Offsite meetings are meant to be a productive way for your team to brainstorm in a new environment. In an offsite space like an NYC loft in SoHo, with downtown views of the hardworking and inspiring city, it’s easy to believe that the lightbulbs in your teammate’s brains will flicker on and your company’s five year plan will be fulfilled. While this optimism is great, preparation has to go into this meeting. Brainstorming is crucial, but only if the brainstorming is being done correctly.
Here are some ways to make your offsite brainstorming in an NYC loft in SoHo influential:
- First, have everyone brainstorm alone.
People generate more ideas working alone than working in a group. When conversation isn’t led away from their ideas, they are more likely to express them. This creates a larger pool of thoughts to work from when the group comes together again. When brainstorming alone, use pen and paper. Remaining unplugged during the session will keep your focus pointed at the task at hand. Also, consider walking around. At an offsite space like an NYC loft in SoHo, you are granted the opportunity to wander around in the space, or even outside in the streets.
- Ask the right questions.
As a team leader, it is crucial to phrase the questions and goals of the brainstorming session in the most accurate way possible to yield the results that you are looking for.
- When in doubt, draw it out!
Sometimes, the image in our heads is clear, but we cannot translate it into words. Drawing a sketch instead can be more valuable to the team later on. Other team members can build and contribute new pieces to the sketch in the same way that they can with written and spoken words.
- Encourage dissent.
Not every idea is a good idea. The point of solitary brainstorming is to develop as many ideas as possible to contribute during the group brainstorming session. These will not all be the best. Do not be afraid to speak out against an idea because of an evident weakness. Encourage the team to voice their opinions and to add opportunities or threats that they recognize in another idea. This will leave you with the best possible list to work from in the end.
Always keep in mind that brainstorming is the first step in accomplishing an end goal. Don’t focus too heavily on details and remember to keep the conversation flowing from one team member to the next. The point of these sessions is idea accumulation.
Your team may have plenty of smarts, creativity, and industry know-how, but those three things alone won’t ensure that you work well together. When it comes time to work on a new project or brainstorm ideas, these attributes will only go so far. The key aspect to making sure your team performs well is actually simpler than you think: just be nice. According to Quartz, research has found that teams who really understand and appreciate one another’s ideas and opinions will be more successful than those who don’t. Keeping this in mind when meeting in an NYC creative space can help improve your team’s performance because you will be able to spend time with one another outside the office and get to know your team members in a more relaxed environment. Next time you’re having an event or workshop at an NYC creative space, make sure you bring an air of kindness and understanding to your team. The improvement will be astounding!
Photo courtesy of Quartz
New York City is known as a global hub for business and innovation, so it’s no wonder you would want to hold a meeting in one of its most unique neighborhoods: SoHo. Depending on where you’re from, however, getting to your SoHo offsite meeting space can be a pain. Coming to New York from across the country, or across the world, entails a long plane ride, which has the potential to be unpleasant if you’re cramped in to a small, uncomfortable seat. That’s why it’s important to know how to avoid these situations. While avoiding the plane ride itself may be impossible, it’s not impossible to find a seat that will give you the best ride possible. Just wishing for a good seat and seeing what the options are once you board isn’t the best way to go about it. These tips from Forbes magazine let you in on the best ways to find the best seats on a plane, which will make your experience traveling to your SoHo offsite meeting space as pleasant as possible.
We’ve all been there: working with a pen that’s almost out of ink, a notebook that has only a handful of pages left, or a folder that’s on its last leg. Working with materials like these is a threat to the entire creative process. Not only can they fall apart or run out of space at any minute, but if you have a great idea and want to map it out, you’ll be out of luck if your pen suddenly decides to stop writing. A key part of being prepared for your meeting is having materials at your disposal that will be reliable and inspire your creativity. Typing notes on your phone or computer isn’t the same as planning out a project on paper, which is why it’s important to make sure your inventory doesn’t fall short. These are our favorite places in SoHo where you can go to make sure you’re well-prepared for your next SoHo creative meeting:
This Japanese store offers a wide range of useful products – from stationery to typical household items. With locations in only a handful of states, we are lucky to have MUJI just one block away from our SoHo creative meeting spaces. What we love about MUJI is its minimalist theme; all their items look chic, clean, and practical, which is a good mix of qualities when searching for reliable materials. Stop in to grab a notebook in any size, or a few pens to make sure you’re well-supplied.
