Thursday 19th November 2015

In today’s fast-paced, agile business environment, organizing a meeting can be extremely challenging. Simple tasks such as coordinating people’s time, getting the right size room, having the necessary equipment and managing communication functions are just some of the basic frustrations that organizations experience on a daily basis.

The way that companies work, communicate and conduct day-to-day business continues to evolve in a digital age, however, getting the basics right for bringing people together for meetings is still important. So, here are our 6 simple steps to organizing a successful meeting.

Step 1: Do you really need a meeting?

Too many times, business meetings are scheduled unnecessarily. It’s not unusual to find yourself in a meeting where a simple communication could have been all that was required. A scenario where multiple stakeholders are needed to regularly communicate and share information such as a large project, the key to success is efficient planning. How many stakeholders are involved? How often do they need to meet? What is the structure of the meeting? and, what are the objectives?

Not only will this enable you to work more effectively but you will save people’s time, money – especially if meeting face to face requires travel, and spend more time focusing on the things that matter, like delivering the project. Read our bonus blog 3 simple steps to managing a meeting for some extra top tips.

Step 2: Who needs to attend?

As strange as this sounds, not everyone who attends a meeting needs to be there. All too often, meetings are canceled, moved or simply never get arranged because people who don’t have to be in attendance just want to be there, causing delays and frustration all round.

So, when arranging your meeting, decide who the key stakeholders are, who are the required attendees and those who are optional. To help support your optional people feel more comfortable about not having to be present, make sure that you have comprehensive meeting notes and minutes so that updates can be provided after the event.

To find out more about our top tips on who to invite to a meeting why not read Who should attend your meeting?

Step 3: How much time do you need?

How long should a meeting last? is a key issue to get right. When arranging meetings, people tend to get stuck with setting the duration as either an hour or half an hour as a minimum. Generally, most people’s workdays tend to fall into seven and a half hours, meaning that on a busy day, three one-hour meetings will diminish their workday by half, leaving little time to settle into getting other jobs done and taking a break.

If you are small business with limited meeting room options, this also puts a strain on the utilization of these rooms and they become fully booked with just a handful of meetings.

Statistics show the average length of a meeting has increased by 10% in the last 15 years; the average duration of a meeting is now between 31 to 60 minutes. – How long should a meeting be?

Before booking, look at the purpose of the meeting and set the time appropriately. If your meeting is a short, snappy update such as a ‘stand up’, keep it to ten or fifteen minutes. If you have a conference call that may take slightly longer than half an hour, don’t set an hour, plan for 45 minutes instead. You’ll be surprised at how much time and availability you will free up by being vigilant around meeting duration.

You might like to read: How long should a meeting be?

Step 4: What do you need from your meeting room?

Whether you are arranging a simple update meeting, brain storming for that next big project, or presenting to the board, consider what you will need from your meeting room including equipment and environment. If you are brainstorming, make sure you have a whiteboard in the room or a flip chart available to take notes, draw diagrams, and most importantly, pens that work!

If you are presenting at a meeting where senior staff or board members will be present, make sure that the correct equipment is available for you to present with confidence and that the room itself is representative of the importance of the occasion.

Having the right technology in the room is vital to achieving your goals, find out more by read “What do you need from your meeting room

Step 5: How to Incorporate global attendees

Modern business operates without boundaries with staff, stakeholders and services based across the globe. As a result, business meetings are no longer just a face-to-face event, bringing people into meetings wherever they are via conference call, VOIP or video conferencing. If you are arranging a meeting that requires this accessibility, here are some ideas on what you need.

  • Will you be presenting? Try GoToMeeting for good quality video and recording.
  • Will you be brainstorming? For reliable, user friendly screen sharing tools, try Zoom or Skype for Business
  • How will you share the notes and presentations from the meeting?  For files of all sizes, try internet file sharing services like Dropbox or WeTransfer


Step 6: Is there a solution that can help my business manage meetings more effectively?

Yes. Scheduling meetings worldwide, ordering equipment, ensuring that rooms are used efficiently and cost effectively can all be managed with one product.

Meeting room booking solutions offer businesses the opportunity to create a culture of better meeting management, insight into efficiency and cost, and create a modern work space with touch screen devices that give users immediate access to information real time.

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