The idea of having multiple meetings within a day can be scary. According to statistics, there are 11 million business meetings held in The United States of America every day. Fifty percent of these meeting is considered a waste of time, yet still costs $37 billion dollars a year.
Apart from the waste of time, meetings are often boring, too. However, it doesn’t have to be like that. Meetings can be efficient and productive. However, it all depends on the planning.
How to Plan an Effective Business Meetings
Outlined below are methods of having efficient and productive business meetings. Let’s jump right in.
Is a Meeting Necessary?
This is the first thing to do before planning any meeting. You have to determine how necessary the meeting really is. If the purpose of the meeting is to share information or discuss a topic, ask yourself if the same information can be shared via email or conference call. If that’s the case, then skip the formal meeting.
Consider rallying people into your office to pass the information across. This will save you a lot of money and time.
Invite People that Need to Be There
Do not invite people to meetings they do not need to attend, you would be wasting their time. Also, you would have to interrupt the meeting halfway through to send them out. That will not be an efficient meeting. Here is how to create a more efficient business meeting.
If you need to invite someone to talk about budget, rather than inviting the whole accounting team, consider inviting just one person. If the others need to be aware of the meeting proceeds, consider writing a summary and sending to them. It saves time and it’s more efficient.
Use Meeting Reminders
One of the ways of planning effective business meetings is by sending reminders to those attending. You can send the reminder out two or three days before the meeting. That way you’ll be able to confirm attendance ahead time. Also, you’ll be able to make necessary changes if key participants cannot make the meeting.
Create an Agenda
The most important part of planning an effective meeting is to create an agenda. Such agenda must contain the objective of the meeting and what you are trying to achieve by organizing the meeting. That’s not all, you also need to indicate the start time and a list of issues to be discussed.
To increase the efficiency, indicate the name of individuals that will be discussing specific areas. Distribute this agenda to all the attendees. Please avoid overly detailed agenda.
Stay on Schedule
Staying on schedule begins with starting the meeting on time. If you have a reputation of not starting meetings on time, people will develop the habit of showing up late for meetings. Next, you must keep your meetings short and simple by sticking with the allotted time.
Stay on topic, do not discuss anything that is outside the agenda. Any off-topic should be treated as a topic for another meeting.
Send a Meeting Summary
Finally, when the meeting is over, remember to send a brief summary of everything discussed. Email the summary to those in attendance and others that were not around but need to be informed.
When you plan effective business meetings, not only would you be saving a lot of money, you would also be saving the time you could use for something else.
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