There is nothing worse than attending, or hosting, a meeting that drags on for over an hour without getting much accomplished. Meetings foster important communication between team members but when they are run inefficiently, the entire team can be left feeling like they’ve wasted their time. Below are our best tips on how to run an efficient and successful meeting:
1. Do I really need to have a meeting?
This is always the first step in planning a meeting. Truly think through if you need to have the meeting or if your problem could get solved with a conversation over lunch or email. If you decide that a meeting is necessary, then proceed.
2. Make a precise plan
Supposedly, Benjamin Franklin once said. “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” and that could not be truer when it comes to meetings. Determine the urgency of the meeting, have a clear purpose, decide who needs to be in attendance and what type of meeting you want to have (in person, over the phone, etc.). Then pick a time, date and location.
If nothing else, I hope you take away this one piece of advice from this blog post: Look at your colleague’s schedules before you schedule the meeting.
If you use Google Calendar or Outlook Calendar, this can be very easy. Just add their calendars to your dashboard and look for an opening. If not, considering sending out a quick survey and where everyone can choose their availability, like on Doodle Poll or Survery Monkey. This will save you from a lot of back and forth later on.
At this time you must also choose a location based on your needs. Are you having a virtual meeting and need a quiet place like the phone booths at OneCoWork? Or are you looking for a meeting room hire in Barcelona for a large group of people? Make sure you have a space that is accommodating to your needs!
3. Invite the right people
Have you ever been to a meeting and your contribution is finished in the first 10 minutes and then you have to spend the next 50 minutes listening to a conversation between coworkers about work that doesn’t concern you? Or have you ever felt like your ideas weren’t being heard?
A meeting should be a time for open communication between all parties involved. You really need to think through who should and should not be included. You don’t want someone to miss out on important information but at the same time, you don’t want to take someone away from more important work if the information isn’t relevant to them.
4. Create an Agenda
When you do not have a clear agenda of the topics that need to be discussed, it is easy to get off-track. Create the agenda a couple of days before the meeting and then send it out to everyone attending the meeting. At this time, ask them if they have anything that they would like to add to it.
Then, you can modify the agenda accordingly and make it more detailed, if necessary. It is best to then print copies for everyone at the meeting, send the agenda over email or have it up on the screen so everyone can see it, follow along and make their own notes on the agenda throughout the meeting.
5. Start on Time (and End on Time)
Nobody wants to wait around for a meeting to start! Send out a calendar invite to everyone before the meeting so that the exact time of the meeting is clear. If you are the host, make sure to get there early and set up so that you can start on time. Attendees should also be respectful and be ready to participate at the starting time.
Be sure to think through how long the meeting will realistically take. You don’t want to compress an hour worth of information into 30 minutes. If the meeting is looking like it will run over, have an open conversation about it. If someone has plans after, they may need to leave but ask for people to stay or schedule a follow-up meeting.
On the other hand, be sure to stop the meeting when it is over. Sometimes you plan a meeting and accomplish everything that you need to in fifteen minutes. Rather than sitting around and just chatting, close the meeting and allow people to leave who have other things to do. Then if you decide to take a break with the new opening in your schedule, you can make that decision.
6. Take Notes
Every person in the meeting should be taking notes, even the leader. It is impossible to remember everything that is said in a meeting and this way you have something to reference later!
Not sure what to take notes on during the meeting? Try following along with the agenda and notating any important points, especially points relevant to you, made about each of the topics. Additionally, be sure to make note of any actions that you may need to take or if you need to follow up on anything at a later date.
7. Send a meeting recap email
The final thing you should do is to send a meeting recap email to all participants. To make thing easy, just take the original agenda and add any notes that you made or fill in important details. Sometimes, it can also be helpful to send the presentation deck to the participants as well if they could benefit from it.
With these tips, you will be able to run your meetings more efficiently and effectively. For more advice on how successfully conduct business operations, check out these blogs: How to Manage Startup Finance; Small Business Tips for Entrepreneurs, Startup Ecosystems: How to Harness the Full Potential, and Business Affirmations and How to Use Them.
If you are looking for a meeting room for hire near Plaça Catalunya, click here.
If you are looking for a meeting room for hire near Marina Port Vell, click here.
OneCoWork Gotic is coming soon - with fully equipped meeting rooms for 3 to 36 people!
Bre Gajewski is a Marketing Intern at OneCoWork, having just graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Alabama, in Public Relations.