Somehow the meeting room we were waiting outside had been booked out by someone else. Some generous soul said it had been double-booked and others thought it was just an oversight. It turned out that the date for the meeting had been moved but the room booking hadn’t been carried with it.
There was a dozen or so of us waiting to get in as we grappled to find somewhere else suitable.
The irony is that space for meetings is not a problem. There are several empty rooms dotted around the building but many of them are not on a room booking system. Many of the Directors and Heads of Service were in meetings all morning and so their rooms were empty though, once again, there was no simple way of knowing. There are always team of people moving in and out of the building and so it isn’t hard to find a space big enough and then there is always the canteen, though privacy may well have been a problem there.
After a bit of toing and froing we decided to go and hold the meeting back in the Head of Service’s office. The reason why we hadn’t done this in the first place was that the room wasn’t big enough. Ideally it was only large enough for six or, at a push, eight. In the end nine of us managed to squeeze in.
It got very warm.
But wait on. There were twelve of us outside yet only nine of us ended up in the room. What happened to the other three? It transpired that three of the group determined that, due to a lack of space, there attendance was not really that important. The number of attendees was self-determining.
Now this is interesting from two aspects. If people can decide not to attend then the question must be why were they coming along in the first place? More interestingly though is that having small meeting rooms leads potentially to a more relevant attendance. The smaller the room then the more relevant the attendees will be.
From now on then we should identify meeting rooms on a n-1 basis. In this way only those who absolutely need to be there will be there and if there is not enough room people will have to stand, which in itself will reduce the length of the meeting.