the weatherman says it’s going to be nothing but brilliant sunshine, be sure to expect thunder and lightning bolts. This is why we recommend making sure you and your team have somewhere to move your meeting to, just in case. Or if you’re feeling really adventurous, invest in some very fetching matching umbrellas for you and your team to huddle under when the heavens inevitably open!
Depending on where you’re situated, there are some fantastic spaces that manage to combine the very best of both the outside world and the inside world into the office space of your wildest dreams, such as these beautiful rooftop office spaces in London.
If you’re working remotely, don’t panic. After all, why should you miss out on all of the fun of an outdoor meeting just because you work from home? With these “eco spaces”, you can really bring the joy of the traditional office into the wild by setting up your own ‘natural’ office from the comfort of your own home. This way, you can stay at home with your friends and family, and be safe while doing so.
Experiment with Outdoor Meetings
When we say the phrase “outdoor meetings” to you, where does your mind immediately run off to? Probably to a park, or a picnic bench, or somewhere stereotypical and geographically nearby. That doesn’t have to be the case, however. There are no set regulations for outdoor meetings, so whatever preconceived rule book you had in your head, feel free to rip it up. Be open to experimenting with new places and new activities, and really liven up the idea of having an outdoor meeting.
Of course, keeping it local might be a wise idea for your run-of-the-mill meeting, but if you’re sure to plan ahead, why not really mix it up? Choose a day that looks bright and sunny, use the Beach Finder app to find your nearest (or not!) beach, and set up shop on the sand for the day. If you’re up for it, playing some outdoor sports with your COVID secure support bubble might be the perfect plan, depending on the number of people you’re planning on having face to face close contact with.
Or, for those who are really energetic, try not sitting down at all: a hike in the wilderness with your coworkers might be the perfect way to get your brains in gear. Just make sure to wear face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19, or do a risk assessment before you head out just in case.
Choose an Outdoor Walking Meeting
As we touched on previously, why not give a walking outdoor meeting a go? This option is perfect for those who would rather keep active than stay still, or for those who simply think better when on the move.
If you fancy looking up a route with National Trails, pulling on your trainers and making a day of it then be our guest. However, if you’d prefer to take things at a slightly slower pace, there’s nothing stopping you from simply taking a stroll around the local area and taking in the nearby sights.
Although outdoor walking meetings might seem a little bit more fast-paced and hectic, we assure you that they’re not. If anything, walking meetings are just a great way to get out and about, and they give you the chance to stretch your legs and get a bit of fresh air.
They can be as intense or as gentle as you’d like them to be, and if you’re looking for an intimate way to discuss your topics, this is certainly the way to do so. And besides, your Fitbit will be thanking you later, what with all of those extra steps you’ll be doing!
Are Outdoor Meetings the Future?
Yes, outdoor meetings certainly are the future. By spending more and more time outside, enjoying nature and truly embracing the benefits that nature has to offer, we are starting to give back to the world in ways never previously thought possible. Outdoor spaces have the power to bring people together and connect individuals in a very strong way, and hosting more meetings outside will have a profound effect on the way in which we interact and communicate with one another, both on a personal and professional basis.
Outdoor Meetings Concluded
The future of outdoor meetings is one that is very bright indeed, and as more and more people are discovering the amazing benefits of hosting their meetings in the great outdoors, the more creative people will start to be when it comes to the limits of what an ‘outdoor meeting’ actually entails.
At Kents Hill Park, conferences and meetings are right up our street. Our venue, based in Milton Keynes, has a variety of facilities for you to choose from, making it the perfect place to host your virtual event, team building activity, or class.
We have lots of available outside space, so if you wanted to try out an outdoor meeting or two, Kents Hill Park is the perfect place. However, if you want to stick to hosting a meeting in the traditional sense, we have plenty of indoor spaces ready and available to use. Indoors or outdoors; we’ve got you covered.
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