We prefer that you arrange the venue for your mediation meeting. That way you can talk to your conflict party about alternative locations, time and arrangements or make changes if necessary. You can also make arrangements for parking, refreshments and so on. Make sure that the venue has the facilities you will need.
Number of rooms
You need one room large enough for all to get together with the Mediator at start and finish, plus a second room for one party to retire to, leaving the larger room for the other party. Rooms should not be adjacent unless you are confident of the quality of sound insulation. You could use three rooms if you prefer.
At the bottom of this page is a list of points to consider.
A mediation can take place anywhere convenient to the parties. Considerations are:
- Closing time
We mention this first and last. It is essential that you consider the time you might need. Mediation participants invariably under estimate the time requirement.
- Two rooms please
We shall need at least two rooms so that the mediator can talk to each party separately. One of the rooms needs to be large enough for both of the parties to come together at the start and towards the finish of the process. You may feel the process is more egalitarian if you arrange for three rooms rather than two.
- Office locations
The ideal location for most mediation meetings between two businesses is to find two rooms in a serviced office centre or hotel or conference centre. Prices vary between £120 a day and £350 a day. The best source we have found is ZipQube.com, who are intermediaries.
- Norfolk County Council
NCC lets out meeting rooms by the hour or by the day in around 10 locations. Most are library rooms. A very substantial price discount is given for private use. We assume “private use” would include issues relating to divorce, separation, family affairs and so on. The full price for business use is also lower than most commercial venues.
- Cambridgeshire County Council
All let out library space and sometimes other accommodation too. Make sure the venue you choose does not close at lunch time or too early in the afternoon.
- For a workplace dispute?
A workplace dispute is usually mediated at the employers premises. The Mediator must be able to speak confidentially and separately to each party. That means you need one room large enough for all to get together with the Mediator at start and finish, plus a second room for one party to retire to, leaving the larger room for the other party. Rooms should not be adjacent unless you are confident of the quality of sound insulation.
- Consumer-provider disputes
If the dispute is between a corporate provider or professional person on the one hand and a consumer or employee on the other then the Mediator will accept the corporate party's premises as a venue, provided the “consumer” party agrees and two rooms are available.
- Divorce and separation
Provided both parties are comfortable discussing their affairs together openly, divorce discussions are most successful at a seres of face to face meetings. We discuss all the options at length as part of our discussion of the process for divorce mediation.
- Family affairs
Other disputes relating to personal family affairs, for example wills, probate and disputes relating to family business including corporate and boardroom issues and many others can be mediated in a single room, provided both parties are completely happy to stay together throughout the meeting. That means no party will be able to speak privately with the mediator. However, it is still useful for the Mediator to be able to talk privately to a party for a short time – even if the space provided is somewhat sparse.
- On site
Most construction, land and boundary disputes require a site meeting, either on the same day of mediation meeting or at earlier date. The venue for the subsequent meeting should therefore be near to the site.
- Online mediation
An email or email-teleconference mediation will finish with a specific, allocated time and date when both parties and the Mediator will be available to communicate, each from his own location.
Other administrative points
- If your conflict is such that you prefer that The Mediator should make the appropriate arrangements, we shall be happy to do so for an additional fee of £150 plus VAT plus of course the cost of the venue. These costs will be payable in advance of the mediation meeting.
- If either party wishes to change the date of the meeting it is important that you first change the date in The Mediator's diary.
Criteria for venue
Essential criteria are:
- adequate car parking available no more than a short walk from the venue.
- adequate light and ventilation. A hotel room in particular can be most uncomfortable after two or three hours.
- drinking water available throughout;
- toilet facilities available without a long hike;
- a long time seated? Chairs need to be comfortable;
- Internet access in each room. There are circumstances when we may be able to manage without. In that case please discuss with the Mediator.
- access for the Mediator at least 15 minutes before the appointed time;
- availability of some person attached to the venue to act as a contact point;
- availability of whatever hardware you might require, including extension cables, hubs and so on.
- Ability to extend booked time period into an evening. There is nothing more exasperating than to be interrupted at 5 PM with a request to terminate the meeting