Weird places for business meetings include roller coaster and a tank

Roller coaster and a tank are among places where high-fliers say they've held meetings

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 September, 2013, 3:50am

A roller coaster, a baseball park and even a prison are some of the weird places where Hong Kong executives admit to having talked business, according to a worldwide survey of 26,000 high-fliers.

The top 10 strangest places where the city's executives have held meetings also include a military tank, an ice bar, a ham-drying facility, a shrimp farm, a slaughterhouse, a stairwell and a hot spring.

"We are finding people are just doing business where business needs to be done," said Jon Walsh, of serviced office provider Regus, which commissioned the survey. A total of 234 Hong Kong executives took part.

"Having a meeting in a hot spring might seem strange in the West, but maybe it's not in this part of the world as there's a social side to doing business in Asia Pacific," he added. "Hong Kong has amazing time pressures and the business of Hong Kong is business."

Coupled with long working hours, meetings with clients may be arranged at unconventional but convenient locations, or a casual chat may turn into an impromptu business meeting.

"It might not have been a meeting when they got on the roller coaster," Walsh said, but high-flying executives may have sealed a deal by the end of the white-knuckle ride. "Sometimes it's a choice, sometimes it's a matter of consequence," he said.

The more traditional places to have out-of-the-office meetings were cars, coffee shops and hotel rooms, with planes and airports also popular choices.

On the mainland, one respondent said he had held a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, while in Japan, karaoke bars were used for doing deals.

Globally, the strangest meeting places for executives included a bath, a cave, a rubbish dump, a sleigh, a field of brussels sprouts and the office pantry.

Walsh said in Korea, executives often followed a formal meeting by adjourning to what is referred to as "the second place", somewhere more relaxed than a boardroom, where informal discussions on a deal continued.

Doing business was about building rapport, Walsh said. "If it's more relaxed, then it's easier to form relationships," he added.