5 Awesome Alternative Locations to Meet a Client

I thought I would share a list of unique places that are great to conduct a client meeting. This list was inspired by my need for a more creative and relaxing place to meet with a client and my desire to maintain a healthy lifestyle and not be tempted to overeat when having dinners and meeting people for lunches over and over again.
So here is my list of some of my favorite places to have client meetings:

1. The Art Institute of Chicago (or any art museum for that matter).
This is one of my favorite places because you are surrounded by inspiration. My client and I walk through checking out the exhibit and we talk about their image needs. Its a very laid back way to get to know them for who they are, know their business and you get to know their tastes from the art in the museum. You can stop off in the cafe to wrap up the meeting with action points and follow ups or sit on the steps and hang. Meetings like these not only lead to awesome client relationships but good friendships too. PLUS you are walking and getting cardio and, if you stop at the café, a simple tea and banana are an easy snack. POW!

Thursdays are free at  The Art Institute of Chicago

2. Nail Salon.  
If you are as busy as I am multitasking is the name of the game, which is why client lunches and dinners are so great, but what about manicures and pedicures. Yep! There is no shame in my game getting my hands and feet together while taking notes and presenting images to a client. Make an appointment beforehand and make sure that you stress to the receptionist that services must be done at the same time and you are golden. Plus, what client doesn’t want to be treated to a pedicure? When they look at their freshly painted nails, they will think of you PERFECTION!

Also, This works for men too TRUST ME! I really love the No-Chip Manicure. It last for 2 weeks and sometimes you can squeeze another week out of it. A photographers dream!!

3. Come on by the house.
Sometimes if I have a busy day and I cant pull myself away from the studio or office, I love to invite clients by my house. They get a chance to check out my home studio and if we get hungry during our meeting/brainstorming or editing session. I whip up a quick snack for us to eat. My fav is spinach quesadillas. Thanks Assata!!

If I can just give some advice, this is something that I do if I have met with clients more than once or we have worked together. I wouldn't necessarily suggest this for a first meeting.

4. Playground/Parks.
Lisbeth Tanz over at Savvy Freelance Writers suggested this to me, and I think it’s a great idea.  A simple walk around the park and sitting at a bench or watching and hanging out with the kids on the playground is a great relationship builder. I am not a working mom, so I cant imagine how hard it is to have a hustle or 9-5 job then try to find the time to hang out with your children! So this is a great way to spend some time with your kids and maybe your kids can make some new friends. PLAYDATE!!!

Psst. I will tell you a secret, If you really want to be jazzy (and I know you do) why not try Chicago Botanic Garden. Kid or no kids, this place is gorgeous! They have a fountain in the warmer months, why not put the kids in their swimsuits and let them hang out while you sit in the grass and take care of business.
FYI I am sure a quick Google Search will find you a Botanic Garden in your state somewhere.

5. The Zoo. 
When was the last time you went to the zoo? I rarely get the opportunity to go. I forget about it honestly.  So why not meet your client at the zoo?The Lincoln Park Zoo is free. They also have a café , its perfect for children, and its fun! Most of all its gets both you and your client out of your offices for a little bit. Yeah!! Sunlight!

These are a few ideas that I know I recommend, but I know there are tons. What are your favorite locations for meeting clients?

6 comments

Tina said...

Great post, Stephanie. I'm not in Chicago, or in in major metro area, but you sparked some ideas. Thanks! (31DBBB)

Stephanie Krishnan said...

Hi Stephanie - this is full of some great ideas. I love the idea for meeting at an art or city museum idea (we have some fabulous ones in Singapore).
The zoo or gardens can get a bit hot, but you've certainly given me some food for thought in scouting for a more convenient and different location to go through things with clients.
Thanks!

k.looft said...

Good ideas...
While my kids have since left our abode, when they were young and I was home officing, I had few occasions taken them on design presentations. To my surprise, after a round of hand shakes, my son was catered with paper & markers to draw while our meeting achieved success - family style. I still have a small box of Legos in my office for the occasional client dropping by with tots in tow. Regards, Kent

Tess Jungblut said...

Hi Stephanie,

What a lovely idea this post. Very original and thank you for sharing your bright and handy ideas with us.

It is indeed always a kind of 'little problem' where to meet with clients. I really like the idea of the museum and the botanical garden. So, I live in Amsterdam and there are lots of museums. And yes, we do have a small but fine Botanical garden with species from the golden age.

I wonder ... do you have to invite the client, by means of paying the entrance? What do you suggest, I mean it feels a little like, I pay for you so you can't turn down my offer? Or am I to severe here?

Best,


Tess

classycareergirl said...

These are all great places to meet a client! Love the nail salon idea:)

Caleb said...

I love going to the zoo especially the one in Houston because of the adjacent park and the big Science museum across the street, but I never thought about conducting any business meet up there!?

But now that I think about it the zoo has a positive serene atmosphere that could provide a highly beneficial vibe for negotiating :)

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