Business meetings are necessary for getting things accomplished. A well-planned meeting can achieve many of your business goals and keep your audience attentive and focused.

Planning The Meeting

Here are some steps you can take to make your meeting a success.

Define the meeting.

Make it clear what the meeting is for, what you hope to accomplish and what part of the business the meeting will affect. Don’t try to achieve too much in one meeting, keep focused on a few key topics. Make sure everyone goes in with an understanding of why they are there.

Prepare presentations.

Design all presentations ahead of time so your information is organized, understandable and easily viewable. If you have printed sheets, make sure you bring sufficient copies for all in attendance. If you use overheads or video presentations make them easy to view, concise and informative. No one likes to drag through a long, boring, slow presentation.

Budget the meeting time.

List out your topics or presentations and allocate time for each. Allow time for questions and discussions. Don’t waste unnecessary time in one area and end up cutting other topics short, or causing the meeting to exceed its scheduled time. Be on point, succinct, and efficient.

Have an accurate agenda.

Create a layout of the meeting and distribute it to all who will be in attendance. Ask all participants to review the agenda ahead of time and prepare any questions, discussions or contributions they may need to make. If they will be creating a presentation, discuss with them the amount of time they will need and budget it into the schedule. An accurate agenda makes a smooth, efficient meeting.

Include appropriate people.

Be sure that all pertinent individuals are in attendance. Leaving out an important decision-maker or someone with specific knowledge of the topic may cause the meeting to stall, and require scheduling another meeting before continuing. Be complete.

Coordinate the scheduling.

When planning the meeting, confirm with all required attendees that they are available and committed to attend. If they will be contributing to the agenda, decide how much time they will need.

Choose a functional location.

Determine the best location to hold the meeting. Consider the number of people to be in attendance, the need for presentations or video projectors, or for a microphone system if necessary. If you are in the Cape Cod area and need a professional, full-featured, economical solution, consider a CapeSpace meeting room. Choose a room with the features you need and book it online. Selecting a suitable location creates a healthier communication environment and makes the meeting much more effective.

Note Your Results

Once your meeting is completed, make a few notes about how things went. Document what worked well, and identify places in the planning where you fell short. Learn from the mistakes, and make your next meeting even better.