How to make your meeting mean business

Sometimes it can feel like working life is a series of meetings, pre-meetings and subsequent meetings to discuss previous meetings.

This is why when you are hosting a crucial meeting for your business it is worth putting the effort into ensuring that everything runs smoothly and guests leave with a positive impression of your business, rather than feeling they have just wasted hours of their time.

We have been hosting day meetings at Swan for more than ten years, from breakfast briefings to boardroom lunches, and have been lucky enough to host client meetings for some of London’s most successful companies, perhaps helping add to that success along the way.

Here is our guide to making your meeting mean business.


Let’s start with the reason you are holding the meeting in the first place: business. Whether you are presenting ideas to colleagues or want to update key stakeholders on the progress of a project, you need to be able to effectively display your visual material. If there are multiple people presenting it is important to have access to equipment that will be compatible for most users. In our recently refurbished Balcony Room, we have a range of in-house AV equipment including a bespoke lectern system, microphones, laptops, PA system and LCD displays. 

Flexible room layout

Getting the right sized room will set the tone for your meeting. Choose the right space to make a good impression right from the start. At Swan we offer different spaces from a simple table in our quiet bar or snug area, to our private dining areas and Balcony Room upstairs overlooking the Thames which offers a variety of seating options including theatre and cabaret layouts.

Light and airy

Sitting through a meeting, no matter how interesting the subject, can be tiring if a room is dark and stuffy. Natural light is always a good way to keep everyone engaged, and if that isn’t possible then ensure the lighting is bright without being so dazzling as to become clinical. Air con, especially in summer, is also a must. Being too hot causes discomfort and could even cut your meeting short, while opening a window will let noise in as well as air. Getting these details right will mean your guests leave and talk about your meeting for only the right reasons.

Food and Drink 

Like any event, keeping your guests or delegates fed and watered is key. People will want plenty of water and hot drinks, so arrange to have bottled water and tea and coffee on hand to keep proceedings hydrated and uninterrupted. If you are hosting a breakfast, lunch or dinner meeting, then ask your venue about special menus. We have developed different menus to suit the varying needs of our clients, such as canapé, bowl food breakfasts and buffets. It is important to cater for allergies and dietary requirements in advance, so speak to your venue or caterer in good time. 


When asking clients and colleagues to take time out of their day to attend your event, location is everything. Attendees will want to know how long it takes to get there and how easy it is to get home or back to the office from. Picking somewhere central is a good way to guarantee numbers and also shows consideration and foresight. Position your meeting or briefing near a Tube, train station or other means of travel and everyone will arrive in a positive frame of mind. As well as being central, think about the environment you are showing off your company in. Some of the best feedback we get from our clients is about the stunning riverside views and the sense of occasion of being located between St.Paul’s and Shakespeare’s Globe. Look out for venues that will provide an interesting backdrop and point of conversation; yes it might be business, but it doesn’t have to be run of the mill.


If you would like to find out more about our day meeting options you can get in touch by calling 020 7928 9444 for an informal chat or contact us online for more information.