5 things you can do to make your meeting effective

posted on Monday 24 April

Blog, Hints and tips

1. Know why you are having a meeting

Has anyone ever said I wish I could go to more meetings today? Probably not. The first question to ask yourself is do I really need to organise a meeting? Are there other ways I could get what I need to do done? If you feel a meeting is the right tool then jot down why you need everyone’s time and what you are looking to achieve. Start with the end in mind, what will success look like? Is success based on the number of attendees, the quality of attendees, the amount of new leads you generate or something else?

2. Determine who should attend

Get a good estimate from the start as to how big the meeting will be, this will help you determine the size of venue you require. Be realistic, people are busy and not everyone will be able to attend. As harsh as this sounds, create a ‘must have’ attendee list as well as a ‘nice to have’. Focus your energies on where you will make the greatest impact.

3. Work out what sort of meeting format will work

The devil is in the detail so make sure you define the detail of your meeting from the start. Are you looking to make attendees feel special? If so, you may want to choose a venue that has a niche and intimate feel about it. Think about little ways throughout the day of how you could pleasantly surprise them. At the end of the day people will remember how they were treated and the overall atmosphere of the meeting.

4. Communicate well

Do not underestimate the time required for the successful promotion of a meeting even a smaller sized one. It’s important to create one key message about the meeting.  Make sure it is brief and that it accurately conveys the idea of the meeting to your audience.  Think about how your audience like to receive information is it by email or printed copy? How much money do you have to spend on communications and what are your timescales?

5. Expect changes

Event timelines are great but the reality is you will need extra time for everything. People will ignore your RSVP deadline, they will forget to tell you they don’t eat fish and will then chase you for the final agenda even though you have sent it twice already. On the day of the meeting there will also be last minute changes that you will need to respond to calmly and efficiently. Remember to breathe deeply and smile as you reprint another name badge….