Are you an office or hotel providing meeting rooms? Think about the last meeting you had when coffee and tea was NOT being served. Now think about the last meeting you had when coffee and tea WAS being served. What differences did you observe? How did you feel?
Hilton Worldwide went further in their research and published the results of a recent study. They actually polled a large number of professionals aged 18 years and up: 1,000 in the U.S., 1,013 in the U.K., and 1,008 in China to find out what makes meetings successful.
The number one finding contributing to a successful meeting was that it should be face-to-face despite all the digital tools we now have at our disposal. However, an unexpected second factor contributing to a successful meeting was NOT WIFI surprisingly…it was high quality coffee and tea!
In China, 59% of those polled believe “that coffee and tea are important to contributing to a successful in-person meeting”. Of the U.K. professionals, 68% agreed with this and even believe that it’s more important than WIFI. Although there was no specific reason cited about why this was so, if you think back to that last meeting when coffee and tea wasn’t served did you feel that a certain warmth was lacking? That perhaps people were less personal and less open with each other? A cup of warm coffee and tea often makes for a bit of personal conversation which helps to break down any walls we may have built from viewing each other as adversaries. It logically follows that coffee and tea help us to be more open for collaboration.
According to the same study:“More than half of Chinese respondents (53 percent) say that the best way to connect with a colleague or professional contact is over coffee and tea.”
The study also found that Chinese professionals value the quality of coffee and tea. 54% say “if it is going to be served in a meeting, then it must be high quality”. This is consistent with other findings in Hong Kong and China that there is a trend to appreciate higher quality, gourmet coffees.
Andrew Flack, Vice President, Global Marketing, Hilton said: “It’s interesting to see that throughout the world while we differ subtly in how we conduct meetings, we agree on the value of collaboration – which is fueled by coffee or tea.”
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