Ready, set, meet…3 tips for a meeting people will want to attend

We’ve all been there. The meeting that goes on and on with no concrete outcome. The meeting that gets hijacked by the most outspoken member of the team. The meeting were people pay more attention to their smart phone than the issues at hand. The meeting that leaves you asking : why am I even here?

It doesn’t have to be this way!

Here are three simple tips to make your next meeting more productive:

Know what you want to accomplish
A meeting should have a clear and well-defined objective. Are you making an announcement? Seeking input into a challenge facing the company? Or is it simply a brainstorming session?

Details - key hole
The key to any good meeting is planning….(photo: Idlewyld Inn & Spa)

Think about who you need to invite. Is the discussion relevant to them? And do they have the skills to contribute to the conversation? If the answer is no, then don’t waste their time.

Begin and end on time
There’s nothing more annoying than a meeting that starts late and then drags on and on. A written agenda can help keep everyone on track.

Remember – an hour is the longest time most people can truly remain engaged. If it’s not enough, schedule a break.

Food
Need to meet for more than an hour? Plan a lunch break! (photo: Elm Hurst Inn & Spa)

Establish some ground rules
If your colleagues typically spend more time emailing or surfing the web than focusing on the issue at hand, don’t be afraid to ban technology – or at least insist that it’s placed on the table and out of reach.

And if one person starts to monopolize the discussion, call them out. A simple : “We appreciate your comments, but we need input from everyone before making a decision” should do the trick.

What is your best tip for holding a productive meeting?

The Elm Hurst Inn & Spa and Idlewyld Inn & Spa are preferred venues for meetings and multi-day conferences. Ask us how we can make your next business meeting memorable!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terrific Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup

 

This delicious mid-winter soup is perfect for your Valentine’s Day dinner – or for any day. It’s a favorite of our Brides, and Chef Michael Davies has had many requests to share his recipe…Enjoy!

close-up
This colorful tomato soup is an Inn favorite!

 

Tomato and Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 large          red peppers, halved, de-seeded & chopped rough
1 small         Spanish onion, chopped rough
1 small         carrot, chopped rough
1                     celery stick, chopped rough
18oz              plum tomatoes
2                     cloves garlic, chopped
2.5 cups      vegetable stock (can buy ready-made)
2 tsp.            Sugar, optional
2 tbsp.          Tomato paste
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup           35% cream
2oz.              Fresh basil chopped

To Prepare:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Place peppers, onion, carrot, celery, garlic and tomatoes on baking tray. Mix with olive oil. Bake for ½ hour or until vegetables are roasted & tender. Blend in tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes longer.
baking-tray
Roast the vegetables on a large baking tray.

 

 

  1. Remove vegetables from baking sheet, transfer to a stainless steel pot. Add vegetable stock, simmer for 35 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  1. Taste for seasoning using kosher salt & ground black pepper and sugar if needed.
  1. Add cream and half of the basil and puree using a blender until smooth.
  1. Serve in soup bowls with a sprinkle of fresh chopped basil and a swirl of fresh cream.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day from everyone at the Elm Hurst Inn & Spa and Idlewyld Inn & Spa!

6 great reasons to hold a winter wedding

While some Brides dream of a June wedding, others know that a southwestern Ontario winter can offer a magical backdrop for an unforgettable celebration.

And although you may not be able to hold your ceremony outdoors in February, there are plenty of great reasons to have an off-season Wedding:

Reduced cost

Winter is the ideal time of year for budget-conscious Brides. Elm Hurst Inn & Spa and Idlewyld Inn & Spa are pleased to offer Winter Brides a preferred rate for off-season celebrations (January, February & March.)

A choice of dates and vendors

Since only 30 per cent of couples choose to hold their ceremony during the coldest months of the year, chances are your preferred date will be available!

Winter Brides also have more choice when it comes to photographers, bands, florists and other wedding vendors. It’s their low season too, and they’ll be happy to work with you to make your dreams come true, often at a reduced rate.

Winter wedding themes

Popular seasonal themes include Winter Wonderland and Fire & Ice. Candles can add a romantic, cozy and inexpensive touch to any winter affair, or consider Poinsettias or Holly as a budget-friendly alternative to the traditional floral centerpiece.

Our inns are always dressed to the nines for the holiday season, making the occasion even more unforgettable for you and your guests.

Holiday tree
The Idlewyld parlour dressed for the holidays.

 

Creative comfort foods

Comfort foods such as a hearty soup or lasagna can be a welcome addition to any Winter Wedding Menu. And everyone loves fun winter beverages like hot apple cider, hot chocolate, and eggnog.

Glamorous gowns

Choose a dress adorned with sequins and crystals to sparkle like the snow.  You’ll also need a fur (or faux-fur) wrap or long satin cape to keep cozy for those outdoor photos. Add a matching muff or pair of long satin gloves for an extra touch of glamour!

Nakary Tum-Taylor 9
This Elm Hurst Bride stayed warm in an elegant wrap.

An island honeymoon

Winter is the perfect time of year to escape to the islands for your honeymoon, with plenty of all-inclusive packages available.

Learn more about the all-inclusive wedding packages at Elm Hurst Inn & Spa and Idlewyld Inn & Spa. And don’t forget to ask about our off-season savings!