If the idea of a “corporate meeting” conjures up visions of stuffy boardrooms, fluorescent lights and boring sandwiches, then we invite you to rethink the business meeting. Are you the meeting planner? Rest assured that thinking outside the box(ed lunch) doesn’t have to break the bank.
Get Their Attention With a Beautiful Venue
There certainly are hotels that do a fine job hosting meetings, but they’re not the only game in town. Consider a restaurant with ample meeting space and breakout options. A restaurant’s attention to decorating detail means that your team won’t be shuffling from one windowless room to the next. Most boast large windows that let in natural light during the day, too. Pair that with a comfortable vibe and eye-pleasing decor and your team will shine in a “less sterile” environment that’s conducive to a better, can-do attitude.
According to The Gables at Chadds Ford’s banquet manager Kelly Donahue, breakout areas are key. “When people are in one spot too long, their minds start to wander. A change of scenery—consider alfresco in nice weather—gives them a new view to go along with the topic change you tend to find with breakout groups.”
Start the Day With the Most Important Drink
Breakfast is the hands-down most important meal of the day, and a restaurant’s options will exceed expectations since the food is made-to-order by the same kitchen staff that serves its guests. Surprise and delight your team with a fresh take on morning joe by hosting a coffee station with flavored syrups, chocolate-covered spoons and rock candy sticks. Remember the tea lovers with flavored honeys and a wide assortment of teas. This tasty twist on the coffee urn will keep people energetic and motivated (yes, we mean caffeinated!).
Feed the Body to Feed the Mind
When your event spans an entire day (and, perhaps, into the evening), you’ll include the appropriate meals as part of the agenda. But what about midmorning and midafternoon, when even the most ardent coffee drinker may find herself slipping into a slump? Kelly notes that The Gables offers noshes at those times of the day to keep your team in the game. “We can put together coffee and fruit, soda and snacks or whatever quick bites work best for your group,” she said.
Play Games. Really.
Ignore the collective groan because turning the mind away from the business tasks at hand frees it up for fun—and allows it to get back to work with a new perspective. Games don’t have to be hokey; the goal is to help your team learn more about one another with a little levity. This is especially important when the meeting includes people who don’t normally work together, as it forms a bond that can be leveraged, if needed, at a later date. Some of our favorite games are three truths and a lie, use what you have (a challenge based on what’s at hand) and silence (where the presenter stops talking for a few minutes and then asks people what they learned about being in silence).
End With a Social Event
This works well with half- and full-day meetings. Your team worked hard and deserves to decompress and absorb what’s transpired. Help everyone relax with something social! End half-day events with a team lunch and make it memorable with a theme that directs your food choices: summer picnic, tailgate, by the sea, an ethnic specialty—the choices are endless. Naturally, give the team the rest of the day off!
Conclude a full-day meeting with a cocktail hour that also can be themed with small bites, a signature cocktail plus other libations and soft drinks. A restaurant can offer you buffet and butlered choices to encourage mingling.
Work With a Pro
A restaurant’s special events team will help you with all your event’s details and make sure your needs are met while keeping an eye on your budget. There are many reasons to book an event at The Gables, so we invite you to contact us to start the conversation and visit us for a tour. You can check availability online, too.
The Gables at Chadds Ford is nestled in the heart of the historic Brandywine Valley. Our combination of fresh seasonal cuisine, rustic yet elegant charm and enchanting outdoor dining will keep you coming back time and time again. The Gables is also the perfect venue to host your next special event, whether you are planning a wedding, rehearsal dinner, baby shower or corporate event.