Help! I Need a Professional Meeting Space

So you need to host a meeting, but want a space that's a little more professional than your kitchen table? There are options open to you.

I run my business out of my home and there is no shame in operating this way. Sometimes that's what is needed to make your business work for you. Maybe you aren't at the point where you can afford a dedicated office, maybe you need the flexibility to be closer to home, or maybe you just want to invest elsewhere in your business for the time being. Whatever the reason, there is no shame in it and the commute is hard to beat!

Sometimes, it's easier to have a meeting outside of your home. Reasons I've held them elsewhere have included, wanting to look for professional, security concerns, a messy house that time didn't allow the requisite tidy of, and once because of a sick child (nobody wants to be around that!).

I've tried the coffee shop meeting, where I have little control of the distractions or privacy. And while the access to quality refreshments were great, if it isn't a meet-and-greet, the coffee shop might not be the right fit.

So, that's what didn't work. Let's talk about what has worked:

For the emergency situation—Local Chamber of Commerce boardroom.

If you aren't a member, it might be something to consider. The sick child day, I was able to get space with less than an hour's notice since they weren't using it. The bonus was they let me use the space at no cost. Not all Chamber's do this I'm told, so reach out to yours and see if it's a perk they offer with membership where you are.

For more regular situations--Coworking or Shared Space

Once a week, I need to work from Guelph to make my professional life and personal life not conflict, so I recently joined a Share Space here in Guelph, 10C. This is a decision I've been really happy with. Not only does it solve the screaming kids and flushing toilet issues I was having when trying to work out of the local libraries, but I have access to meeting rooms as a part of my membership too! Yes. Beautiful spaces, where I don't have to focus on tidying after my family and make sure that the content for the meeting is ready to go before the meeting starts. There is ample parking available. And I really am enjoying getting out of my home and seeing more people on a daily basis. It's quite affordable, and has many benefits outside of having a meeting room available to me when I need it. Some are more expensive than others, but it's worth giving it a shot.

If coworking or shared space isn't an option to you, I have had success with renting a meeting room for the local library as well. It depends on your local library and what they offer.

Just get out there, and ask questions. No matter the reason you are looking, good luck in finding the space that serves you the best.

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