Smart Tips to Lead Effective Business Meetings

Leading a business meeting is not as easy as it seems. There are a lot of business meetings which are ill-directed, drawn out and digressive. For this reason, you have to appropriately plan your meeting so that it is firmly structured and you can achieve your goals.

The first thing you have to do to lead your business meeting runs well is to decide whether or not you highly have to call a meeting. You have to consider whether that problem can be resolved by individual. If it can, you don’t have to call a meeting then. On the other hand, if it can’t, you can call a meeting.

The second thing is to determine the attendants. Certain issue may only involve certain individual. You have to consider the individual who has to attend the meeting. It allows the other to keep on doing their tasks. In addition, it will make the discussion more focus.

The third thing is to prepare for the agenda. You have to determine the definite time to start and stop. Also, you have to determine the goals and the main priority of your goals. It will help you to make the meeting clear. In addition, you have to circulate the agenda earlier so that the attendants can make a preparation.

The fourth step is to start your meeting after all are ready. You can start it from the easier issue and then to the heavier issues so that your meeting will be effective. For each issue you want to discuss, you have to make certain allotted time. To help you monitor the time, you can use a timer. Set the discussion at the end of the meeting so that you can cover all the issues in the agenda.

The last thing you have to do is to hand out copies right after the meeting so that you can remind everyone about the result of the meeting and the action plans.

The Purpose of Business Meetings

The current situation and investigation of the GSA’s Las Vegas event has many people up in arms about the investment that companies, associations, and governmental agencies make on hosting business meetings. People who question the purpose and power of business meetings are rattling the cage and making noise just as they did after “Muffin-Gate” in 2011 (the over hyped and twisted story that a DOJ paid $16 per muffin at a meeting coffee break). But there is more to meetings than the costs to produce a meaningful conference.

While it can sound expensive, the realities of hosting events do cost money. Hotels, meals, transportation, professional speakers, entertainment, and other necessary items have associated bills. But when a meeting becomes a “happening” there is value created. Looking at pieces of the puzzle separately can cause some to misinterpret the real power that happens when people gather together. Throughout history man has collected in groups to share the best ideas, learn, grow, entertain, have fun, and get inspired for the future.

Of course there are those who abuse the system, make poor spending decisions, and waste money. I am not condoning bad behavior. Meetings are not something you just “do”… as you need trained professionals to help you organize or you will fall prey to all sorts of mistakes. Too many jump in thinking “how hard can it be?” and wing-it in their planning. A conference has so many parts that you should never expect the right results without the proper planning and experience.

Some people think that the meetings industry is dead. I spoke to one person recently who said she never goes to business meetings, and thus was convinced that conferences were dying. NOT TRUE. Many business meetings are growing and new conferences spring up daily around the world. The meetings industry is a multi-billion dollar business that employs over 1.7 million people in the United States.

The problem with all the discussion about meetings is there is not a clear understanding of the purpose of business gatherings. If you talk to different people you will get different answers. Some think meetings exits to educate. Others to entertain. Networking opportunities are regularly cited as a reason to attend. There are those that believe meetings a perk, while just as many view them as an obligation. Associations can acquire much of their income from conferences and at the same time other companies and agencies have them as expenses.

Every meeting that is planned can have different purposes (even meetings that are put on by the same organization).

Since there is not a single purpose for business meetings there will always be controversy as people tend to only look at things the way they want to see them. Those who want to see meetings as expensive can make that argument, but if you have ever been to a conference where you made a connection that changed the direction of your career, or learned something that inspired you to achieve more… then you know why there will always be business meetings.

All opportunities come from people, and bringing groups together is a way to create more opportunities.

I believe meetings exist for many of reasons, but too often even the organizers cannot tell you the clear purpose. Working to appeal to a variety of people can leave an event too vanilla to become spectacular to anyone. If you cannot clearly articulate the reason to host the meeting, why can you expect attendees to understand the purpose?

Knowing the answer to “why” will make the event better for everyone!

What was the last meeting you attended and why was it great? (or why was it blah?).

Catering for Business Meetings

Many organizations these days ask help from one another in implementing some of their projects. That’s why partner firms will meet with one another to talk about many choices and issues pertaining to their companies. Business meetings could take several hours or even a day or two before company officials decide on essential matters. On this note, it is crucial that you invest in catering that will please your clients. Good catering for business meetings can help build good relationships with your clients and suppliers.

Just like organizing any event, catering for meetings is rarely an easy task. A lot of things must be put into perspective. Such things that should be taken into consideration are the number of guests, their location, drinks and food to be offered, location of the venue, venue set-up and of course, the company’s budget. Smooth running meetings can take place when all things are evaluated. It is therefore important to follow these rules when catering for business meetings:

  1. Number of guests. When catering for business meetings it is extremely vital that you take note of the number of people that will be participating in the meeting. Determining whether a small-group or a large-group will come to the meeting can help you look for venues that can fit all these people and also help you plan the menu.
  2. Budget. Catering for business meetings may be quite pricey. That’s why it is crucial that you request for a budget that will be able to accommodate the needs of your expected number of guests. It is also essential that you spend this budget wisely on things that can make your business meeting a good one.
  3. Location and time. Knowing the location is crucial as some of your expected guests may not be able to come if you choose a location that is too far from their offices. For the venue of the meeting, this could range from a small conference room in your company office or a more spacious function room at some hotel. Therefore, the venue size will depend on your number of guests. Also, knowing the time of your business meeting will help you with the catering preparation.
  4. Food and drinks to be served. It is very important to have a well-planned menu when catering for business meetings, so knowing the number of guests to avoid shortage in food and drinks is critical. Also, there should be a variety of food and drinks so that your guests will have a lot of options.
  5. Setting up. Once you already know the number of your guests, the budget allocation, the location and time and the menu, setting up for your business meeting is the last step. This entails setting-up the venue with decorations, tables and chairs and other equipment necessary for the business meeting.

Catering for business meetings is also demanding much like preparing for an important event if you don’t know where to start. It gives you plenty of control in managing the timeline and the meeting’s environment. It is a way in building a good relationship with your clients and suppliers. Remember the key aspects that you have to put into consideration when catering for business meetings: guests, budget, location and time, menu, and setting up. With all these in mind, you will surely have a business meeting that can smoothly run.