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Five tips to help get your meeting off to a good start

Meetings are important but all too often they are not organised effectively. This can destroy productivity and have a negative impact on engagement. In fact research shows 34% of staff have fallen asleep during a meeting and 63% of meetings don’t have a planned agenda. 

Whilst you don’t always have control over the meeting agenda there are some simple steps you can take to ensure the environment is right to help get the meeting off to a good start and to drive engagement. Jane Streat, Head of Client Services at Lexington Reception Services, offers advice on how to prepare a meeting room.

Furniture & equipment

It’s important to make sure the meeting room is comfortable and people attending have access to the equipment that they need – there is nothing worse than the technology not working. Remember to check:

How the room is going to be used. Do the team need a table and chairs or would they like a more informal set up? Make sure you have the right number of chairs and tables.

What technology is required: Is there a demand for over-head projectors, laptops, televisions etc? If so ensure you have safe access to power supplies and the relevant equipment set up well in advance of the meeting.


For longer meetings and meetings where projectors are being used you need to ensure those in the meeting are able to adjust light levels so as to avoid eyestrain.


It’s wise to ensure fresh water and tea/coffee facilities are available. If the meeting is at a stage in the day when hunger is likely then try to provide suitable snacks or lunch – providing healthy options is important.

Room temperature

If the room is too warm then people may feel drowsy, distracted or uncomfortable. If the room temperature is too cold then their focus won’t be on what’s important. Make sure the team knows how to adjust temperature or you are on hand to help.

Fresh air

We require oxygen for our brains to function properly so fresh air is important – this can be achieved a couple of ways, by opening windows or putting live plants in the room. If you have an open window then ensure that the temperature isn’t compromised.

Environment is so important when planning a meeting. It can improve or kill productivity – too warm and people will feel sleepy, too cold and people will lose concentration. So, if you have to organise a meeting ensure your environment is well prepped before the meeting.