Photo from Pinterest
- Paper Source
Only two blocks north of our SoHo creative meeting spaces, Paper Source is a one-stop shop for all your stationery needs. If you’re just visiting the area, you can grab a quirky gift or postcard as a souvenir, or pick up a new planner to refine your organizational skills. You can even try out items like pens or stamps before you buy them to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want.
Photo by Time Out Magazine
Also a mere two blocks away, Papyrus is Paper Source’s neighbor and a fellow retailer of all your meeting needs. It’s the perfect place to pick up any last minute stationery, notepads, pens, or other items you may need for your SoHo creative meeting. Papyrus also has a great selection of greeting cards and postcards if you’re looking for a something unique to send your loved ones. The store doubles as a fun gift shop, with a selection of books and other little gifts that you can only find in SoHo. It’s a practical and fun option to pick up what you’ll need for your meeting, as well as a SoHo souvenir for yourself or your loved ones.
Photo by Papyrus
While SoHo offers an endless number of options for ensuring that you’re well-prepared for the work day, these are our favorites because of their top-notch products and service. Not to mention they’re only steps from our SoHo creative meeting spaces! Next time you’re in the area make sure you stop in at one (or all) of these locations and stock up on your meeting necessities.
Are employers and their employees on the same page about wants and needs? Survey says no. The “best” companies to work at are often recognized as so because of the overwhelming amount of perks that are provided for employees. The in-office laundry, dining, gyms, and childcare centers at some companies lead to outsiders wondering if these employees even leave the office at all. However, getting out of the office may be necessary for productivity and erasure of office hierarchy. New York offsite corporate meetings can help with this. There is no denying that these perks are helpful in time-management and productivity of employees, but employers tend to develop the idea that the perks are the best way to retain their talent. This may not be true. According to surveys conducted throughout the years by the Labor Relations Institute of New York, employees are looking for empathy from their bosses before any extra monetary or material compensation.
As an employer, here are some things that you should look to do:
- Show appreciation.
Keep reminding your employees that they are doing a great job, and make sure to reinforce that the success of the company would not be possible without their contributions. Feeling wanted and needed will make the employee feel like an essential piece to the puzzle and will anchor them to their place of employment. Remember to keep them looped into new developments and new projects.
- Treat your employees like humans.
Sometimes it is hard to remember that the office is not a machine that runs on an engine. All of the working parts are the humans, and sometimes, humans have off days. If someone is having a personal problem, don’t just offer them a personal day off. Listen to the problem, and ask them if there is anything you can do. This does not count as wasted time. In fact, if the problem is something that may impact their state-of-mind and subsequently, their work, it is probably best to address immediately, rather than slowing their production in the future. Removal from the office space itself at occasional New York offsite corporate meetings may be the fresh look they need to re-start their engine.
- Provide interesting work opportunities.
Pay attention to employees’ strengths and weaknesses. If a new project comes along that fits their skills, offer them the opportunity to become the project manager or participate in its development. Sometimes, a fresh start in the same company can be the rejuvenation that employees need. It keeps their skills in-house and shows them that you are paying attention.
These things may be hard to achieve within an office setting simply because the office setup does not provide a great deal of opportunities for interaction, or the hierarchal structure in a large company separates employees from those who employed them. Because of this, especially in a big city like New York, it may be extremely beneficial to hold New York offsite corporate meetings. This way, the office structure is eliminated completely and employees will feel at ease. If your company has the ability to provide perks, this is great, but do not forget that your employees have inherent emotional needs that must also be fulfilled.
