More often than not, attendees complain about meetings being boring or irrelevant to them. That’s why meeting planners need to properly prepare for the meeting so that everyone invited is on the same page and finds the meeting to be effective. Here are five steps that meeting planners can follow to guarantee a successful meeting agenda.
Make a Clear Objective
Before you send out invitations and reserve meeting space, take a few moments to think about the objective of the meeting. Is there an end result you’re hoping to get from this meeting? Make sure that the objective is clearly identified in your meeting invite so that attendees are all on the same page and can add ideas about what needs to be discussed prior to the meeting.
Consider Who to Invite
When sending out a meeting invite, think about who really needs to be in attendance to avoid wasting anyone’s time. At the other hand, don’t forget anyone either. If you’re making an announcement, make sure everyone who will be affected is at the meeting to avoid rumors being spread or someone feeling left out of the discussion.
Follow a Schedule
Send out the invite at least three days in advance so that attendees can provide feedback about what needs to be discussed at the meeting. Then, create a schedule by prioritizing the topics of discussion. Keep the agenda to less than five topics, and make sure to follow a specific time schedule to avoid the meeting running late.
Allow Everyone to Have an Equal Voice
If you notice that someone is speaking too often or for too long, it is your job as the meeting coordinator to make sure everyone’s voice is heard in the allotted time you have. You can simply tell the person that you appreciate his or her input but that you also need input from the rest of the group. Stating ground rules about open discussions beforehand also helps get everyone on the same page.
Send a Follow-up Email
It’s really easy for attendees to forget decisions made in a meeting as soon as they get back to their desks. As the meeting planner, send out a follow-up email within 24 hours of the meeting to highlight key decisions that were made and who would be held accountable for those decisions. Let’s say the group decided to email a client about a specific topic. Who was supposed to send out that email? And was anyone else involved in getting information to that person? These decisions need to be thoughtfully laid out to avoid any confusion about what was discussed in the meeting.