Business meetings are a part of life at work. Eventually, you will have to start holding your own business meetings, especially as you acquire administrative positions. Here’s how you can host a successful business meeting.
- Location. First of all, determine the location. The location should be accessible for all of the people who will attend the meeting, and should be clean, well lit, quiet, and conducive for the meeting. Some people choose to meet in restaurants, but these can be quite noisy. If your office has a conference hall or meeting room, you can reserve this and use it for the business meeting. Make sure that you prepare for all the materials that you will need for the meeting, such as a white board, markers, handouts, and even an LCD projector if you or any of the attendees will use this.
- Attendance. Next, determine who will attend the business meeting. Make sure that you consider all of the people, since some business partners may feel offended if they have not been invited to an important business meeting. Also ask all of the people attending if they have special requests, such as if they need projectors for their presentation. If you will offer lunch or some snacks during the break, you should also ask if they have some reservations about food. Some people, for example, have allergies that you need to be aware of.
- Time. Make sure that you schedule the time of the meeting ahead of time. For very busy people, you may need to make the schedule as early as several months in advance. As a general rule, however, the meetings should be scheduled at least one or two weeks beforehand. This will give all of you enough time to prepare and enough time to clear your calendars and make room for the business meeting. You should also indicate the precise hour during which the business meeting will start. Keep in mind that you should never be late for business meetings, especially if you are the person hosting the meeting.
- Facilitating. During the actual business meeting, you need to take charge and facilitate. Do this by setting an agenda and introducing the people to each other if they do not know each other yet. As the facilitator, you will introduce the purpose of the meeting, and will head the discussions. If you must say a speech, make sure that you say one that is brief and concise, but as informative as possible. Also make sure that there is someone taking down notes and creating the minutes of the meeting.
- Dinner. After the business meeting, it is a good idea for you to offer dinner for the partners in the business meeting. The dinner may cost a bit, especially since you will likely dine in a good restaurant, but it will be a great way for you to get to know the business partners intimately, and will foster excellent ties between you and the others in the business.
With these steps, you should be able to host your business meeting successfully.