Welcome to the Gastonia Conference Center
Gastonia Conference Center is a symbol; a sign of the people of Gastonia, North Carolina on the move toward civic, economic, and environmental sustainability. Designed to pay homage to the surrounding architecture and heritage of the area, Gastonia Conference Center is the premier destination for local, regional, and state-wide conferences and events, from metro-Charlotte based corporate meetings, to state-wide conventions, to local and community events, to memorable weddings.
This cutting-edge, 30,000-square-foot technologically advanced and sustainably built conference center is designed to generate business and support the local Gastonia community. The Conference Center accommodates over 450 meeting attendees and 300 for a seated banquet function and features ten separate, purpose-built and distraction-free meeting rooms, event spaces and 5,100 square-foot ballroom. It has already gained recognition as the greater Charlotte region's foremost destination for events of all kinds.
How to Deal with Difficult Tenants
Making Everything Clear
In property management, it is always wise to keep everything in black and white and show what is expected from the tenants, and what tenants can expect from the management. All these expectations can be clearly stated in the agreement, so that the tenant has a clear picture. These points can include garbage removal practices, expected level of cleanliness, laundry schedules, procedure for reporting issues, minimum maintenance required from the tenant, common maintenance procedures followed by property management, policies for late payment of rent, expected noise levels, and minimum etiquette expected towards other tenants.
With certain tenants, it may not be enough to mention these expectations in the agreement. In such cases, the property manager should take the initiative and educate such tenants whenever the opportunity arises.
Being Professional and Maintaining Good Relations
The property manager should always have a professional attitude, which means neither being defensive nor being aggressive. Arguing with an angry tenant will only make matters worse, and being submissive will not be productive as well. It is important to speak calmly but firmly and communicate effectively. At the same time, it is also important to maintain good cordial relations with all tenants.
The best way of showing that the property management cares for the tenants is to listen to all complains attentively. The next step would be to respond and fix issues in a timely manner. Additionally, also have a system in place for the tenant to report late fixing of issues and the inconveniences they had to endure. This will help tenants to air out their problems and grievances, without causing any major disturbances.
Updating the Screening Process
The problem of difficult tenants can be avoided largely by having an efficient screening process for prospective tenants. Property managers should patiently carry out background checks, check out feedback from previous property owners, investigate credit worthiness, and check, to see if the individual or any member of the family has a criminal record. A clever questionnaire can be designed to reveal behavioral aspects of people, and their attitudes. Employ all the latest technological advances and tools available to create an efficient screening process.
Having Full Knowledge of Laws
The property manager should have full knowledge about the laws governing tenancy and tenant rights. It is important to understand tenant’s rights, and know all the procedures and protocols that will come into play in the event of certain situations and incidents. The most important aspect is to know the rules regarding rental delinquency and non-payment of dues. A difficult tenant can very easily turn into a bad tenant, and the property manager should know all the legalities for evicting such a tenant.
How to Make Meetings More Interesting and Productive
Change of Venue
Instead of holding the meeting on the company premises, select an interesting venue. A new venue always generates interest, as participants are looking forward to get to a new place. There are several meeting venues in North Carolina, especially Charlotte, which provide state of the art facilities.
Frequent Changes in the Aspects of the Meeting
Keep changing the aspect of the meeting every fifteen to twenty minutes to avoid monotony and boredom. Switch between presentations, panel discussions, videos, question-and-answer session, games, feedback, quizzes, and mini-breaks and so on.
Socialize Before the Meeting
Start the meeting about ten minutes early to include time for socializing and mixing. This will make participants more comfortable with each other and there will be fewer conflicts during the meeting.
Let all participants put their business cards in a bowl. Everybody is made to draw a card except their own. While responding or generating new ideas, participants will assume the personality or point of view of the name on their card. This is an ideal way of leveling the playing field and making people aware of how others are viewing them.
It is also interesting and intriguing. It is also an effective way to introduce the people who are present at the meeting to everyone else at the meeting. Some humor will follow this method to which will lighten everyone up.
Appoint a Timekeeper
Imposing constraints on time will usually improve creative output, and participants stop beating round the bush, focusing fully on the topic. Appoint a timekeeper who will be in charge of handling an electronic alarm clock or a kitchen timer. The timekeeper will time discussions and call out “Time” when the approved time limit has expired.
Have a Standing Meeting
If you want to cut the time of the meeting by half or even shorter, then have a meeting where all participants have to stand. Remove all chairs from around the table, and you will find topics being discussed at a much faster pace.
Switch Catering Responsibilities
Different members should be given the responsibility of arranging the catering for each meeting. After every member has had a chance of arranging the catering, there should be a vote to decide about the best catering.
Sing It or Act It
After a training session or learning about new policy, divide the participants into groups of about five people. Each group has to perform a skit or sing a song that recaps whatever they have learned. This could be a little too much for most meetings.
