There are times when you might want to conduct a business meeting in bar. The atmosphere tends to be laid back, and a drink or two can relax all parties involved.
The following are some helpful tips if you find yourself in a business meeting in a bar:
1. Get to know your Client. One of the great things about having a meeting in a bar is that it is a relaxed, informal atmosphere. Take advantage of this and try to get acquainted. Business deals often turn out for the best if all parties involved get to know each other.
2. Know the Bar. Having a meeting in an unknown establishment can result in some awkward situations. For example, it could be karaoke night, and listening to people belt out their favorite tunes in a manner that sounds like a yowling tom cat in heat might make it hard to concentrate on the meeting.
3. Choose a Bar with Appropriate Lighting. Too dim and it is hard to see your client and any related paperwork. At the other extreme, strobe disco lights may be distracting!
4. Choose a Bar that caters to business meetings. There are numerous bars that specifically cater to business meetings. By picking a bar like this you will automatically avoid some possible issues mentioned in this article.
5. Choose a Bar with Courteous Staff. The bar that you choose is, to some degree, a reflection of yourself. Dealing with staff that is efficient and courteous results in a great experience for your client.
6. Pick a table far away from any speakers. Yelling to be heard is an irritant to everyone at the table, and misunderstanding what is being said can have an immense negative impact on the business meeting results (e.g. I said 20% down payment, not 200%).
7. Take your time with your drinks. If you are a little nervous about the meeting then resist the urge to get a couple quick ones under your belt. Usually it’s a good idea to drink at the same rate as your client. Of course, if the client is putting them away in rapid succession then matching their drinking speed becomes a judgment call on your part (if this is the case then try to cover the most important points of the meeting as fast as you can)!
8. Finally, Relax and Enjoy the experience. If a client wants to have a business meeting in a bar then they are probably looking forward to an informal setting as much as yourself. Cover all business topics and also take the time for social chit chat.
Good luck on your next business meeting and be sure to tell us how it goes!