What are some of the essentials of conducting an effective business meeting?
- A well-developed meeting agenda
- Suitable and accommodating venue
- Appropriate selection of participants
- Established ground rules for meetings
Regardless of whether you think your business meeting was carried out successfully or not, make sure to survey your participants to know the aspects to improve. Indeed, every meeting or gathering has to be improved even if they yield positive results. There is no one template for all business meetings. An effective business meeting depends on the plan developed for its particular purpose.
You must ask yourself the goal of the business meeting before you can create a plan that tailor-fits its requirements. You do not only satisfy your participants, but you produce the end results you are aiming for. Here are some tips for conducting an effective business meeting.
A Well-Developed Meeting Agenda
Prevent the instances of participants dozing off or describing the meeting as a waste of time by developing a concrete meeting agenda. When you create an agenda for the meeting, it must be specific and measurable. Meaning, the presentation or proposals must be understandable and clear. Any data that is not related to the purpose of the meeting is deemed unnecessary. Take note that you must value the time of the participants. They may have canceled other important matters to attend your meeting. With that, give them a concise presentation and make it worthwhile.
Focus the meeting agenda on your objective. It is better to only have less than three objectives so the participants will not be overwhelmed with the information you wish to present to them. If the purpose of the meeting is for performance review, do not inject other business aspects far related to the purpose. Distinct purposes require different approaches and different sets of audiences.
Suitable and Accommodating Venue
More than the budget allocated for the venue, there are other significant things to consider. From taking into account the total number of attendees to the venue’s appeal and the target audience. The venue must promote your business’ corporate image as well as embody the correct impression to guests.
Venues like the World Trade Center Metro Manila can provide you with the most suitable room that corresponds to the purpose of your meeting or conference. Other factors to consider and determine are accessibility, availability, size, facilities, and cost of the location.
Appropriate Selection of Participants
Refer to your agenda to narrow down the participants you want to invite to the meeting. If the meeting is about an announcement affecting everyone in the office, then it is important to list down and have everyone confirm their attendance. On a different note, if the meeting only concerns certain people, there is no need to invite the entire office. It can be costly to include people on the list with no direct concerns or contributions to the matter at hand.
The best example would be a meeting for market penetration discussion. You must select those who are directly affected by the purpose of the meeting. With that, marketing, advertising, finance, and R&D departments or teams must be present in the meeting. The marketing department is directly concerned with the discussion of penetrating a certain market segment. The R&D that does all the research process required for the project. At least a representative of the finance department should also be present to align the expenses with the running capital of the company.
Established Ground Rules For Meetings
A well-planned agenda can be ruined by participants who fail to acknowledge basic ground rules for meetings. With that, you must be able to cultivate specific ground rules. These rules are the ingredients for conducting a seamless business meeting. Like the agenda, you must include the ground rules of the meeting in the same invitation email or mail to be sent to the participants.
The clarity of your ground rules will determine the actions of the participants. Here are some of the basic ground rules you must let your participants know before and on the day of the event.
You must be able to relay to your attendees that you value time. Allow them a grace period. If there will be some attendees arriving late despite the allowance of time, start the meeting immediately. It is important that you give credit and respect to those who arrived on time.
At the beginning of the meeting, encourage the attendees to participate, especially in the open forum and discussion part. A meeting with proactive attendees can yield a better end result.
Above all else, you must establish a respectful atmosphere during the meeting. Make sure to remind the attendees that you value respect for the duration of the entire meeting.
Avoid the pitfalls of an average meeting by planning ahead of time with significant factors to take note of. Not all meetings are golden ones wherein energy resounds the entire hall and positive results are derived. More often than not, meetings end up being lackluster where everyone is not paying attention and doing other work.
With that, an effective business meeting consists of an agenda, a conducive location, and properly established ground rules. Let your guests know that they are valuable and so is their time. You will be surprised by the amount of respect you can gain for yourself as the planner and for the company.