Impressive business meetings can increase morale, improve working relationships, foster mutual respect and increase productivity. Corporates, however big or small, have a lot riding on their business meetings; since conducting meetings is both expensive and time-consuming.
There are many ways to ensure that your meetings are a success. Here are 7 that can take otherwise ordinary meetings and elevate them into turbo-charged events that bring in great results, both internally with your team as well as externally with customers and clients.
First and foremost, select an impressive venue. Rent a meeting room or hire a meeting space at a hotel, you can’t go wrong with these. Along with the usual facilities, amenities and services, look for a space with ample parking, a great location and of course, a good catering service.
Planning the before and after is just as important as planning the core material for the office meeting. If you have a number of attendees, setting up a welcome station in the foyer sets a wonderful starting point. Ending well, maybe with an informal lunch or tea-time snacks is equally important. Book a restaurant or a nearby coffee shop to amp up the impression quotient.
Conducting a meeting requires careful preparation and research. It is only when you are fully informed about the issue you are discussing, that you can handle impromptu questions and consider suggestions. This preparation also goes a long way to building up your confidence, thus ensuring that what you speak is well received.
Staying focused is important. Even if your office meeting is fairly informal, you as the conductor must ensure that you stick to the agenda. Stray ideas that deviate from the original point need to be redirected back to the subject on hand. A conductor who is skilled in subtly managing the flow of discussion usually has the most productive office meetings.
For a meeting to be a success, it must have attentive participation from all the attendees. Successful meetings hence rely on the conductor to pay attention to the audience. Take a coffee break if things are getting too monotonous or boring. Inject some humour or side observations to keep up the level of attentiveness. Try to keep things lively.
Successful meetings are almost never a one-man-show. Active guest participation, a steady inflow of fresh ideas and suggestions, and discussions on differing views make meetings really successful. Research shows that there is higher employee morale and retention in organizations that respect and value employee opinions and ideas. Meetings that encourage participation are a great way for organizations to show their employees such respect.
Successful office meetings are memorable. To make your meetings memorable, try to leave your attendees with a little something that they can take home. Your ‘give-aways’ could be anything from company notepads and pens to coffee or tea blends. You can effectively extend this gifting technique to your business conferences and board meetings too. Make the meeting experience stay with the attendees, even after the meeting has ended.