The saying goes “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and while I agree, I want to take this adage one step further and claim “breakfast is the best time to meet during the day”. To help communicate this message, and inspired by an increase of breakfast meeting enquiries, we have launched London Breakfast Meeting Week (6-10 October 2014) to celebrate the value of morning meetings.
Existing research carried out by Microsoft Office found that people are most productive at 10.01am on Mondays and according to similar research carried out by LondonOffices.com, 10.26am is the most productive time of the day. It’s definitely food for thought for companies looking to plan their next meeting, highlighting breakfast is the perfect time to gather colleagues when they are at their sharpest for stimulating discussion.
Over the last 12 months I’ve noticed an increase in meetings being booked in the morning, a sign they are growing in popularity. This could be down to a number of differing factors:
The changing nature of the workplace: More and more, working days are no longer confined to nine to five so people are more flexible about when meetings are held. Sometimes it isn’t practical to hold or attend a lunch meeting as it takes up a large proportion of the day, whereas with breakfast meetings there is minimal interruption as the meeting often takes only an hour out of the morning.
A great way to start the day: People haven’t had the time to get tied up or distracted with other activities so morning meetings are often beneficial for those who are relying on clear thinking. People are often more upbeat and enthusiastic in the mornings (especially if a good breakfast is served) and this feelgood vibe then sets the tone for the rest of the day increasing productivity.
Healthy diet: Eating well has become more of a focus for many. Nutritionists, the government and NHS are all banging the drum regarding the importance of people eating a balanced breakfast to aide health and nutrition. By hosting a breakfast meeting you are encouraging your delegates to indulge in a healthy breakfast and reap the rewards so remember to steer clear of the sluggish muffins and pastries and opt for fruit, cereals or hearty, warming porridge.
Gives you time to think: Whatever you discuss at your breakfast meeting, so long as it was thought provoking and didn’t send delegates back to sleep, it will remain in delegates’ minds and is more likely to keep popping into their thoughts throughout the day. All too often meetings are held towards the end of the day and delegates don’t have the time to reflect on what they’ve heard before they head home and their minds turn to other things.
Value for money: Mornings have traditionally been better value for money for event organisers and consequently are often more attractive options for those on stringent budgets. If you’re looking for a way to save money and you can be flexible with your timings, then choose breakfast.
If you’re planning on hosting a breakfast meeting then here is some advice:
As with any meeting, it is well worth sending an agenda to all your attendees a couple of days prior to your event to help people prepare.
Have coffee and breakfast ready on arrival and ensure everyone has eaten prior to the meeting. Not only will this give people a chance to relax and chat when they arrive but it will provide brain food to ensure delegates are at their best mentally. It also stops any tummies rumbling!
When it comes to arranging catering, it is important to have a variety of options to suit all tastes and dietary requirements. Having a hot option always goes down well but depending on your budget, times and style of meeting this could be either bacon or egg baps, a buffet, or small bowls that are served. Fruit, nuts and seeds, and porridge are also welcomed by most.
Ensure you stick to your timings. If you say the meeting will end at 9.30am ensure this is the case. There is nothing worse than running over as people will have planned their day and you don’t want to be responsible for affecting this.
Throughout the meeting, make sure to have plenty of tea, coffee, water and juice available. People often have two or three drinks in the morning so ensure there is enough and you don’t run dry.