“To conduct the most productive meetings, smarter conversations should occur with venue contacts and on the site tour to ensure the right factors are being addressed,” says Sarah Vining, marketing manager at The National Conference Center. The D.C.-area meetings and events campus, which has event venues and accommodations, shares 10 more tips to help planners take their jobs to the next level and plan more efficient, productive meetings and events. 1. Choose venues that are focused on meetings. Do your homework to find them. 2. Seek out distraction-free spaces. In an ideal situation, any other groups on property during your training or meeting will also be there with similar organizational goals. 3. Make sure your attendees are comfortable. They are the most productive and attentive if the room temperature is about 70 degrees. 4. Choose smart seating. Ergonomic chairs, specifically in an upright position at a table level, are best for meetings because they are designed for the best possible learning experience. 5. Avoid rooms with pillars and other obstacles that could prevent attendees from focusing. During site tours, look for meeting rooms that are free of visual obstructions but provide enough light (natural or otherwise). 6. Require AV equipment that is up-to-date and functioning. 7. Ask about flexible break service. It’s pertinent to cater to the needs of attendees and give them the flexibility to visit a break station when need be, even when not on an official break. 8. Separate the meetings from the meals. While working lunches on the surface seem like a good use of time, research shows your attendees need a break. Try to schedule lunch in a pleasant dining environment with lots of natural light. 9. Provide variety at meals. With the explosion of special dietary needs, the most productive meetings will be at venues that can provide for those attendees. 10. Know who your on-call venue support person is. This person should be able to solve your potential concerns, so you can focus more on the objectives of your program.