Presentations can be nerve-racking, especially if it’s in a room full of CEOs, managers, and other people high up in your company. The goal of your presentation is usually to persuade these people to understand your way of thinking and agree with your points, so knowing the best way to do this will make your presentation more effective and engaging. In a New York corporate meeting setting, it’s easy to feel more anxious and pressured than if you were just presenting to coworkers in your office. The important thing is to not let that anxiety stop you from giving the best presentation you can. Knowing how to best persuade the people you’re with at your New York corporate meeting and keeping that in mind throughout your presentation will help you reach your end goal, despite any nerves you may feel beforehand.
Also, having a clear strategy of which points you want to emphasize the most and which content is most important will be helpful to ensuring that your presentation runs smoothly and effectively. In other words, plan beforehand and you will feel much more relieved as you move through your presentation. A New York corporate meeting can sound intimidating, but there are lots of ways to ensure a persuasive, insightful presentation that will help you professionally and personally. This article from Inc. provides some great tips for how to be more persuasive, both in your presentations and in everyday life.
Photo by Getty Images
Business travel can be fun and exciting at first, but tends to get tiring after spending hours waiting in lines, rushing to airports, and sitting still on planes. You want to be refreshed and ready to take on the day when you arrive at your NYC offsite event space, so it’s important to know how to avoid burnout from traveling. One way to do this is to make sure you take mentally stimulating items with you. Don’t just rely on your phone; instead, bring a book you’ve been dying to read, or a new movie to watch on your computer. Once you get lost in another world, you won’t be watching the clock as closely, and time will seem to pass much more quickly. Making sure you don’t get burnt out is key to having an enjoyable experience at the NYC offsite event space you’re headed for, and will also allow you to take advantage of all that NYC has to offer, instead of spending all your time in your hotel room. If you’re in search of more tips, check out this article from Inc. for three great ways to stay energized on your trip to your NYC offsite event space.
Photo by Getty Images
After an extremely productive NYC corporate retreat where the team’s hunger for new ideas has been satiated, real hunger may set in. The catch with team dinners is that everyone’s tastes and dietary needs have to be accounted for. Dining at Double Zero, a restaurant in the hip East Village neighborhood, is an easy fix for this dilemma. The main event on the menu is the hefty selection of vegan pizzas ranging from the classic tomato basil with a cashew mozzarella to a take on the famous creamy Artichoke pizza with spinach and a garlic cashew cheese. All of the pizzas are available with a gluten-free crust as well. Pastas, salads and vegan desserts fill out the rest of the menu, ensuring that even the pickiest of eaters will find happiness.
Chef Matthew Kenney’s goal with the restaurant is to embrace the world’s need for a healthier, plant-based diet without giving up the need for food that plain and simply just tastes good. Located at 65 2nd Avenue, only a short walk from our NYC corporate retreat spaces. The East Village also offers a great nightlife scene that would be a shame not to take advantage of, especially if something from the day’s meeting is worth celebrating!
Photo Courtesy of MatthewKenneyCuisine.com
Business professionals tend to only work on and carry around a laptop, phone, or tablet all day. Because of this, the paper notebook has almost become obsolete. While this is great for storing more information and accessing it on the go, the effectiveness – or even existence – of personal brainstorming sessions is left behind with the tangibility of paper.
Using paper for mind-mapping is one of the best tools for brainstorming sessions. Rather than just simply note taking, mind-mapping helps to solve problems, develop ideas further, and connect fragmented ideas. Adding pictorial representations of your own words can also make them more memorable.
The most effective way to transfer an idea from your mind to reality is not always just through using words. Complex and more developed ideas often require pictures or diagrams as support. When this idea comes when you’re on the train or no one around you has a spare pen, frustration can set in. You do not want the creative details to slip away, so you make do with the capabilities your phone can provide.
Luckily, app developers have recognized the toll that the lack of traditional writing materials are taking on professionals. Apps such as MindNode, Mind Vector, and Popplet allow you to build your own mind-maps on your phone with different colors, fonts, and the ability to add attachments to further enhance the functionality of your ideas. Additionally, the apps allow you to search your maps later on, making it easier to find specific details in the seemingly chaotic link of ideas.
For more apps to help your next brainstorming sessions run smoothly check out this article from The New York Times.