Meetings, love them or hate them, it's how most of us get things done. Even with the increased use of Zoom and Teams by businesses, face to face is still the easiest way to get everyone together to solve challenges, update and plan for the future. So how do you keep everyone involved and ensure that in-person meetings are justified and productive? We’ve put together our top tips to have a successful meeting.
This goes without saying, but a good agenda, shared in plenty of time is the key to running an effective meeting. Detailing clearly the purpose of the meeting will ensure attendees are suitably prepared for the relevant discussions. This also provides structure to the meeting and prevents conversations from going too far off track.
Go off site
Of course we’re going to recommend our conference spaces, but there’s something about attending a meeting not in your workplace that makes you more prepared. Perhaps it’s the fact that you can’t just pop back to your desk for that paperwork or that short drive where your subconscious is thinking about what you need to achieve and leaving what you were working on behind.
Naturally you won’t get any interruptions whilst in the meeting but you also get the opportunity to reflect on the discussion and the outcome before you get back to your desk and your normal workload kicks back in.
Choose a relevant meeting space
Are you having a quick coffee and catch up, or is it a full company conference. Obviously, this will affect the size and type of space you choose for your meeting.
- Getting there - Consider how easy it is to travel to the venue and also if there is enough parking to accommodate everyone.
In regards to the meeting place itself, think about:
- Colours and lighting - It works well to have neutral colours and good lighting. This creates a cheery and positive atmosphere without providing too many distractions.
- Layout - Does the room have windows for a plentiful supply of natural light and fresh air? Consider how people will sit for example, A U shape of desks works well for smaller meetings allowing easy interaction and sharing information.
- Furniture - Ensure people feel comfortable. Longer meetings require chairs with good back support, whereas an informal chat or catch up works well when the seating mirrors that with sofas, or lounge chairs.
- Facilities - If you need to make a presentation, check that the space has the correct facilities. There’s nothing worse than trying to get the technology to work while you have a group of people waiting and watching. Make sure there are enough plug sockets and that the wifi is easy to access and can be used by multiple people at once.
Be different. This is the best way to keep people interested and involved. Our brains form better memories if our experiences are based on emotion, novelty or the importance/ relevance to you. When thinking of previous meetings and conferences you’ve attended it's highly likely you remember a thought-provoking motivational speech, a great conversation with a new associate over a lunch break at an event, or the day you determined your 5 year plan, rather than last month’s sales meeting!
There are a number of ways to do this including holding your meeting at a neutral, off site venue so that people remember the location. This helps your meeting stand out and not merge with others.
Create a plan of action
Most meeting minutes tend to document what was said and by who but there is less emphasis on what you’re going to do about it. Make sure that each agenda item has action points that are agreed and prioritised. These points should be SMART – Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound. Ensure that these ‘to do’s’ are fairly shared throughout the team so that no one is overloaded as this can be demotivating and the actions are unlikely to get done.
Here at The Pinewood our clients tell us that the combination of our location, facilities and service is what makes us the perfect conference and training venue. We know you’re here to get things done, so you can be assured that our experienced team will ensure everything runs smoothly, so you can concentrate on the business at hand.
Why not have a browse of our selection of meeting rooms and find the perfect venue for you.