We’ve all been there.
The meeting that is hosted by an unorganized, dull speaker who has the AV expertise of your 80-year-old grandma. Kevin from finance has been rattling on about the same spreadsheet for over 45 minutes, even though you were meant to be free 20 minutes ago. You are staring eagerly at the clock, checking your phone, itching in your seat, praying to be released from your boredom as you have lost complete interest in anything that is going on.
Unfortunately, these events still happen.
A recent report from Atlassian found that most people spend over 31 hours per month in meetings! 31 hours! No wonder the study also found that people considered around half of these meetings a complete waste of time, with attendees daydreaming, doing other work or complaining.
Having said that, meetings can be an incredibly valuable tool for business owners as they can accelerate decisions, boost morale and interaction amongst your team and refocus strategy and company objectives. To ensure your next meeting is one to be remembered, we have listed 5 rules to follow when planning your next event.
1. Cut down the guest list
When people feel excluded from a conversation, they lose interest. When people feel removed or unaffected by a problem, they tune out. It is imperative when planning a meeting that you only invite people who need to be there. If it is a big company change that involves a large number of people, invite only the department heads who can then relay the relevant information to their team members. Cutting down the number of people in attendance will minimize the distractions and ensure the meeting finishes on time.
2. Prepare your guests
Time is money, and getting through your meeting in the most efficient manner possible is crucial. Instead of wasting time at the beginning of a meeting going over what the key points and topics are, why not plan ahead? Sending out a summary of key points to all attendees is a great idea as it means your guests will come prepared and engaged, resulting in a quick meeting full of good ideas and strategies.
3. Steer to success
As explained earlier, there is nothing worse than one person monopolizing everyone’s time. As the host of the meeting, it is your job to be firm with attendees and ensure the group stays on course and on time. Don’t be afraid to reign in extravagant explanations or long-winded stories, you are the captain and you need to steer the meeting to success.
4. Treat your guests
Now, this won’t be possible for every meeting but on some occasions, it is appropriate to change things up. Take your meeting out of the confines of the office and to a nearby park on a sunny day or a function space at a local hotel or business centre. Taking your team into a new environment can spark creativity and increase the flow of new ideas. If the purpose of the meeting is to celebrate a success story or reveal some exciting news, why not treat your guests to a sit-down lunch or a round at happy hour? This is a sure-fire way to guarantee high attendance.
5. Finish on a high
This is so important! You have put all your energy into planning and hosting a productive team meeting full of great ideas and suggestions and now it is time to reap the benefits. It is imperative to conclude your meeting with a clear strategy on how you are going to implement the ideas discussed at the meeting. You could even go as far as sending a follow-up email outlining what was discussed, the key takeaways and the steps that need to be executed.
Change the way you see meetings and try out these steps today. Meetings are a necessity in the life of a small business owner or manager so why not make the most of them. You might even start to enjoy them!
Have a meeting coming up? We have a range of professional meeting rooms for casual hire in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Contact us today and treat your team to a different meeting experience.