Meetings are an important part of doing business. Whether it’s a sales meeting or a team meeting for collaboration and to work on projects, meetings are a critical part of the corporate culture. Even though some companies are guilty of death by meetings, it doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable. Hosting a business meeting effectively starts well before anyone enters the room. Business meetings can be stressful. You have to plan ahead, make sure everyone is comfortable, and that you’re organized enough to keep track of all the details.
Here are some tips to help ease your stress:
- Secure a Meeting Space
In order to have a successful business meeting, you need to make sure your space is properly prepared. That means reserving the space in advance and making sure it has everything you’ll need for the meeting, and that everything is working. For virtual meetings, this also means that everyone knows in advance what meeting platform you’ll be using so that they can be sure to install it on their computers.
For physical meetings, make sure that the space has all of its facilities in working order. You want to be sure that the room won’t get too hot or cold and that you know how to use the AV equipment.
You should select a space that’s easy for people to get to, so that you don’t lose any attendees due to traffic or parking issues. If you have the option of choosing your own location and venue, try look for one that is quiet and free from distractions. It also helps if it has plenty of natural light, which can make everyone feel more awake and energized during long meetings.
- Choose a Convenient Location
Try to make sure the meeting is hosted at a convenient location for all participants. Choosing the right location for your meeting is critical. You don’t want to hold it in a place that’s too far away from anyone, especially if you’re flying people in and out of town. Make sure there are plenty of transportation options available and that there are multiple airports or train stations nearby.
- Create Multiple Communication Opportunities
Set up the room to allow for different kinds of discussion, or choose a virtual platform that encourages engagement. There are plenty of options with robust audience engagement tools to ensure everyone can participate when you have virtual meetings or in-person meetings where a few people need to attend remotely. These tools allow for multiple ways to communicate. Participants can respond to polls, ask questions, and even speak and lead from their computers with presentation tools to show their work.
When you are hosting a business meeting in person, you want to make sure that the room is set up in a way that allows for different types of discussions and interactions. This can be done by providing enough space for everyone in the room, as well as seating options for each type of discussion. Table meetings are one option, but having a spot with chairs for more informal discussions can set the right tone as well.
- Send Out an Agenda and Schedule Ahead of Time
Agendas are important because it lets the participants know if they need to prepare something for the meeting, if there are documents to review, or if they even need to be there. The first item on your agenda should be an introduction to the meeting, including a description of why you’re having it and what you hope to accomplish during it. You may also want to include any special instructions or rules for the meeting so that everyone is on the same page. Next, list the topics that will be discussed during the meeting. This can help attendees prepare mentally and emotionally beforehand. If it’s a multi-day meeting, you’ll want to include times for breaks, meals, and when each session will start.
- Provide Food and Drinks
Everyone will be much more engaged in long meetings if you provide food and drinks. When it comes to food and drinks for a business meeting, you want to provide things that are healthy and nutritious. If your employees are hungry, they’re not going to be able to pay attention or be productive. Choose things that are easy to eat and won’t make too much of a mess as well.
Hosting a business meeting can be productive and useful for all attendees. Make sure the right people are in the room, that you have adequate space, that all the technology works, and that you create and send out an agenda in advance. This will help your meetings go smoothly and be productive.