How To Arrange A Business Meeting
Business meetings are a vital part of the running of an organization. Running effective meetings can lead to team members feeling more included, more important, and more trusted, giving them a platform to contribute and excel. Not only do effective meetings fuel the running of the business, enabling coordination between departments, project management, effective planning and staff oversight, they help develop the corporate culture. Furthermore, effective meetings can help improve relations with external parties such as clients, investors, regulators and salespeople. It is important, therefore, to plan your meetings with attention to detail, in advance of events, and with the aim of making them effective.
Clarify the Meeting’s Purpose
A common complaint about business meetings is that they are often convened without a clear purpose. This leaves people feeling frustrated and as if their time is being wasted and calls into question why the meeting was even called. Poorly planned and executed meetings can lead to everyone feeling extremely annoyed and lower team morale and productivity.
When you are planning a meeting for which you will be the chair, you must be clear as to what the purpose of the meeting is. If you cannot explain it to yourself, then nobody else will be able to figure out why the meeting was called. A meeting may have a unique goal to accomplish or several different goals, but either way, that must be clear. Different purposes require different kinds of meetings.
Communicating the purpose of the meeting is key. The meeting’s purpose should be communicated in a way that enables everyone to see what it is beforehand. If you are not the one chairing the meeting, then you need to get as much information as possible so that you know what the meeting is about.
Plan Your Agenda
Though it is not absolutely necessary, an itemized agenda is a good checklist to create so that nothing is forgotten and the meeting is focused and necessary items are gotten through.
An agenda alone does not guarantee that participants of a meeting will rate it highly. Research shows that what determines if the agenda is not the agenda in and of itself, it is the relevance and importance of what is on the agenda that counts.
Plan out the various stages that the meeting will go through, including introduction of all participants, and allocate time so that each item on the agenda can be dealt with and there are no aimless periods of time.
Manage the Calendar
Usually, a meeting has a few key participants, without whom the meeting is impossible. You should plan meetings around their availability. This is best done with tools like Google Agenda or Outlook, though many firms do not use calendar tools.
If there are differences in time zones for people concerned, account for these so that you pick the most optimal time for the meeting.
The more time is taken to prepare for the meeting, the more likely it is to go smoothly. Only you know what is essential for the smooth running of the meeting, whether it is the distribution of reading materials, or the use of technology to make presentations, or the use of a corporate meeting venue or video conferencing tool, or the writing of minutes. Whatever it is you think you will need, prepare well in advance to ensure that it is available when you want it, where you want it.