By Astrid Zeppenfeld
Not every corporate meeting has to be held in a brightly lit room with a PowerPoint slideshow projected onto the white wall in front of multiple rows of tables and chairs. In fact, as business dealings nowadays are much less cut and dry, and companies are trying to keep up with the competition that new policy and technology trends bring along, many areas of doing business have changed. Quite often, an email, voicemail, skype conference, or WhatsApp message, can accomplish the task in much less time than a business meeting. Also, with much less money spent.
However, sometimes the need for faceto- face interaction remains. And what better way to talk business than over a meal or a cup of coffee/glass of beer? In Europe, we have been doing business like this for a long time. Actually, the world-famous Oktoberfest in Munich sees plenty of business deals, many of them intercultural ones, each year. The atmosphere is relaxed and fun; therefore, people are relaxed and more likely to come to agreements quickly. Florian Kuplent, owner of Urban Chestnut Brewing Company, brought this Bavarian business style to St. Louis, Missouri. At UCBC, you can have your bratwurst with beer and eat it, too. You can hold a smaller business meeting of about 50-100 attendees in one of the two meeting spaces at the Grove location, depending on whether you are looking for a sit-down business meeting or a reception-type event. For anything bigger than that, you do need to rent out the entire beer hall. However, that might mean having to bring your entire world wide corporation and not just the local HR department. Don’t like finding parking in the Grove or want a smaller event venue altogether? The UCBC Midtown location offers event space, too, and its Barrel Room can seat up to 40, and host up to 80 for a cocktail style reception.
Then indulge in German specialties, such as Currywurst, Brezen (Pretzel with Obatzda, a Bavarian-style cheese), or go all out and get a Sauerbraten or a “Schweinshaxe” – my personal favorite. This particular Bavarian Roast Pork Hock is phenomenal, but probably a better choice for a business dinner than a luncheon, as it’s a lot of food. For a lunch meeting, I’d stick with the smoked meats sandwich or the sausage bar for $12/person.
Think outside the (lunch)box! Think outside the boring white meeting rooms with their long board tables and wire chairs all in a row. Sit down in an authentic beer hall and enjoy a Bratwurst with your beer, while you are discussing creative ideas in a relaxed environment.
Holding your next business meeting in a non-traditional setting like a brewery, might just bring on that new spark in creativity that your company has been searching for. Na denn, Prost! (German for, “Well then, Cheers!”)
Astrid Zeppenfeld is a writer and MM&E’s editor/business development manager from St. Louis.