The June/July Scoop is Out!

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June Scoop Page 01

Enjoy this month’s Scoop and learn about exciting events happening around Toronto’s Waterfront. If you would like to advertise in our growing newsletter we are always happy to showcase local companies and community partners. For more information on advertising, email marketing@rostiegroup.com

June Scoop Page 01

And you can download a PDF version here

Time=Money: Video Conferencing saves you Both

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From the rise of Youtube to the era of the Instagram vertical video, it’s hard to deny that video in general has become cheaper and more accessible. The technology has already been in place for remote video conferencing for years. But poor video quality and hard-to-hear audio made them fall out of favor.

In the modern business sphere, information has to be shared and traded immediately. Which is great if you’re sitting across from your team mate, but if your company is large enough to have offices in different parts of the world, then it might get more difficult.

Of course, E-mail has it’s uses. However, just like any piece of written work; “context is key”, and the message can be lost in translation. Nothing beat face-to-face communications, but it’s not always practical, or even possible to sit in the same room.

To be able to share the entire context of your vital business information, the solution is video conferencing.

Additionally, video conferencing allows for the reading of body language, share thoughts, ideas and information while allowing you to read your audience to ensure they’re receiving the information in the intended manner. It’s a tremendous tool for training purposes and makes remote working a breeze.

However, it’s not as simple as setting up a Skype account and letting everyone have the address. First of all, Skype is not very secure, and if you have information that you want to keep private, that may not be the best option.

And of course, being a free option, it’s likely to be monetized in other ways. Nothing is more embarrassing than meeting with a new client, and having an Ad pop up during your presentation.

Also, while the video quality is usually ok, it’s not reliable, and while that might be fine if you’re just chatting with a team mate, it’s not good enough if you’re speaking to a client, or giving a large board presentation.

So not only do you want to have video conferencing available, but you also need it to be private, and be clear and crisp.

The Rostie Group can provide for all of your video conferencing solutions!  Our rooms have video conferencing equipment that is secure and easy to use. And in case of trouble, we have on-site tech support ready to make sure you have the best experience.

Give it a try today! 

 

Why you should Rent your Meeting Space

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Meeting Space Rent

It’s a fact of life (or a fact of business) that you’ll eventually have to have meetings. One-on-One, group meetings, team meetings, etc. You name them, they’ll have to meet at some point. Have you considered renting that meeting space?

So when you’re finding a space for those meetings to occur, it is often a corner of the office somewhere, where everyone has to bring their chairs and scoot over. Just making what might already be an uncomfortable space, even more so.

Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones that has their own proper meeting space. But of course, owning space is very different from renting it.

For one, you have to maintain it. It can be costly to maintain a meeting room up to standard. Of course when it’s just your team, a little mess can be expected; some markers laying around, a used whiteboard, some leftover snacks.

But then if you want to bring a new client into that space, you’ll have to make sure it’s all clean and tidy. And your staff, as great as they may be, are busy making sure the business runs. They don’t have time to clean up every speck of dirt. Which then means you need to hire a cleaning crew, or extend the current crew’s service into the meeting room. But that brings potential reservations over confidential information…

And that isn’t even mentioning the cost of maintenance. What if the chairs break? Or the meeting table is damaged? The TV on the wall starts displaying static?

It’s just a whole cycle of never ending issues.

And of course, think about the opportunity cost. Space is expensive, especially in large cities. You already pay a significant amount for rent, and having enough space for your employees to actually do their job, do you really want to have to worry about paying rent for a room that will be sitting empty most of the time?

Unless your meeting space is doubling as your break room (which it really shouldn’t be), then it’s actual wasted space, and wasted money.

For those who are looking to cut some costs on their rent, and have a top notch, clean, and well stocked room, you should consider renting your meeting space from The Rostie Group. Free Wi-Fi, full technical support, videoconferencing, and delicious catering are all available.

The May Scoop is Out!

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Enjoy this month’s Scoop and learn about exciting events happening around Toronto’s Waterfront. If you would like to advertise in our growing newsletter we are always happy to showcase local companies and community partners. For more information on advertising, email marketing@rostiegroup.com

And you can download a PDF version here

Have you seen our Reservation Portal?

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Here at the Rostie Group, we’re always looking to improve your experience. To that end, we have been working on something that is a long time coming.

A major updated to our reservation portal has made it better than ever before!

We have focused on eliminating the tiresome negotiation process of booking meeting rooms and streamlining the process to be as smooth as possible for our users.

If you’ve booked with us before, you can easily rebook meetings with a single click! This allows your layout, catering and other requests to remain the same as the last time you booked.

Whether you are using desktop, tablet or your phone we wanted you to have the best experience, so we redesigned the layout to be mobile ready no matter what screen you’re on.


