You have to love when someone “makes your case” – that is – says or supports something you believe in as well.
A recent post by Seth Godin makes the case that space matters.
This supports what I call the 3Ps of brainstorming and strategy meetings: people, process, and place. The most successful and productive meetings are a result of pulling together the right people, using the right process, hosted in the right place.
People and process? Most of us prepare for this. Being even more deliberate will improve our meetings. But the majority of us are way off when it comes to place.
We don’t consider the space. We don’t pick the place on purpose. When hosting an off-site, we get the space for free at the hotel where we book our rooms.
Conference space is provided when you buy the food package. Instead of booking rooms from people in the catering business, why not from people in the idea business? The strategy business? In your business?
Here is a partial list of places you can pick. Here in the US, in the UK, and some great spots in Holland. These are places that put the meeting and atmosphere first.
- Purposeful Places
- Destinations conducive for problem solving.
- This list doesn’t include meeting space in hotel and convention centers. While they offer physical space, I have yet to find a hotel venue that is very inspirational.
(NYC, NY) – Dedicated space in New York where creative and business executives can gather to re-imagine their business.” Opened, 2008.
(NYC, NY) – Offers many locations throughout the NYC area suited for meetings, photo shoots, videos and movie sets. 212-431-8224 or firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Catalyst Ranch
(Chicago, IL) – Eva Niewiadomski’s place. Five rooms of fun. A well known – perhaps the most popular in the US – creative space for rent. Opened in 2002.
4. Eureka! Ranch
(Columbus, OH) – Doug Hall started with a mansion, and upgraded to a whole ranch. He has perfected the science of innovation. Opened in 1992.
5. Idea Loft
(Kansas City, MO) – Chuck Dymer’s PeopleWorks location. Because space matters.
(Chicago, IL) Gerald Haman founded SolutionPeople a creativity and innovation training and development firm in 1989 and his creative meeting space – the Thinkubator.
(Columbus, OH) – Mark Henson, chief imagination officer, offers space and programs to help businesses be more creative. He offers a great newsletter. And a surprise hidden on his voicemail system.
(Hint…. push “6”). Opened in 2000.
United Kingdom – Manchester
1. The Boardwalk
(Manchester, England) – a ‘light, airy, spacious, urban’ location. Managed by ?WhatIf!
United Kingdom – London
2. The Old Laundry
(London, UK) – “At The Laundry you won’t find any hard backed chairs, grey Formica tables or migraine inducing florescent strip lights – we believe that to be the kind of setting which saps your creative energy.” Managed by ?WhatIf!
The Netherlands – Amsterdam
3. Heineken – The City
Book an inspiring room in the heart of Amsterdam. Heineken the City is the ideal location for a day of brainstorming, team building or meetings in inspiring surroundings. Our spaces each have a unique interior and their environment and offer you the newest in multi-media facilities. (There is a chance this space is changing or closing, the website is under construction and they just switched from a .nl domain to .com.
4. Hub Amsterdam
A membership-based work and meeting space. Located near Amsterdam’s Central Train Station. (No membership fee necessary). Hub has many locations across the world. (Click on “Go To Hub” from the site’s menu for other locations).
5. SPACES: Amsterdam
Spaces offers office space for rent in inspiring surroundings in Amsterdam. At Spaces you not only rent square meters, but supporting services of all kinds of your choosing, such a reception service, office equipment, technical assistance, and catering of your meeting. All at reasonable prices. Spaces also has a restaurant, coffee bar and plenty of seating for an informal conversation. Rooms for small and large groups.
The Netherlands – Den Haag
6. Future Center – The Buitenhuis
Billed as an inspiring, creative, and innovative location to work on policy and organization issues.
(If you run a space I haven’t listed, I’ll be happy to include it in the Places section of Idea Sandbox.)
Below is Seth’s post today, in full.
The Space Matters
It might be a garage or a sunlit atrium, but the place you choose to do what you do has an impact on you.
More people get engaged in Paris in the springtime than on the 7 train in Queens. They just do. Something in the air, I guess.
Pay attention to where you have your brainstorming meetings. Don’t have them in the same conference room where you chew people out over missed quarterly earnings.
Pay attention to the noise and the smell and the crowd in the place where you’re trying to overcome being stuck. And as Paco Underhill has written, make the aisles of your store wide enough that shoppers can browse without getting their butts brushed by other shoppers.
Most of all, I think we can train ourselves to associate certain places with certain outcomes. There’s a reason they built those cathedrals. Pick your place, on purpose.
Paul Williams is a professional problem solver at Idea Sandbox. He can help you create remarkable ideas to grow your business. You may read more at his website and find him Twittering as @IdeaSandbox.