Corporate meetings historically have a bad rap. They often start late, drag on, and have no clear purpose. Attendees may start to lose interest quickly and engagement is often limited at best. However, the reason that most meetings fail is not due to the meeting itself, but rather poor preparation and management. Learn how to host a productive corporate meeting and achieve the desired results.
1. Establish a Clear Objective
Before scheduling a meeting, it’s important to understand the purpose for why it’s being held. Prepare for the meeting ahead of time by identifying meeting goals. Share these goals with participants so that they can arrive prepared with ideas and discussion points. The objective of the meeting will also set the tone, whether formal or informal. Preparing for a corporate meeting may also involve creating a theme, gathering marketing materials, and determining if there is a need for post-event follow-up resources or activities.
2. Choose a Meeting Location Wisely
When it comes to hosting a productive corporate meeting, it’s all about location. Corporate events and meetings require a large, collaborative workspace that allows all participants to sit comfortably. The space should be stocked with all the supplies you may need during the meeting, such as a whiteboard, post-it notes, and sharpies. It should also be equipped with technology for innovative presentations or slideshows. Meeting room rentals are an excellent option for businesses that lack office space or onsite meeting rooms.
3. Limit the Number of Attendees
Some businesses make the mistake of inviting everyone within an organization to attend corporate meetings. However, this is often unnecessary and results in wasted time that could be spent on other core projects. Prioritize meeting invites to people who are needed to achieve key goals and initiatives. This best practice will make the meeting efficient, easier to manage and a more interactive experience for those in attendance.
4. Define the Timeframe of the Meeting
A corporate meeting that should have lasted just 20 minutes can suddenly drag on for hours. Without an estimated timeframe in mind and a predefined goal for the meeting, a meeting that should be quick and efficient can become extensive and unproductive. Review the discussion points for the meeting, calculate how long it will take to meet these goals, and respect the timeframe with effective facilitation. If certain stakeholders are not able to attend or participants are unprepared, postpone the meeting to a different time or date.
5. Stick to a Predetermined Agenda
With a clear objective in mind, it becomes easier to set an agenda for the meeting that includes important details like who will attend, their roles and responsibilities during the meeting, and the amount of time needed to discuss each item of business. The agenda should also define where the meeting will be located, the date and time of the meeting, and what pre-work is required prior to the meeting date. Having an agenda will help all participants stay focused, come prepared and properly guide meeting discussion.
6. Provide Attendees with Refreshments
There is more to meeting preparation than just planning the meeting content. It’s also important for hosts to ensure that attendees are comfortable and engaged. Provide attendees with a tasty food and beverage selection that they can be easily accessed before, during, and after the meeting. Roam meeting room rentals in Atlanta offer delicious, curated menus from preferred vendors that offer both individually boxed and packaged goods and catering station options for a delicious meeting experience. There is no food or beverage minimum and bar services are available.
7. Encourage Participation During the Meeting
One of the biggest challenges during corporate meetings is that more outspoken personalities tend to account for the bulk of communication. It is important to give everyone an opportunity to speak their mind and share their opinions. There are several ways to accomplish this, such as asking each person to come to the meeting prepared with an idea. Apps like Candor can be useful for encouraging participants to share their thoughts prior to the meeting. Breakout sessions and silent brainstorming activities can help spark discussion.
8. Eliminate Distractions and Interruptions
Too many distractions or interruptions during corporate meetings can cause attendees to get off track and lose focus. Start by enforcing a no smartphone rule that discourages employees from checking their email, social media, and text notifications during meetings. Ask attendees to put their phone on silent or leave it in a basket at the door. Choosing the right location can also help eliminate distractions and interruptions, such as too much noise. Office space rentals provide a quiet and distraction-free environment for small meetings or one-on-ones.
9. Find Ways to Break the Ice
If you’re hosting a meeting where the attendees do not know one another, it’s important to start with activities to break the ice. Speed-meeting is an effective way for attendees to get to know one another. During a speed-meeting, each person has 15 seconds to introduce themselves to another person before moving onto the next person. Fun games and interactive challenges can also help break the ice. Also, be sure to provide all attendees with name tags to make it easier to address each person by name.
10. Follow Up with Attendees Afterwards
It’s common for attendees to suddenly remember information or come up with a new idea once the meeting has finished. Be sure to follow up with attendees in the hours or days following the meeting. These follow ups can also be useful for keeping important messages at the forefront of attendees’ minds. Consider scheduling an email sequence to go out shortly after the meeting completes.
Rent Flexible Meeting Space in Atlanta
Corporate meetings can help increase engagement, boost collaboration, and open new opportunities for personal growth. Roam makes it easy to schedule and host corporate meetings with spaces that accommodate between 2 and 250 attendees. To learn more about this comprehensive workspace solution, schedule a tour today.