Finding A Meeting Space | 3 Critical Things to Consider - MIT Endicott House

Three questions you should ask when choosing a meeting space for your corporate gathering

There are many occasions that get people out of the office with your staff — such as  networking or meeting with clients. Does your team needs more than a few hours outside the office? Corporate retreats create a bonding experience for your employees. If you’re planning a corporate fundraiser, an outdoor event is a great way to thank your major donors for contributing to your latest capital campaign. Whatever the reason, there are a few common denominators that make a venue perfect for any corporate gathering.

It’s important to find a balance between fun and corporate. Even though you’re out of the office, it’s still important to maintain professionalism. This is even more important if you are planning a multi-day event. Taking your staff out of the office for a brainstorming session in a venue that is not familiar to them can do wonders for team morale and even help generate some new ideas in terms of company direction. However, your team is not on vacation, so the venue must have enough corporate flair to sustain the decorum of business.

Here are a few key questions that you need to ask yourself when choosing the right corporate venue for your event.

1. What is the facility like?

This seems like a basic question, but it’s the most important one. When it comes to choosing the right venue, think about what you will need — from capacity of people and flow of traffic to ambiance and acoustics.

Size matters when it comes to the perfect ambiance for effective training sessions, discussions, presentations, brainstorming, decision making, or conversation. Whether it’s two or 100, MIT Endicott House’s meeting spaces are carefully appointed to make your gatherings highly anticipated and memorable. State-of-the-art audio-visual equipment is available throughout the property, as well as traditional presentation supplies.

The MIT Endicott House also includes an additional suite of modern meeting rooms in the Brooks Conference Center, named for Edward Pennell Brooks, founding dean of MIT Sloan School of Management and a friend of Wendell’s from his Sears Roebuck directorate. MIT Endicott House has been the site for the Sloan School Senior Executive programs for over forty years.

When planning an outdoor event, another key point to consider is the weather. You might have planned out some amazing activities outside, but if it is raining you will need a Plan B. Anyone who has spent time planning events knows full well that anything that can go wrong usually will. For this reason, choose a place that has a variety of buildings or structures. If the activity gets rained out, you can simply relocate indoors. By choosing a venue that has a number of different facilities, you are increasing the odds that when something goes wrong you will be ready for it.

Another essential event detail that is often overlooked is the aesthetics. You would hate to drive up to a conference only to find it is in a side-of-the-highway motel.  Finding a beautiful venue will help inspire your team and raise the bar for the importance of the meeting.

MIT Endicott House is an award­-winning facility is located in a secluded landscaped setting on 25 acres in the historic town of Dedham, MA. The stunning French Manor-style mansion features breathtaking vistas of the Blue Hills, alongside beautifully preserved and maintained gardens. Also surrounding your guests are Flemish tapestries, Gothic choir stalls, fine art masterworks and majestic fireplaces- all inspiring  yet comfortable.

Also, consider situations where you have far more or fewer guests than you anticipated. In the event of drastic guest fluctuation, it is best to have the choice to relocate to a smaller or bigger room. The worst case scenario is not having enough seating for everyone in a large group, but it is equally as awkward to have a giant room for only a few people. When you choose a facility with many spaces, you are taking one stressful item off your list.

MIT Endicott House offers a variety of packages for meetings, corporate retreats, team building exercises and retreats that can accommodate any special requests.

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2. Is it easy to find?

This is a big one.

The meeting facility needs to be easily accessible to everyone. Nobody wants to go hunting around to try to find the meeting. You do not want to have your guests walking for a mile to come to the event. If possible, see if the venue can supply transportation to and from the nearest airport.

The MIT Endicott House is a quick getaway for urban professionals — about 10 miles southwest from downtown Boston. The MIT Endicott House is located 12 miles from the MIT Campus. Boston Logan Airport is 23 miles from the MIT Endicott House; Providence T.F. Green Airport is 55 miles away. Both airports can be accessed easily by major routes. For group arrivals, Airport shuttle service between either Logan or T.F. Green Airports and the MIT Endicott house can be arranged, for an additional cost, by contacting the MIT Endicott House in advance.

Easy access is especially important if you are hosting a gala, wedding or major donor event. You want to thank your donors for helping make your company better and more prosperous, so make it easy for them the attend.

Try to find a venue where your guests do not have to pay for parking. If this is impossible, you can also hand out parking vouchers for your staff.

Look for a place with a robust website that has directions on it. You can send out this link to your staff or attendees. Also, provide the proper address so guests can plug it into their phones if they so choose.

3. What are the amenities?

It seems so simple, but one of the major things that people tend to overlook when booking a venue is checking to make sure the WiFi is fast, robust, and available in all areas of the space. This is important for all events, but even more so for any corporate or daytime event when people might need to check in with the office or scan through their emails. The world is completely connected these days, so depriving your guests of WiFi can wreak havoc in their schedules.

MIT Endicott House provides a unique setting to think, plan, or learn. The Mansion, with four distinctive meeting rooms, is perfect for executive meetings or training seminars of up to 100 people. Brooks Center, adjacent the Mansion, offers an 90 seat amphitheater with the latest conference and computer networking technology, and three seminar rooms. We host conferences that utilize guest rooms, as well as day meetings.

One of New England’s premier conference centers has been refurbished with the most advanced technological upgrades. The Brooks Center Lecture Hall can accommodate groups up to 90, with four separate seminar rooms. The four meeting rooms in the mansion can also accommodate groups up to 100. All A/V is set-up and tested prior to your group’s arrival.

Also, find somewhere with several different dining options. If you are hosting a morning session, you will want to make sure that the venue can provide a breakfast buffet or at least some coffee or tea. If you are holding the venue later on in the day, consider having a dinner planned. Many places will let you choose between buffet style or individual plate dinner options, and depending on how many people you have in attendance, this is a good touch. The last thing that you want to happen is for your attendees to be starving through the presentations.

From bountiful buffets to private dinners, MIT Endicott House is known for creative cuisine. Our conference planners will guide you through the meal planning process. Every detail, from preparation to presentation will be handled with care and attention.

Another excellent amenity that is not offered very often (but should be!) is tourist-related activities that will help with team building and keep the event fun. If you are holding a multi-day event or working with your staff on team-building or a refreshing retreat after a big win, consider making their attendance even more special by using a venue that links up with the local tourism board. You will benefit from not having to plan that particular element while building team camaraderie with a local culture experience.

Consider doing one or two non-work related activities during your retreat. You will get far more play out of them than run-of-the-mill seminars. Some venues offer team building or bonding activities on site.  Ask your event planner or venue contact about these opportunities. These activities are fun for your team and will increase your productivity.

For a venue that offers all of these and more, contact MIT Endicott House.  With 25 acres of beautiful landscape, a multitude of perfect rooms for a variety of needs and an array of dining options, you will be sure to find everything you need. Call today at 617-253-5211, or fill out an online contact form and you can expect a response within 24 hours.

Find out more about Endicott House’s meeting facilities and services