Lord Sugar will see you now…
Is it a scary and intimidating arena of darkness or a humble room filled to the brim with opportunity for those with the passion and skill to seize it? Two sides of the same coin.
Since the dawn of mankind, humans have grouped together to discuss progress and projects back when the very first meetings were arranged to brainstorm erecting the iconic boulders at Stonehenge through to the performance reviews which the management team responsible for building the great pyramids of Giza must have no doubt had to endure. Oh yes, we as a race have continually understood that organised meetings are the best way to get people together in order to communicate ideas and achieve greatness. Born out of these humble meetings became one of the largest, most respected and most important industries in the world – Meetings and Events.
Our Boardroom at the Best Western Plus Milford Hotel has been the theatrical setting for some of greatest meetings ever to take place in God’s own powerhouse county of Yorkshire.
Set as we are by the side of the Great North Road which was for centuries one of the most important roads in Great Britain, linking together as it does two great nations through their respective capitals Edinburgh and London. It’s still easy to imagine on a cold night the clip, clip-clopping of a Black Bess mounted Dick Turpin on his legendry final journey from London to York passing the front of our prominent local hotel. The difference being these days where once the road was lined with coaching inns for weary travellers on the road to dismount and enjoy an ale, we now have the some of the finest hotels and state of the art venues in the world for industry professionals to park up, unwind and meet together with like-minded individuals.
The importance of holding coordinated meetings along this highway is something that has been understood for centuries and private meeting rooms in coaching houses and secluded corners in taverns from the days of yore would eventually give way to the modern boardroom and these are relied on in the present day more than ever.
Some of the finest companies have hired their best employees within these four walls and conversely, some stern disciplinaries have also been undertaken. So rare is it that a room can hold such different fates for those individuals engaged in career depending battle royales.
Indeed, our Boardroom puts everyone in the spotlight. From gritty company audits to outstanding business reviews, delicate conference calls to anticipation building waiting areas our Boardroom here at the Best Western Plus Milford Hotel is a no-nonsense meeting space for serious business discussions.
Above all, we believe a boardroom should be understated, classy and private. A room that puts your meeting first. Gimmick free and humble.
At the heart of the Boardroom at the Best Western Plus Milford Hotel is the solid, dark wood, reliable and unjudging oval shaped boardroom table. As soon as you enter the room our table sets the tone. A tone that echoes with class and quality (quality, quality). Fifteen stone of unforgiving English wood held aloft by two unyielding chrome legs.
Three well framed, classic French drawings of globe designs adorn the walls, their purpose is to set the tone of the meeting and help encourage a creative mindset and safe setting for delegates to crunch figures and solve problems as they journey across the perilous sea of industrial finance and traverse huge graphical mountain ranges on Microsoft Excel (or Mac equivalent).
The Boardroom can accommodate a maximum of six ‘titans’ at once so businesses have to carefully select their most prudent gladiators to enter the arena to get the best possible results for their respective companies.
Boardrooms are the engine rooms of modern-day business and like any engine, they need to be looked after by specialists. The staff at the Best Western Milford Hotel are our precision engineers who understand that instead of oil and combustion – these engines run on a steady supply of coffee and water. Delegates need to be primed in order to engage and get the most out of their hire for the room.
Sometimes meetings only last for an hour, others last for days. What is key for any meeting that we are honoured to play host to, is that the time frame is understood, respected and adhered to. From the precise delivery time of their freshly ground aromatic coffee to the painstaking creation of each delegate place – complete with cooled mineral water, sweet cordials, fresh fruit, ample delegate paper and reliable pens – the organiser’s schedule has to come first. That is the tune to which we dance. Respect for the schedule is the cornerstone of delivering a successful meeting, without respect the meeting all falls apart.
As with Arthur’s table at Camelot, our boardroom table has no place for a head. All who sit at the table are equal, all voices are heard – except of course for the one who takes the minutes, they don’t speak – this is often the first great role to be decided at the very top of the meeting. All factors are considered including handwriting, spelling ability, and previous reliability until a worthy candidate is handed this honourable and responsible role.
With each place setting including delegate paper and pens, every meeting attendee is a potential candidate for this master of the minutes role, an equal playing field for all men and women, young and old, although only the worthiest will eventually be gifted the honour.
Now, with the minute taker decided, the battle lines are drawn in the shape of the meeting agenda.
Laptops at dawn. Somewhere there is a bullet point with your name on it.
Six or seven pre-determined points of interest. Not everyone has their eyes on the same points. What is most likely is that there is one point in the agenda that each of our heroes specialises in. They’ve done their preparation and their PowerPoint slides speak for themselves. The preparation that had to be submitted by close of play on the Friday before this meeting and all did…eventually.
As the projector begins to wake and opens its weary eyes to focus on the well-kept screen in front of it, it knows nothing of the importance in what it is destined to show or the journey it will take over the course of the day. A projector doesn’t discriminate and only speaks the truth. Never fear oh little projector, do your job and show us ours. Projector joins with Laptop and Laptop in turn, connects with Speakers but finishing this glorious ensemble of orchestral information is the constant stream of free WiFi provided by Router. Router unlocks a world of information and expands the four walls of the humble boardroom onto another platform infinite in its size without boundaries. All of the knowledge in the universe is now only a finger tap away.
The lighting has been adjusted to ease the delegate’s eyes ready to digest the information in front of them. Blackout curtains closed. Spotlights are still on though, so to give the players in this rumble a fair chance of note taking and addressing each other.
Now we are ready to meet.
Coffee and tea are on a steady flow into the suite as information, excuses, reasons, and questions are routinely shouted, passed, whispered and muttered around the room or under abated breath. Some grow in their seats while others shrink. Where oh where is that paper you had last night? You’re sure you packed it – you saw it this morning. In to the minutes it goes, a message under ‘Action’ follows up information to be sent as a matter of urgency. Close of Play. Close of Play? This is no game – this is business.
The whistle goes for the pre-determined halftime break (it was in the agenda) as the buffet is effortlessly paraded into the room by our experienced industry professionals. Barriers drop as delegates receive the treats from the friendly faced smiling hotel staff. Then they tuck into their well-deserved meals. Keep your strength up – you’re going to need it for this next round.
Well-fed and with a second wind, the delegates ready themselves as the meeting recommences. Hatches are battened down as our champions sail through the stormy waters of agenda points four, five and six and get to the eventual sigh and handshake of a successful meeting completed. Everyone now knows what they must do before the next. Lines are drawn and effort will be applied over this next month or quarter.
With blagged heads and full bellies each delegate exits stage right, the arena has done its job. Ready to be turned down and around for the next bout and as these tired and weary delegates start their respective journeys home they think back to the setting of that meeting. A boardroom sure, but never boring.
Now, the hotel supervisor picks up the events sheet to file away and turns to the catering team;
“Any other business?” asked with confidence and humility.