Planning Is the Key to Successful Meetings

Meetings are essential to communicate with businesses, employees, and investors. In addition, they are useful tools to impart knowledge and educate on topics critical to business. However, meetings are often long and uneventful, leading to unproductive and time-consuming events that require follow-up meetings to complete the work. Break the cycle and learn how a meeting facilitator and planning help create successful meetings.
Entertaining meetings are more successful

To encourage meeting participants to produce results easily and quickly, the meeting has to be engaging. Even if the information is widely known, there are several ways the meeting can entice participants to pay closer attention to the topics. Planning the conference is the ultimate key to engagement.
1. Identify the objective of the meeting. Know what needs to be discussed and concluded, who is speaking, and the main goal.
2. Find a suitable location. For meetings within the office, a comfortable place that is out of client earshot and view is acceptable. For example, hotel conference rooms can be neutral grounds for business meetings.
3. Agree on the timing. Confirm the date and time of the meeting several times beforehand so no one is absent or late because of scheduling conflicts.
4. Know who needs to be there and who doesn’t. A meeting about new IT software doesn’t involve the receptionist, and high-level business meetings don’t necessarily need the IT department. Each employee, client, and investor has a level of interest in the business and needs to be informed according to that level.
5. Develop meeting ideas according to the meeting type. For example, employees engage more with food and fun, whereas business meetings are more informational and question-related. A discussion over a formal dinner for businesses to discuss relations may lead to closer business relationships.
6. Create an agenda and identify the appropriate tools to complete the meeting flawlessly. Know what gear is needed for speakers and to make the presentations. Have available the proper tools to engage the participants. That would involve computers for presentations, mobile device apps for references, microphones, music, and even employee gifts.
7. Set up the meeting space ahead of time. Ensure all necessary documents are copied, presentation equipment works, and gifts or prizes are present. The mood of the room will carry into the spirit of the meeting.
8. Let participants know how to interact. Even CEOs need directions on when to ask questions and how. Allow participants to voice questions and opinions while staying on track to meet the goals of the meeting.

A facilitator’s role in meetings

Leading a meeting can be a daunting task. Planning takes the guesswork out of where and when things are to happen. A facilitator can guide the discussion to a conclusion while encouraging engagement and meeting goals. Having a planned agenda and knowing how to push the topics back to the goal gently is a key ability of a good facilitator. However, the work before and after the meeting displays the difference between a great facilitator and a meeting moderator.
A facilitator’s planning process is the key.

Having a facilitator who creates a written checklist of all the meeting steps and can flawlessly execute the idea while accounting for delays is essential. Flowing from meeting conception into meeting follow-up requires a great deal of planning minute details. From participant lists, locations, topics, engagement, mood-setting, and moderating the tone of the discussion to the follow-up and completion of the meeting’s goals, all of these things take a great deal of planning.

Avoid long and unfulfilling meetings by hiring a facilitator for your next appointment. Allow them to take your session off your hands, so you can focus on meeting the goals instead of planning the meeting itself.