- An important factor that is often overlooked when planning meetings is choosing a venue for an event.
- Take some time to expound on each objective and let the members of the meeting come up with various ways in which each will be addressed. Important also is to set a time duration for tackling each objective.
- Let’s face it, a meeting that just follows a single predictable course is bound to get boring.
Meetings of today have become so generic and boring that most employees sulk at the mere mention of one. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Meetings can be a powerful tool that streamlines productivity and boost the efficiency of an organization. But that will depend on how you run your meeting from the introductory phase to closure. So here are some useful tips on how to plan a successful conference and meeting.
1. Pick the right setting
A meeting and a conference are quite different. An important factor that is often overlooked when planning meetings is choosing a venue for an event. For most people, the organization’s conference room works just fine.
However, there are those high profile conferences that may require you to rent a meeting room. In such cases, try to know more about the persons attending the meeting to ensure that their needs are met by the venue in question.
Check for important amenities and logistics meant for making meetings and conferences more productive. Refreshments, equipment for special interest groups, and accessibility are among the most obvious ones.
2. Invest in your opening
You’ve probably prepared for the meeting, laid out the meeting objectives well and ready to dive into business. All that effort can go to waste if you get off to a poor start. Before you conduct a meeting and conference, it is crucial to take some time and lighten the mood around the room.
Warm-up to the participants with clever but concise small talk. It could be based on recent advancements on a current project or the acknowledgment of a particular employee or team’s achievement. This way, everyone is at ease and is brought onboard effectively.
3. Make the objectives Known from the Start
Most meetings become unproductive due to the tendency of participants to veer off the subject matter. It is therefore important that you make the objectives clear from the onset to guide the discussion through to the end.
Take some time to expound on each objective and let the members of the meeting come up with various ways in which each will be addressed. Important also is to set a time duration for tackling each objective. This will keep you in check whenever the meeting takes a different course.
4. Adopt a participatory approach
You may have a program that guides how a meeting will flow, who will talk and when. Such meetings where a select few, mostly leaders, get the most time often leave some members neglected are likely to fail. As the leader in the meeting, be curious to listen to what others have to say.
If you find that some members are particularly quiet, award them time and try to find out their take on the matter. Take charge and stop those who tend to rumble on for too long. Eventually, ensure that your summary covers the important points raised by each person according to the objectives at hand.
5. Tread carefully with open-ended questions
Let’s face it, a meeting that just follows a single predictable course is bound to get boring. Participants will get distracted at some point especially after tackling a solid point. Therefore, breaking it down a bit by providing time for questions is necessary.
In the query session, it is natural for some questions, especially the open-ended ones, to evoke issues that might not be directly related to the objective at hand. When that happens, take control and ask the participant to link the question or response back to the topic being discussed.
Right from identifying the right conference room space for rent to preparing objectives, a lot goes into making meetings successful. With these tips, you can rest assured that your meeting or conference will meet the set objectives.