If you are a new user, you’ll see how easy it is to view the catering menu and choose an option suited to your needs. Depending on the room size, you will also be able to view the meeting rooms various custom layouts and choose one that best fits your meeting requirements.

Delicious Catering

We understand that getting used to any new piece of software can be challenging. Not to worry, we will soon have an online tutorial added to our website to guide you through it and show just how easy it is!

Don’t forget- we don’t just offer Meeting Rooms! Check out our diversified Virtual Offices Packages and start your plan today.

What are you waiting for? Click here to go see the new Portal right now!

The Oxford Way

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Back in September 2017, Oxford Properties conducted a customer satisfaction and loyalty survey. Many clients took the time to let Oxford know whether they were meeting or exceeding service expectations. To celebrate the fantastic results Oxford have created a visual representation of this commitment via “The Oxford Way” video:

We love being part of WaterPark Place!

Here’s some events they’ve held in the building over the past year:

Click here for more information on how you can become part of the Oxford community.

The Staff Meeting.

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Shall we begin..

The secret to a growing company is ‘intellectual capital’. Seeking out, hiring and retaining the best in breed. These are your employees.  One person can come up with an innovative idea, patent it on your behalf and game on – let the salad days begin for your company.

If you don’t have a written and distributed agenda for the attendees, don’t have a meeting. If no action items come out of a meeting, you have wasted an hour (or more) of your valuable workday. Staff meetings are a wonderful and neutral environment to discuss items of mutual benefit for the attendees.

Finding the optimal work equilibrium for the employee is found in the 6 T model. Time, Training, Talent, Task, Tools and Technology. Think of the 6 T’s as a hexagon, each of the 6 sides proportional. If proportional the employee is most likely a key contributor to the company’s success. If one, or more, of the 6 T’s is either missing or excessive, the shape of the hexagon gets skewed.

This provides ‘a great disturbance in the Force.’

This is not a problem but merely an opportunity to expose gaps. Once identified, management should create a plan to provide solutions to these same gaps and bring the employees’ skills into equilibrium. It will also reduce the anxiety an employee might feel, particularly for those who want to out-perform, yet feel they are missing key criteria to succeed. Finding people, giving them an environment to thrive, the right tools to succeed and appropriate motivation and rewards. Studies have shown everyone has a different and unique reward system. Be it trophies or dinners or public recognition or time off or monetary gain. The list is beyond the scope of this article but it is long and varied.  Don’t forget, everybody needs a personal win now and then.

Always set aside some time for greenfield brainstorming. An open and hopefully energetic session to introduce new ideas and maybe even new problems. Don’t forget, in the sales world a problem is in truth an opportunity. Remember, a wonderful nugget can be gleaned from the unlikeliest of sources, or a simple comment can inspire others to add more. This is compound interest at its finest. A common ground where title and position on the organizational chart must have no importance. For managers, the art of listening, and not talking, is an acquired and vital skill. Some of the best speeches in the history of mankind were cleverly interrupted by the speaker with planned periods of silence. Your receptionists for example, are probably the most customer facing individuals in your employ.  They have the best seat in the house to observe positive and negative words and expressions of your customers. They have the unique position to make and take immediate action to quell any discontent, or hopefully broadcast good news.

‘A happy customer tells 2 to 3 people of their experience. An unhappy customer tells 10 people.’ Let the ideas continue. 

How to Run More Effective Meetings

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More that 10 million meetings occur every day in the United States alone, so there’s no denying that meetings are a very important part of the corporate world. But despite that, a lot of people do meetings wrong and end up losing money through lost productivity or even worse, unclear goals.

Be prepared

It’s always a good idea to let people know the overall details of the meeting but it’s also important to provide relevant documents or information that would help everyone come to your meeting prepared. Sometimes a meeting might require research and for your attendees to have some time to gather their thoughts and ideas. It also cuts down on time spent running people through information that everyone could already be aware of.

Know your objective

The biggest mistake people make when calling a meeting is having a poor agenda or not having one at all. Without a good agenda or a facilitator to keep things on track people can go off topic and not add anything of value to the meeting at all. This becomes one of the major reasons why people consider meetings a waste of time.

Make the objective of the meeting clear before you start. That way people are able to come prepared and know what’s necessary to make it successful. With the material you’ve given your attendees, having a clear objective will also allow them to come into the meeting with any concerns they may have going forward, which can be answered easier.

Invite the right people

Cramming the room with as many people as possible doesn’t always accomplish the best results. The more people you have, the more likely it is that people are going to take the meeting in the wrong direction, be afraid to contribute or feel like they can afford not to pay attention. You might also be keeping a lot of people from doing important work that will end up costing you time and money in lost productivity.

