Convenient Out-of-Office Meeting Spots in Ottawa
“Today, your office can be wherever you have Internet access and feel productive enough to work using a gadget, like a laptop, tablet or smartphone.”
Authors Note: Why pay for an office space when you spend most of your time meeting with clients at unique locations around the city?
If you caught one of Fortified Marketing’s Meetups on Lean Marketing Strategies at Invest Ottawa you may now have realized that renting an office is not only very expensive but also unnecessary. Today, your office can be wherever you have Internet access and feel productive enough to work using a gadget, like a laptop, tablet or smartphone.
The technological wave has changed the way we do business. Conferences are now hosted online, collaborative workspaces are easily held online and emails are the way to communicate with clients. Though this may offer you the flexibility of setting your own schedule, it is still very important to touch base with clients in person. Call us old fashioned, but we still believe in the power of face-to-face interactions, like chatting over coffee.
Not having an office can make planning these meetings overwhelming. Most don’t host business meeting out of their homes, and for good reason. Luckily, there are so many great places around the city that are perfectly suited to hosting your business meetings.
Let’s face it, working out of an office can be a dull experience at times. Working from cafes or co-working spaces, on the other hand, can offer you an opportunity for change and bring a sense of serendipity to your meetings! You’ll enjoy it and your client will appreciate it. In fact, choosing where to meet clients is an opportunity to be strategic. Find a place that sets the mood, reflects your brand, caters to your client, or all of the above. Of course, it doesn’t hurt if it is conveniently located and budget-friendly.
As a proud Ottawa-based office-less marketing agency, we know a thing or two about meeting spots around the city. Here’s 5 spots for your next business meetings in Ottawa:
Starbucks is well regarded as a place for collaboration, business chatter and productivity. This means your clients will most likely be open to a meeting in Starbucks and will probably have their drink picked out days ahead. Of course, Starbucks, being Starbucks, is on just about every busy street corner. Their store locator allows you to filter out results depending on location, Wi-Fi and parking adding a unique ability to adapt each Starbucks meeting to you and your clients needs. Starbucks stores are classy, well-designed, with large windows emitting a lot of natural light – a recipe for a great business meeting. Starbucks offers free Wi-Fi and a never-ending supply of caffeine – can you think of a better pair? PS: it’s Pumpkin Spice Latté season!
Our favorite Starbucks is in the heart of Orleans. It is a new location and its suburban vibe is a good change from the hustle and bustle of downtown Ottawa. This location is quiet, in comparison to most other coffee shops.
Starbucks isn’t your thing? Bridgehead is another great alternative. Not to mention, Bridgehead is an Ottawa-based company business that supports many local coffee farms in Ontario. Bridgehead is expanding rapidly and has a number of locations across the city. They offer free Wi-Fi, a great atmosphere and exceptional coffee.
Learn more about the Bridgehead story – it’s a great conversation starter for any client that loves supporting local businesses.
Our favorite Bridgehead is in Little Italy – the one on Aberdeen and Preston is rich with culture and is a central location for between the Ottawa, Hull, Kanata and Orleans. This Bridgehead has great service, a lot of space and 2-hour street parking out front. Beware! They roast coffee at this location from time to time and when they do, it gets unbearably loud.
Address: 130 Anderson St, Ottawa, ON
Chateau Laurier, Zoé’s Lounge.
If you’re really trying to schmooze your client, then take them to the Chateau Laurier. This place screams prestige and will undoubtedly charm your client. Talking website development over a Venetian latté may be a little excessive, but for event planners, for example, this location is more than suitable. Surprisingly, the lounge menu is not unreasonably priced. Coffees and teas range from $4.00 to $6.00, which you’ll be dishing out at a Starbucks anyway. Click here for the full lunch menu. Zoe’s Lounge is quiet and they have very good service.
Address: 1 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON
The Ottawa Public Library.
Ottawa Public Libraries are ideal for meetings involving collaboration and teamwork. Obviously, libraries are super quiet, offer free Wi-Fi and they have a number of workstations. Members also have the option of booking private workspaces and conference rooms. This is ideal for group work and discussing sensitive information with clients. Ottawa Libraries are spread all over the city and each one offers free parking. This makes it convenient when planning where to meet and reduces the hassle of trying to find parking downtown.
We suggest checking out the Beaverbrook location. This library is spacious with a modern vibe, new computers and renovated workspaces.
Address: 2500 Campeau, Ottawa, Ontario
Sign up for your Ottawa Public Library Membership
This may be a surprising location at first thought, but IKEA is more than just a home and furniture store! IKEA’s restaurant offers organic choices, free refills on coffee, tea and soft drinks, as well as vegetarian options. With coffee priced under $3.00 and a full chicken salad for $6.99 you wont have to worry about breaking your budget.
Remember, convenience is key. The size of IKEA’s parking lot guarantees that you will find a spot. IKEA also has a children’s’ play area, which can cater to busy parents and create more openings for scheduling meetings. Though the setting is not very glamorous, their dining hall is modern with large windows that emit lots of light. Plus, it is massive with ample space between tables and it offers free Wi-Fi. Nothing brings people together quite like assembling IKEA furniture does!
Out-of-office locations can add variety and flexibility to your client meetings. Working from cafes or co-working spaces can offer a far more stimulating atmosphere than an office and fosters creativity. Remember, keep your budget, brand and meeting objective in mind when planning your next meeting location. There are a number of suitable meeting locations in and around Ottawa. Our five recommendations are great ones, but they are just the beginning. So, get creative and explore the city to find your ideal spot!
Not sold on out-of-office meetings? Don’t just take our word for it. Studies show that the low level of noise and casual movement of people in a coffee shop atmosphere actually increases productivity and creativity.
What’s your favourite meeting spot? Let us know in comments below.
Meet the author.
Fortified Marketing’s Apprentice, Shereen has a knack for interacting with others and engaging with the community. When she isn’t brainstorming and creating content with Taro she can be found updating her Fantasy Football Team or watching The Lord of the Rings Trilogy for the umpteenth time.
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