6 Ways to Mix Business with Pleasure

By Donna Marrin

Meetings around the boardroom table are a necessary part of doing business, as well as a tedious one (who doesn’t sigh at the thought of yet another meeting?). Once in a while, mix it up by planning a different, more casual style of meeting.

1. On the links: Invite your client to a ‘nine hole’ meeting. There’s nothing like fresh air, lush green expanses, and some friendly competition to get the conversation started. (Just try not to whip the cleats off your client!)

2. On the water: Are you fortunate enough to own a cruiser at a nearby marina? Or do you have access to a rental? During nice weather, pack a basket with sandwiches and drinks and have a lunch meeting on the water. Are your clients fishing enthusiasts? Invite them to join you for a day of angling. (But don’t forget to hide the photos of the five-pound pickerel you caught last week, just in case they aren’t as skilled lucky as you!)

3. Over a hearty breakfast: Is there a local diner near your home/office with a reputation for serving scrumptious breakfasts? It’s a great way to start the day. (And keep this in mind: A well-fed client is a happy client. And when the client’s happy, everybody’s happy!)

4. In a serene setting: Take a walk with your client at a nearby park and have your discussion as you relax on seating that overlooks a pond or fountain. A tranquil environment loosens everyone up by boosting the mood. Are you the proud owner of a beautiful garden at your home? Invite your client to join you there for a cup of coffee in pleasant surroundings. (Please note: If your client suffers from an allergy to pollen, your meeting may not go so well.)

5. Do like the Brits: Is there a specialty tea shop in your area? If you know your client is a tea lover, extend an invitation to join you for high tea one afternoon. (But don’t try being fancy by sticking your pinkie out while you sip. That’s just grounds for losing the account.)

6. A unique setting that complements your business: Are you a florist? Meet your client for a stroll through a public garden. A book editor? Meet at a book shop coffee bar. You’re a portable toilet distributor? …Just stick with the boardroom.

Depending on the type of business you operate and the type your client operates, there are countless unique meeting spot ideas. Spice up your meetings every once in a while by mixing business with pleasure!

Do you ever hold meetings off the beaten track? Let us know what you do to make your meetings more interesting.

Donna Marrin is a freelance Senior Writer/Editor specializing in corporate communications and advertising. She also founded and runs the Markham Village Writers. You can visit their website at www.markhamvillagewriters.com

By Adam

September 27, 2010