Instead it’s about getting the right people who can contribute the best to your objective. These are the people who are most relevant to the problem at hand, whether they’re working on the front lines or overseeing the team that will be solving a problem. Having the right parties present also lets you communicate more clearly with the right team and ensure that they’re on the right track.

Provide key takeaways

It’s all too easy for people to come out of a meeting and go about their day without actually putting anything they’ve learned to use. This comes down to the facilitators. At the end of the meeting, provide your attendees with some key takeaways and goals. Clear tasks help give a purpose to your meeting and people can leave it with something tangible to take back to their desks.

You can also have someone tasked with taking notes during the meeting and putting together a contact report to send out after. This way all attendees have a written record of what needs to get done. This can also be used to track progress for future meetings.

Ineffective meetings can kill productivity and be a waste of time. But with the tips listed above, you can make sure your team can make the most of their time and tackle goals with more direction.

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How to run more effective meetings

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How often do you run across a coworker, sighing as they go onto their way to a meeting? Or maybe you’ve read one of hundreds of articles that say meetings are a waste of time. It’s not surprising that many people react this way.

An unstructured meeting can be a waste of time, but at the end of the day these are still very important parts of running a successful business.

If done right, a meeting allows your team to get together to collaborate, solve problems and build stronger relationships.

Effective leadership and discipline is needed to get the most out of meetings. But how do you effectively lead one?

What’s the purpose?

Communication is the key to mastering meetings. A long meeting doesn’t always mean a successful one, but on that note, neither does a short one.

A successful meeting is one that addresses all the issues at hand so that everyone leaves it feeling sure about what they need to accomplish.

Come into it with a plan. Why have you brought everyone together? What is it you hope to achieve? Have you scheduled enough time to hit all your talking points?

There are many reasons to hold a meeting:

  • Problem solving
  • Creative brainstorming
  • Team or morale building
  • Training sessions

If you have a clear picture of what you’re holding a meeting for, it’s easier to build a plan.

Create an agenda

Agendas can give your meeting a solid outline. You may not end up hitting all the points on it, but referring to an agenda helps you keep things on track. Otherwise, unrelated topics may come up and waste everyone’s time. Remember, if it’s not worth creating an agenda for, it’s not worth meeting.

A good agenda should be concise and cover just a few major topics. This helps you leave enough time for discussion so that you can expand on those talking points.

By keeping it to just a few topics, it also helps focus your team on what they need to do. It’s easier to send an employee away with one or two major tasks rather than fifteen small ones. Too many tasks can easily lead to confusion and ultimately, procrastination.

Meetings start on time

There was a famous story of a meeting Steve Jobs ran while he was at Pixar. Jobs was to meet with Lucasfilm’s Chief Financial Officer, who decided that he could show he was in control of the meeting by getting there a few minutes late.

He eagerly walked into the room, expecting everyone to be waiting for him. Instead, Jobs had already started the meeting and was now in control of it.

Showing up early shows you’re serious about being productive and getting things done. It also shows that you value your team’s or your client’s time.

No phones under the table

Meetings require your full attention. If you’re staring down at your phone while someone is talking, it can come off the wrong way, especially if there are clients or bosses in the room.

It’s best practice to turn your phone on silent and place it face down on the table or tuck it away in your pocket. That way, you’re not distracted by flashing screens or the temptation to look at the time.

If you have a scheduled call to take, then plan to step out of the room beforehand so as not to distract anyone.

Meetings end on time

Just like starting your meeting on schedule, ending it on time shows you respect other people’s time. It keeps everyone on task and ensures that there’s no time being wasted.

Be sure to discuss the end time of the meeting before it starts and reinforce it again as you approach the time. With a ten-minute warning, you can then set a clear boundary and start wrapping up.

You can then take the final few minutes to summarize ideas and assign clear tasks.

There are exceptions to this. Sometimes, ideas might come up towards the end of a meeting and take everyone down a rabbit hole. If the ideas are flowing and you’re making breakthroughs, you don’t want to interrupt anyone.

Build contact reports

If agendas are important pre-meeting, contact reports are just as important post-meeting.

A contact report helps you follow up with everyone after you’re done. Not everyone will have taken notes so it’s a good idea to have one person dedicated towards it.

This person can then create a contact report, which will cover all the important talking points, key takeaways and tasks to be completed and by who.

Having a successful meeting can do many things for you as we’ve covered. It can build morale, help solve critical problems and more. But unfortunately, many meetings are run haphazardly which is why people remain cynical towards them. That doesn’t need to be the case.

Whether it’s a small or a big team, these tips will help you keep these meetings on track so that your company can communicate and solve problems more effectively.