Meetings 101: How To Find A Time That Suits Everyone

Meeting Tips Feature

Whether it’s to brainstorm ideas for an upcoming campaign, run through a proposal before presenting to external clients, or review the year’s strategy and results, when organising a meeting with your team, how many times have you heard ‘No, sorry, that time doesn’t work for me’ or ‘I can’t make it that day’, or something similar? Organising a meeting is a tough task.

To help make sitting down with your team, in the same room, at the same time, easier, here’s an effective meeting checklist:

1. Identify the purpose of the meeting

What’s the meeting about? Do you need to make a decision, solve a problem, brainstorm a new plan, or talk through a new initiative? Identifying what the meeting is all about is the most important step.

2. Identify the value of the meeting

Make sure you really need a meeting, ask yourself; what will participants gain from the meeting? If it’s last minute (meaning participants won’t have time to prepare anything) or another method of communication would work just as well, it’s better not to schedule and send meeting invitations.

3. Determine the meeting type

Will it be in-person, a conference call, or video chat? Match your meeting type to its context. For example, a status update meeting could be done on a conference call or video chat whereas your team might want to meet in-person for an innovation, decision-making or problem-solving meeting.

4. Consider your participants locations

Where are your meeting participants located? It’s important that you determine where your key participants are located the day you want to have the meeting as their schedule and time zone will need to be factored in.

5. Decide where and when to hold the meeting and confirm availability of the space

The meeting space helps set the tone of the meeting so it’s important to find the right room for your meeting, be it informal or formal. For an informal meeting, a small room with the chairs set up in a circle is ideal. For a formal meeting, it’s best to book a conference room.  Also, don’t forget about those participants that are attending virtually – you’ll need to make sure your equipment allows everyone to hear, participate, or see people in the room.

6. Prepare and give your participants time to prepare

Once you have the date, time and location confirmed and it’s in the diary (never to be rescheduled), draft the presentation and the agenda and send any reports, pre-reading, or requests for materials that may require preparation from participants.