If you work in an office, meetings are likely second nature to you. They can happen quite often, but we have all come out of some meetings in a mild state of confusion. In other words, we can leave a meeting wondering what was accomplished, or even what we could take away from it. In most cases, this happens as a result of poor planning for the meeting itself.
When planning a meeting, there is a lot to take into consideration. You want the meeting you're organizing to have meaning, and result in your colleagues taking away something positive from it. Luckily, I've had plenty of experience myself planning business meetings over the years, and while there were bumps in the road over time, practice makes perfect!
Here are some tips for planning a successful business meeting.
1. Have A Purpose - It might sound obvious, but when planning a business meeting, it's important to define the purpose. Why is this meeting scheduled to happen, and what do you hope that those involved will take away from it? These are all things to consider, and this is a crucial first step in planning any successful business meeting.
2. Set an Agenda - The importance of organization can't be stressed enough, which is why having an agenda is an integral part of any successful business meeting. Organize your agenda into different topics from start to finish so that you can stay on track throughout the entire meeting and not miss any key topics. Not only that, but be sure to print off a copy of the agenda for each person in the room, that way you can all stay on track together. This will also help to avoid any confusion.
3. Determine the Location - The location of a meeting is more important than one might think. Simply put, you want those involved in the meeting to be in a comfortable setting where they can focus without distractions. Just remember, if you have a conference room at your office, be sure to schedule it in advance so there are no conflicts at the start of your meeting!
4. Prepare an Icebreaker - I've found over the years that it's always best to ease your way into a meeting by having a good icebreaker to kick things off. If your meeting is scheduled for earlier in the week, for example, an easy icebreaker could simply be going around the room and asking how everyone's weekend was. Things like this can put people at ease before any meeting begins, which will help to ensure that things run smoothly.
5. Have Participants Arrive Hungry - Food can be a key ingredient to having a great business meeting, because much like with having an icebreaker, it can put people more at ease. When people are at ease, they're more likely to focus on the task at hand. Having some food at a business meeting is instrumental in making sure things run as smoothly and successfully as possible. Not only that, but those involved will greatly appreciate it!
Are you in charge of planning any meetings at your place of business? If so, what tips can you share? Let us know in the comments below!