Planning an Off-Site Business Meeting

Conducting a business meeting is one of the most important events in the business calendar. As a business owner you might need to conduct some meetings with the customer at a peaceful and a calm location, so that the meetings will not have any distractions from your day-to-day business. When conducting such client meetings it is very important for the business to consider certain factors. These factors include the availability of a meeting place with good infrastructure, proper communication to all the attendees well in advance and provision of good quality food to the people attending the meeting.

When one looks for an ideal destination to conduct the meeting, the person should also look for the availability of a meeting place in the destination with the entire required infrastructure such as chairs and tables, proper ventilation, projectors in working condition and provision for working with laptops.

These are only some of the major facilities that are required for meetings. There are other factors that might be minor, but also extremely important to smoothly conduct the meeting. Thus before booking the hall, one should have a checklist of items that needs to be available in the meeting hall. While talking to the meeting hall representative, the business owner can ask for the availability of all the items in the check list.

The business owner should ensure that the meeting schedule is circulated to the target audience some weeks in advance. Complete details including the meeting hall location in the town, landmarks to easily identify the meeting hall, the start time of the meeting and the lunch break and the end time. The meeting attendees also should be informed whether lunch will be served there. The meeting agenda should clearly mention the topics to be discussed and who is going to deliver the speech for that topic.

On the day of the meeting, the person responsible for making the arrangements should reach the meeting place well in advance. The person should be there at least an hour before the meeting starts. By reaching early, the concerned person can cross check whether all the arrangements are in place for the meeting to start on time. There should not be any last minute surprises.

While conducting the meeting, it is important for the participants to strictly adhere to the schedule mentioned. Speakers should not deviate too much from the topic of discussion and should talk only about the topic planned.

Business Meeting Agenda – Valuable Strategies

We will take a look at the agenda for a business meeting. This is the key to an efficient meeting and if badly considered becomes, not only a significant demotivator, but can waste a lot of time.

The meeting agenda:

To start with, you will only need an agenda if a meeting happens. It is simple to begin creating an agenda for a meeting in advance.

The agenda will be circulated at some time to those invited. Mainly for the initial meeting, to fulfill the meeting objectives, make the team as small as required. For regular official meetings the list of attendees should be consistent but could be different for further meetings.

The template:

Many meetings should adhere to a similar style, so employ a template. Features of the agenda might be the following:

Time of the item…

This is the beginning of the agenda item but it may also indicate the duration of the item. This would naturally go into the next item start time. This enables everybody to identify the length of time allotted to the item on the agenda and allows the chairperson to encourage attendees to keep to it.

The time in the agenda should permit an introduction and a review of the discussion at the finish, say 5 minutes in total.

Item title…

It should be included after dialogue and gaining the leader’s (see below) agreement, before producing the agenda. The length of the item should be agreed. Furthermore, the chairperson might ascertain from the leader if there are any expected results that may emerge from the presentation.

Item reason…

This component ought to describe the purpose for incorporating the agenda item and possibly any expected conclusions. This will help concentrate awareness on the major issue and should encourage people to consider it more ahead of the meeting. It enables the chairperson to keep the dialogues on track.

Allowing individuals to reflect more on every item, by illustrating it in this manner, will help to secure added contribution from a broader region than merely from the department of the discussion leader.

The topic leader…

This establishes the person who will guide the discussion of this particular agenda item. The leader has a duty in presenting the argument and defining any conclusion in a summary at the end.

Preparation…

This is an opportunity to determine anything that should be performed before the meeting in support of the agenda item. This is for all attendees and not just for the leader of the dialogue.

Apart from forearming people, and enabling them to effectively contribute in the meeting, it can help to speed up the discussion and thus achieve the outputs for the agenda item more speedily. This can save considerable time and decrease blank and uninterested faces at meetings.

Hence, headings for the agenda template might be ‘time, item topic, purpose, leader and preparation’.

Agenda ideas:

You might want to add additional items to the business meeting agenda apart from the main points for discussion. For example, ‘an introduction’ which could be used to suggest any specific problems but also to reiterate areas of the meeting policy.

You could like to end the meeting with ‘any additional business’. This enables the highlighting of any impromptu concerns but significantly offers a point for the chairperson to thank the attendees for their contribution to the discussions and to agree the date of the next meeting.

Attendee suggestions:

If you must send a replacement, make certain that the chairperson realises it. Offer a justification for your absence and identify any concerns that this action might incur.

If you are unable to turn up, can you present the required data to the chairperson in person? This will guard against using up the time of another person. The chairperson can then introduce the results of the dialogue in the slot for the agenda item.

Make certain that you get a distributed agenda in lots of time to consider additional items in addition to your own.

If you must leave the meeting at a specific time notify the chairperson, who may tell the meeting at the outset, just in case it could influence the presentation of a separate item.

It is just as much the responsibility of the leader of the dialogue to retain focus as the chairperson, particularly when faced with questions that could be wandering from the item purpose. Protracted discussions might be more effectively served by continuing them outside of the meeting.

The leader ought to complete the talk by summing up and spelling out the main points.

When, as an attendee, you are not happy with the format of the meeting, take it up with the chairperson external to the meeting. Don’t disrupt a meeting on a personal campaign.

If you turn up at a meeting go equipped and primed to contribute, and not just on your own agenda topic.

Business Meetings Online – Catch the Wave of the Future

Are you new to business meetings online? If so, you need to get with the program! Holding business meetings online is becoming an accepted, even encouraged, practice in today’s enterprise. Hosting or attending business meetings online is an essential component of business communications.

Today’s online meetings are collaborative affairs. You can share applications and documents, send messages, and even work on the whiteboard. Online meetings are definitely revolutionizing the way people interact. No longer just a business tool, you’ll find religious groups, addiction support groups, and civic groups meeting online.

Several web sites have emerged that allow participants of online business meetings to exchange graphic files and images while eliminating the need for a video cam or web cam. An added bonus is there is no need for you and/or your meeting partners to download cumbersome software before the meeting.

Business meetings online, used appropriately, can save small business owners, and their clients, time and money. Note that I’m not advocating using an online meeting to cold-call or prospect with. First time meetings with potential clients are probably still best held face-to-face. But a follow-up meeting to answer questions? Definitely think about doing it online. Where a phone conference is a “tell” method of selling, the online meeting takes it to the “show-and-tell “method.

Other solid benefits of online business meetings are reduced expenses, higher productivity and increased time. These are mainly accomplished by eliminating travel time and expense. Rather than have the meeting attendees gather in one physical location, the World Wide Web is used to create a virtual meeting place that can be accessed with the proper login credentials.

Online meetings are a secure way to interact with your clients, business partners and team members. This makes them ideal for sales pitches, performance reporting or providing training for other members of your organization. Online meetings make audio communication possible by using VoIP (voice over IP) applications.

Online meetings are idea for organizing small impromptu meetings of fewer than 8 participants. This particularly benefits small businesses where interactions tend to be spur-of-the-moment and include fewer participants than in larger companies.