How and Where to Organize a Business Meeting at the Airport

Businessmen having a meeting sitting in airport lounge seats Businessmen having a meeting sitting in airport lounge seats

It’s not always possible to hold all your meetings before you leave the office. Sometimes a telephone conference may coincide with your flight. Other times, you may have participants coming from different destinations, which can make the airport ideal for a professional gathering.

Whether you’re after a quick catch up over coffee with a colleague or needing to arrange an investor conference with international delegates, all major A380 airports have options for you and your business.

Where to Hold Your Meeting – What Are the Options?

Airline Lounges

Airline business lounges can be ideal for colleagues flying from the same airport, or for Skype or phone conference calls while you’re waiting for your flight.

The lounges are a good option for informal meetings or last-minute calls and freely available for Business Class passengers. You can also book a space on various websites such as LoungeBuddy or Priority Pass.

Most airlines flying A380 routes will allow you to invite a colleague or client into the First Class or Business lounge for a meeting over coffee or a drink. Ask your airline in advance to confirm its policy. For example, Air France offers such a service when traveling First Class .

Some airports like Kuala Lumpur International – a major hub for Malaysia Airlines’ A380s – hires out lounge space at an hourly rate to passengers regardless of which airline they’re flying.

Etihad Airways also offers paid-for access to its business lounges. This can be ideal if you need a guaranteed space for a small meeting, or if you have a few colleagues flying different airlines.

Business Centers

Business centers are ideal if you just need a quiet space to make a phone call or prepare for meetings. These areas usually have Wi-Fi and photocopying facilities, small lounge areas and sometimes also refreshments.

Used by Singapore Airlines and other A380 airlines, Changi Airport has a business center in each of its three terminals.

 

Airport Meeting Rooms

If you need a full meeting room, all major international airports have conferencing facilities available to business travelers who require a higher level of service to make sure their important meeting goes without a hitch.

Heathrow Airport has dedicated office space available at each of its five terminals – home to British Airways and also used by many other A380 airlines. These ‘Business lounges’ feature fast Wi-Fi, digital projectors and white boards, and admin assistance for catering and technical support.

For larger meetings and conferences, some major airlines also make space available for use at airports – usually at their ‘home’ terminals. Qantas has facilities available at all Australian airports that welcome the A380. The meeting rooms are located in the terminals prior to check-in, meaning they can be used regardless of whether or not you’re flying.

Dubai International Airport – home to Emirates Airlines – has two meeting spaces at the airport. Both are run in conjunction with the airport’s hotel partner and offer a range of high-tech office and communications solutions to help you keep your business ticking over while you’re en route to your destination.

Qatar Airways offers a special solution for businesses needing meeting or event space in Doha. This can help take the stress out of larger airport gatherings.

Costs vary depending on the size and type of the facilities you need. Airports and airlines work with caterers and hotels that can also supply food, drinks and accommodation for your meeting delegates. Ask your airline about their business and conferencing facilities, or check airport websites for information and contacts.

Airport Hotels

Modern airport hotels are for more than just sleeping. Hotels located near airports thrive on business travelers. All major hotel brands now provide a full range of meeting and conference facilities for business passengers flying to or from nearby airports.

In addition to meeting rooms, Wi-Fi and video or teleconferencing facilities, hotels also provide catering to ensure you and your colleagues are well-fed while you do business.

Airport transfers and discounted room rates are often available for businesses using hotel conference facilities. Make sure to ask!

Research hotels at the terminal as well as those within close proximity of the airport. Hotels located outside the immediate airport precinct will usually provide a shuttle or taxi service for delegates

Top Tips for Arranging Your Meetings

 

  • Shop around: Airports, airlines and hotels are competitive in the business and conferencing market. There are usually savings or upgrades to be had if you negotiate.
  • Ask about parking and public transport options for delegates not flying in for the meeting.
  • Ask for spaces that are have good natural lighting and air-conditioning to maximize comfort.
  • Ask what extras are included in the room hire price (tea and coffee, water, biscuits and snacks, pens and notebooks for participants, etc.).
  • Check how many electric sockets the space has and ask about the quality of the technology (fast Wi-Fi, good sound and visual equipment, etc.).
  • Choose a meeting space with good staff communication and on-site support – if the venue is slow in providing you with the information you need to confirm your booking, this could be an indication of quality of support you’ll receive on the day.
  • Finally, don’t forget to factor flight and check-in times into your meeting schedule.
  • For more information about business and conferencing facilities check airport websites:

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