Blog (The Secret to a Good Meeting)
Wednesday, 22, February 2017
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- The Croke Park
The Secret to a Good Meeting
At The Croke Park Hotel
It’s one of Dublin’s premiere meeting spots, so the team at The Croke Park certainly know their stuff when it comes to corporate events. Ciara Brien is the Meeting and Events Executive at the hotel, overseeing all of the meetings that are hosted there. We sat down with her to find out a little more about what her role entails, and her insider tips for hosting a great meeting.
“As the meeting and events executive, I manage all the elements of a booking. On the day of a meeting, the first thing I do is check all of the rooms before guests arrive. I check that the set-up is correct, and make sure they have everything they need. Then I talk to the other co-ordinators and go through the timings of the day – if the guest has teas and coffees booked for later on, I make sure that everyone has the correct times, and that everything is organised.
When the guests arrive, I meet up with them before their meeting begins, to make sure everything is OK and to go through the running of the day, to see if their break times are still suitable. Most of our guests order their tea and coffee breaks on the day itself, so I would take their order when I see them, and organise that.
When it comes to lunchtime, I try to get people to leave the meeting room they’re in. It’s nice to get out for a bit, especially if you’ve been in there all day. So we try to get them into the bistro for lunch, so they can get a change of scenery and clear their heads. Some people do request lunch in the meeting room itself, if they’re having a working lunch, but we are a little bit more limited that way – soup and sandwiches work well, or ordering from the bar menu, but we can’t do a 3-course plated lunch in there, so we do encourage them to come down.
If we have a big group, we try to book a separate room off of the restaurant, so they’re all together.
I haven’t had too many unusual requests yet, but it’s always good when they come in, because then you know what youcando in the future!
We work very closely with Croke Park over the road. Sometimes there are big meetings over in the stadium, and their delegates stay here, or dine here. We also host smaller breakaway meetings when very large conferences take place over there; we’ll host the CEO meeting held here, for example.
A good meeting is all about organisation! You can have the best speakers in the world, or great content, but if your organisation skills are bad it doesn’t really matter. I think you need to have a person who is in charge of timekeeping – if you’re meant to get a break at 10.30am and then things go on until midday, people are going to get tired and distracted, and you’ll lose their attention.
I’m taking bookings for summer meetings at the moment, so I’m letting them all know that we have a terrace attached to one of the meeting rooms. For meetings in May, for example, if we have a nice day and you have a 10-15 minute break in the room, you can open the door, wander out with a cup of tea or coffee and get some fresh air. It makes all the difference, especially when the sun is shining!”
You can find out more about meetings and events at The Croke Park here.