Lunch Buffet – Photo Courtesy: Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK
As any hard working office manager or PA is all too painfully aware, bosses rarely consider the practicalities when they ask you to organize an impromptu lunch meeting for, say, twenty people in two hours. They just expect you to smile and get on with it.
Naturally, it can be done although in some cases the organization might take a lot of effort. So what are the main things you need to consider if you have twenty executives arriving in two hours and a lunch buffet to organize?
Lunch Buffet For An Office Function
The first, and most important, thing to consider is where the function will take place. Your boss might be contemplating taking his clients out for a working lunch, in which case you will need to book a suitable venue. If so, you need to make a reservation immediately or you might not find anywhere to go. If the function is to take place in the office, locate a suitable meeting room and reserve it if necessary. It is also a good idea to scope the room and make sure it is clean and tidy and that there are enough chairs for everyone.
IT support may not be required, but if the meeting involves a teleconference or a presentation, various extras will be required. Make sure a projection screen is available and enough electrical outlets for computer equipment and anything else the meeting requires. If a telephone conference is taking place, test the line or check whether any login details are required. In the case of a video presentation, it is always wise to test the equipment before the participants arrive so you can sort out technical issues before they impact on the proceedings.
At the very least, provision of drinking water is a good idea. Leave jugs of cold, fresh drinking water along with enough glasses for guests to help themselves. Providing tea, coffee and juice is also a nice touch, particularly if the meeting is likely to go on for a long time.
For all day meetings or working lunches, food is a necessity. It is easy to provide small snacks and a selection of biscuits, but if you want a more professional touch, using a corporate catering service is a good idea. Choose from a selection of menus and budget on a price per head basis. Even special dietary requirements can be catered for if you use a corporate catering company.
Will the meeting require minutes to be recorded? If so, delegate the task to a junior member of staff or sit in on the meeting yourself.
Check in advance whether any of the meeting participants need collecting from the nearest station or airport. If this is the case, book a taxi or arrange for another member of staff to be on hand to act as a chauffeur.
Office functions don’t need to be stressful. To make organising such tasks easy, always keep a list of useful contacts on hand, including catering services and taxis. This way you won’t be caught out when your boss asks you to organise a last minute meeting.
Emily Clarke is an avid blogger who enjoys writing on food and lifestyle online. She is associated with Catertrendz, a renowned catering company based in Toronto. She enjoys her job and she indulges in baking and cooking when she gets free.