Have you ever had an experience where you have an important meeting in a conference room and some of the gadgets in that room do not really work as they are supposed to? I Bet you have! I also bet that there is a high possibility that this conference room was on your own premises.
I was once working with a client where we were to have a workshop with around 30 people. They decided that they would like the workshop to be within their own premises. It was a policy that they were going to use their own conference room instead of hiring a professional conference centre. It is understandable that they wanted to use their own resources instead of hiring new ones whilst still having to pay for their own conference rooms.
After a while we discovered that some equipment that we needed did not work. It was hard for the participants to see the projections displayed on a large wall. Some other minor issues of things not working also revealedthemselves as we went along. We tried to get some help. It turned out to be harder than we had expected. The local support department really hadn’t a clue as to who was responsible for the conference rooms. Maybe it was the general caretaker?
On the one hand we have a policy that is understandable, meaning to save costs, and on the other hand we have a non-functional conference room and 30 people sitting and waiting to perform the task in hand. An alternate way of thinking is to let all conferences of this magnitude, take place outside your own premises. In that case you have an increased cost for conference rooms, but you would be able to demand much more of the conference management as you are paying directly for the use of the facilities. You will also have increased efficiency in your meetings as you and the participants will not have to think about non-working equipment or other issues regarding the facilities. If you are not satisfied with the provision you can demand that the supplier increases their service or you will change location next time. You also only pay for the actual usage of the conference rooms, whilst having them in your own premises gives a cost 24/7.
A third way is to set up your own facilities with a clear responsibilities and a set service level. Those who are responsible for the conference facilities must make sure that the facilities and service meet a certain predetermined level of quality. In that way you may be able to have the same higher demands on quality, without the need to leave your premises and you do not need to pay an external supplier.
Whichever way you choose it is very important that you focus on the excellence in your meeting, meaning that the meetings that you are going to have, need to be efficient and give you the result you are looking for. All that, without interference from a not fully functional conference room.
My session with the client that I mentioned earlier, ended very well. After an hour, two individuals from the general caretaking arrived and fixed the problem. There was some disturbance but we did manage to solve the task in hand, at the end of the day.
To your Excellence!
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