Four Things to Consider When Planning a Meeting

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Last week I touched on the topic of having a Plan B prepared for your meeting, but do you have a Plan A?

That may sound like a silly question, but it happens. Are agendas created and sent out? Are materials printed? Are your ice breakers prepped and ready to go? When you have a Plan A, it ensures your meeting will be efficient, productive, and organized. Flying by the seat of your pants is not the approach you’ll want to take when planning a successful meeting. If it is….maybe you shouldn’t be having the meeting, until you’re prepared.

Here are a few things to consider in your Plan A planning:

#1–Prepare An Agenda: Agendas MUST be prepared ahead of your meeting. Agendas should be emailed out to your staff at least a couple days ahead of time so the team is prepared. How can the team come prepared if they don’t have an agenda, or know the topics of the meeting? If you’ve taken anything away from my blog, it’s to always have an agenda! For more details on this topic check out my blog post, Have An Agenda.

#2–Prepare Your Materials: Whether you have handouts, a powerpoint presentation, objects/materials for an icebreaker or breakout session, these materials need to be prepped before hand. Don’t wait until the morning of the meeting to gather all the materials, you’ll be rushed and unprepared. Looking cool and collected when your team arrives gives off a much better vibe than being frazzled and disorganized. It’s a good idea to create a meeting preparation checklist, in order to ensure that all necessary equipment is ready to go.

#3–Be Tech Ready: Maybe you have a YouTube video to show, a video conference to set up, a laptop to hook up for a presentation, or just an mp3 player to turn on for some background music. Whatever technology you’re setting up it’s best to be prepared. Bring adaptors, an extension cord, power cord for laptop, extra USB with your presentation; always be ready! Checking with your facility is also a great way to be prepared. As you are scheduling your meeting or touring the facility, bring along a meeting planning checklist to make sure the facility meets the technology needs of your meeting. Here at sparkspace we provide all of the above, but not all facilities will have these items easily available. For more on this subject check out my blog post called Be Tech Ready.

#4–Arrive Early: Know where you are going. Know where to park. If you are facilitating, you MUST arrive early to your meeting facility. This allows time for any technical issues that need to be worked out, extra copies that need to be printed, gives you time to become familiar with your surroundings, etc. If you’re having trouble finding the space, or the parking garage this can cut into your prep time, so also make sure you know where you are going and you know where to park. 

There nothing that makes a stronger statement to your team than being prepared and efficient, so making sure your Plan A is in place is critical for having your Best Meeting Ever.

What do you always include you YOUR Plan A? Drop a comment below and share your ideas!

 

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Here you'll find ideas, tips, and techniques to help make your next offsite your best meeting yet.We've learned a lot during the 15,000+ meetings we've hosted, and we never stop learning (and sharing) because meetings and teams are always evolving. Be sure to leave comments and join the conversation!