Our top tips for more productive meetings
There’s nothing worse than walking away from a meeting and thinking it was a total waste of time. Meetings should be productive and participants should leave feeling happy that they’ve accomplished something. Here’s some of our top tips for how you can make your meetings more effective and productive.
Meeting room hire
– When planning a meeting one of the first questions you’ll need to ask yourself is where to have it. If you choose to hire a meeting room make sure it fits all of your needs and those of your participants. For example, you may want to look for a location that offers catering services. Having access to drinks and snacks will help keep your participants happy and engaged. If you want your meeting to start on time and run smoothly, you should look for a business centre that is easily accessible, with good parking facilities on site or nearby. Technology can also make or break a meeting, so be sure to choose a location with a professional team who can help you get set up quickly and who can also step in to help should you need it.
Set an agenda in advance and stick to it!
– Agendas help people stay focussed and help to avoid conversations from going off topic. Always have an agenda and distribute it to your participants at least 24 hours in advance to give them a chance to prepare. You should also announce any objectives at the beginning of the meeting so that people are aware of what needs to be accomplished.
Your agenda should detail exactly what will be covered and discussed with an allotted time frame for each section. You may also want to ask that your participants come prepared with any questions, ideas or points that they would like to add.
Start and finish your meetings on time
– Punctuality is one major contributor to the success of a meeting. Studies have shown that the later a meeting begins, the less productive it will be. Starting meetings on time fosters productivity and makes a good first impression to your participants, showing them that you value their time. Moreover, when people are given an exact time limit for meeting objectives, they are more likely to work harder in order to accomplish them.
Set a timer and schedule regular breaks
– Regular scheduled breaks increase attendee participation and satisfaction. For meetings that last 2 hours or more, make sure to schedule a 15-30 minute break at least every 90 minutes. If it is possible, make sure that participants have access to tea, coffee and snacks to give them a change of atmosphere which will leave them feeling refreshed and ready to get back to work when the break is over.
Finish the meeting with actionable tasks
– You should never end a meeting without allocating tasks to the participants. Leaving a meeting feeling confused is never good, so dedicate 10 minutes at the end of your session to assign tasks to your participants. Be clear on objectives and make sure all of your participants understand the task or tasks they’ve been given and their deadlines.