If you have an organization, it’s important that everyone stays connected so that everyone is working on the same page. One effective tool of touching base with your people is to conduct meetings. However, meetings can be quite time consuming and it can be difficult to get people together. If you plan your meeting properly, you can get everyone organized and get what you need done.
Here’s how to plan your meeting.
- Decide why you need a meeting. Meetings are necessary. However, you must have a specific reason why you want to call a group of people together. Do you simply want to stay connected with your team? Is there an emergency or a specific point that you need to address immediately? Is it something that can be resolved with a phone conversation or perhaps an email communication? Is a meeting really necessary or are there other ways it can be discussed and disseminated? Will it be a phone meeting or call conference, a video conference meeting or a closed door meeting? Knowing why you need to have a meeting will help you determine what type of meeting to have.
- Prepare your agenda. Once you have decided why and what type of meeting you will have, you need to write down your agenda. What specific items do you need to talk about at your meeting? If you will be discussing sales reports and how to boost it, then you need to have copies of the report for review. Make bullet points of items you want to discuss.
- Set a schedule. Determine what date and time you want to have a meeting. Set it so you have the most number of attendees as possible. If you will have a long meeting, you may want to set it in the morning when people are fresh. If it is a private meeting, you may want it done late in the afternoon. Have people let you know if they can’t make it. If less than half can make it, you may need to reschedule.
- Determine your venue. Where will you have your meeting? If you are going to talk to a large group of people, you will need some type of conference room. When you choose a venue, make sure it has the necessary equipment you need, such as white board, projector, WiFi access and other tools you need for your meeting.
- Inform everyone who needs to be there. Once you know the where, when and why of your meeting, you need to let people know about it. If it’s a mandatory meeting, state in the memo that attendance is required. Give people ample notice so they can clear schedules to be able to attend. At least a week notice is good enough, although some cases may require an emergency meeting.
- Keep it short. When you have your meeting, stick to your agenda. Don’t let meetings drag on and on because everyone is busy and time is important. The best meetings are the ones that go straight to the point and come up with resolutions as needed.
It’s important that your meetings are punctual and productive. Otherwise, people won’t be inclined to attend and may feel it is a waste of their time. If you must, you can set a predetermined weekly meeting so that your staff knows to expect it regularly without you having to issue reminders. Finally, once the meeting starts, it’s important to stay on track, to get the input you need and to disseminate the information as needed. This way, you can maximize the meetings.