No matter whether you’re dealing with matters of business or pleasure, communication is key. From the corporate world to the creative, sometimes sitting down with a group of people and working through some problems, challenges, or opportunities together can lead to rewarding results.
Maybe you’re a producer and you need to sit down with a director and cinematographer to plan your next project. Perhaps you’re putting together a new team at work and you need them to bond and share ideas in a relaxed environment. The list of possibilities is just about endless, but the key to any successful meeting of minds is finding the best discussion space.
From one-on-one chats to group brainstorming sessions, there are discussion venues available to suit an extensive range of circumstances. The trick is finding a space that satisfies all of your requirements.
The Best Discussion Venues
The right discussion location is one that suits what you’re trying to achieve. For example, while some spaces encourage collaboration, others inspire creativity. Some help create a relaxed and informal environment, others have the opposite effect. Be sure to have a clear idea of what you want to get out of your discussion before you start comparing spaces.
- Business Centers
If a formal approach is called for, you’ll find meeting rooms to suit at your nearest business center. These venues offer meeting spaces to suit discussions of a variety of sizes, plus they also offer state-of-the-art tech equipment to help with presentations, brainstorming sessions, and sharing ideas.
- Restaurants and Bars
If you want to encourage an informal discussion, you might find that conversation flows much easier over a nice meal or a drink or two. From a corner booth in a quiet bar to a private dining room in a restaurant, there are plenty of options to choose from.
- Creative Spaces
Hosting a brainstorming session or just looking to approach a problem from a different angle? Look for a discussion venue that boasts unique design, comfortable furniture, and a relaxed atmosphere. The abundant natural light and comfy seating in this downtown LA loft make it the perfect spot to get those creative juices flowing.
- Theaters and Auditoriums
If you’re organizing a bigger event with 20 people or more, perhaps a small auditorium or theater space could be a better choice. This can make it easy for the moderator to lead the discussion and ensure that all perspectives are heard.
What to Look for in Discussion Spaces
Finding the right discussion location isn’t always a straightforward job. It’s important to know exactly why you’re having the discussion and what you want to achieve before you start searching for venues. This will help you work out which features your discussion space must-have, and which venues suit your needs to a T.
Take a moment to think about where the majority of attendees will be coming from. Will they be driving themselves, taking public transport, or maybe flying in from interstate or overseas? The right discussion space is one that will be as easy for as many people as possible to get to in time for the planned start.
- Size and Layout
The discussion location you select will need to have plenty of space to accommodate all participants comfortably. You don’t want them crammed in like sardines, but nor do you want them to feel lost in a large space. The right venue layout will also vary depending on your needs. Some situations call for a face-to-face discussion, others more of a collaborative round-table environment, and others still for more of a lecture hall-type setup. Remember to consider exactly how conversation will flow when choosing your space.
- The Right Atmosphere
The size and layout of the space can have a big impact on the atmosphere it offers. And remember, the ambiance can in turn affect the success (or otherwise) of your discussion. When you find a venue with the right vibe, it’ll subtly encourage creative thinking, intelligent debate, and the sharing of ideas.
- Facilities and Amenities
Next, think about whether the discussion space meets all your practical requirements. For example, does it offer private parking and have enough bathrooms? Is catering available on-site or will you need to get it delivered? Does the venue have all the tech gear (like sound systems, projectors, lighting gear, etc.) you need to keep your discussion moving? Put together a wish list of essentials before you start comparing available spaces.
Last but not least, let’s not forget the all-important matter of your budget. The best discussion forum is one that doesn’t destroy your bottom line, so have a clear idea of how much you can afford to spend and be careful not to exceed it.
Where should you host your next chat, pow-wow, or confab? There’s no shortage of diverse options to choose from, so check out some of the ideas below if you’re in search of inspiration.
- Cozy Cafe Confabs
Sometimes the back and forth is a whole lot more productive when conducted over a good cup of coffee. Look for a cafe that combines a relaxed ambiance with an intimate atmosphere, perfect for those one-on-one or small group chats that call for a casual setting.
- Brainstorming Sessions in Creative Spaces
Meeting in the same space each and every time isn’t exactly conducive to innovative thinking. Encourage your team to hunt for new and interesting ideas by taking them off-site to a unique and eclectic meeting space. Think inspirational architecture and interior design, comfortable chairs, and plenty of wall space for recording all your ideas.
- Q&A Sessions in Lecture Halls
Not all discussions require equal input from everyone. If you’re hosting a Q&A with an industry expert or some other figure of note, an auditorium or lecture hall could be a good fit. This allows the guest of honor to take center stage and enjoy a stimulating discussion with the audience.
- Serious Business in Boardrooms
Some high-powered discussions and decisions are best kept for a formal boardroom setting. If you’ve got important issues to discuss, look for a conference room-style meeting space to create the ideal atmosphere for you to get to work.