Meetings and conferences are often cited as the bane of the office worker’s life, yet every meeting had a purpose when it was first thought of. Prevent your meetings from slipping into a form of dreary procrastination by making them as short and effective as possible. At Milton Hill House, our professional team help organise meetings of all sizes, from a quick eight-person planning session to a multiple-day event with hundreds of attendees. Read on to learn some of our tips and principles for planning successful meetings, or you can view our meeting rooms Oxford here.
Know what success means
Are you trying to make a decision? Inform peers? Demonstrate a new product? If you know what the single main purpose of your meeting is, then you can much more easily embrace suggestions that will enhance the meeting and refuse ones that will make it diffuse, unhelpful or over-long.
Have a clear agenda – and stick to it!
Sending out a detailed agenda before the meeting makes it easier for everyone involved to be fully prepared so that decisions can be made quickly and effectively. However, this only works if you stick to it – be ruthless about keeping to time and avoiding digressions in order to make sure you get through the essentials.
Be selective with your invitations
Even if the meeting is to provide information or demonstrate a new product or service, be selective about who you invite, as if the information isn’t relevant you’ll simply waste attendees’ time and they’ll switch off – or worse, start talking to the person beside them. This is doubly true for decision making meetings.
Make tech the servant not the master
From checking email in the coffee queue to drafting a meeting agenda while sitting in another meeting, technology has made it easier than ever before to get distracted and dissociate from what’s going on around us. Consider a tech ban to help your meeting attendees stay on track, particularly when important decisions need to be made or go to the other extreme by using interactive apps to aid retention and learning.
From thanking guests for coming through sending on learning materials to confirming next actions, there’s always something that needs doing after a meeting. Be sure to follow up with all your attendees to ensure that they – and you – get the most out of the meeting.
Choose the right venue
Whether you need a neutral space to meet a potential client, a large hall for a company-wide announcement or a quiet spot for a board meeting, choosing the venue is critical to the success of the meeting. At Milton Hill House our dedicated events planning team are on hand to answer any questions you have as you plan your meeting and to provide support on the day. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.