Four Indicators of Bad Meetings and How to Avoid Them
1) Lack of Interest
Many times participants do not take the meeting seriously. This can be due to various reasons. Some might feel the topics that are to be discussed are not important, or some participants can get bored if the meeting rambles on without a purpose. It is therefore very important to have a clear agenda, where each topic is clearly explained with the outcome desired. Sometimes it helps to conduct important meetings off site. In such instances, selecting from meeting venues in Gaston County NC or Charlotte Metro meeting venues would be a sparkling idea.
Many participants in meetings are found doing their own thing rather than actively participating in the discussions. They are talking on their phones, texting, responding to emails, or conversing with other participants on unrelated topics. The best way to avoid such behavior is to establish ground rules that are agreeable to everybody. Participants should be reminded of these ground rules during the start of the meeting. In addition, the leader of the meeting should put a stop to the behavior, whenever any participant is breaking these rules.
3) Lack of Preparation
In many meetings most of the participants come unprepared and have not read the reports, spreadsheets, or other documents related to the topic under discussion. The research is missing and hence nothing fruitful is discussed about the topic. In such instances, the company should have a policy of holding participants accountable. Meetings are events where participants are expected to share their expertise, and perform the work they are expected to do. If members are failing in their duties then holding participants accountable should be made part of the ground rules.
4) Lack of Decisions and Disagreements
Sometimes topics are discussed extensively without arriving at any decision, and sometimes participants do not agree about the decision. In a marvelous meeting, important things have to be decided with the least wastage of time. First, the participants should have the authority to decide on the matter and secondly there should be some voting procedure, where the decision is not left hanging because of the disapproval of a minority.
Rookie Mistakes in Running a Meeting
Trying to Have a Meeting without Agenda
However small or informal a meeting, it is very important to set an agenda. With an agenda, participants know what to expect, and the leader can keep the meeting on track and make people accountable. When the participants are not able to prepare for the meeting due to lack of an agenda, very few issues can be resolved and participants will tend to hijack the discussions and talk about what they want.
Ignoring Pre-Meeting Communications
A meeting will be much more productive when there is pre-meeting communication with the intended participants. You might want to ask certain questions and acquire answers on certain topics ahead of the meeting, so that you can plan how the discussions in the meeting will proceed and what is the best approach in tackling pressing issues.
Mismanagement of Time
This is quite a common rookie mistake, which can cost dearly. Everybody has important work to do, and therefore it is integral and paramount for all meetings to start and end on time. Punctually starting the meeting will form a culture, and nobody will turn up late after some time. Ending the meeting on queue can be quite challenging in the beginning, as it requires scheduling time for each topic and managing the discussion without leaving any important points. It also requires managing the speakers and making sure the discussions taking place are on track, without going off-topic.
Participation is not Encouraged
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss various issues, generate ideas, and tap collective knowledge of the participants. However, such purpose is defeated when participation of all members is not encouraged. Participants should be encouraged to raise queries and objections, and should be given enough time to present their ideas.
Mismanagement of Conflicts
Raising objections and healthy conflicts help promote discussions and for arriving at effective solutions. However, the meeting leader should be able to put a stop to personal attacks and negative conflicts, which not only impede progress but also create a negative atmosphere.
How Much Control should be Exercised During a Meeting
Meetings are special events where important matters are discussed, especially meetings that are held offsite in meeting venues North Carolina and so on. There are many important factors involved in holding an effective and successful meeting, and managing the participants is one of the most important aspects the meeting leader cannot ignore. There is always the risk of participants getting out of hand and ruining the meeting. Exercising control at the meeting over the participants can be quite tricky, as there is a very thin line between exercising too much control and too little control.
A Head’s Up
Taking too much control would mean you keep talking and other participants are dead silent. A meeting is not a place to freely air your views or spew out huge amounts of information. If you have a lot of information to divulge, send it out to the participants much before the meeting. This will give much more time for discussing the topic rather than explaining the topic to the participants. Secondly, participants would also come prepared with their views and objections, since they would have time to study the topic.
You have to trust that your employees can multi-task. You should not worry about sending them vital emails and information and not have to worry if that is going to bog them down and undermine their productivity or current projects and deadlines.
Requiring Shared Thought
The meeting presents an opportunity to tap into collective knowledge and to attain new ideas and opinions. Therefore, participation should be encouraged, but also checked when the person is trying to take over the conversation and not allowing anyone else to speak. Hence, control is definitely needed in such instances. However, the matter should be tackled rather diplomatically and it should not offend the speaker. Acting like a disciplinarian and talking harshly will be counterproductive, as it might offend the speaker, and discourage other participants from speaking.
It would be better to fix a schedule for the different topics in the agenda and the time limit should be made known to all the participants. When there is a fixed schedule, interrupting someone who is taking a lot of time becomes much easier, and less confrontational. The person who is told to stop will also understand when he or she realizes that they have crossed the time limit allotted for the topic.
Stricter control is only needed with participants who are rude and are making personal attacks on others. A conflict can suddenly arise in such situations and the meeting can spin out of control. Therefore, strict and firm action is required in such instances to stop such participants. Exercising control in meetings is a touchy subject but if it is handled professionally, it can provide positive results.