Before, At, And After The Meeting
Here’s a primer that will take you through the A-Z of choosing meeting venues, planning, going through the real thing, and following up. Here we go:
BEFORE THE MEETING
Everybody must be prepared for the meeting – not just the organizer. The organizers must determine the meeting’s objective. The meeting’s agenda must be clear as well. It should be well-structured and there must be enough breathing space for all attendees. The attendees must know what is expected at the meeting and what they will learn from it. This is why it is important to send the meeting documentation in advance to all meeting attendees.
Every attendee must read the information and understand every word in it. If the attendee is not clear about anything, he must question the meeting coordinator/organizer. Attendees must demand clear and concise agenda and documentation.
AT THE MEETING
The attendees must be told why they’re here and they must know what is expected from them before the start of every session.
The meeting should work on the serious items at the beginning. The interactive sessions can be towards the end.
Organizers must make it a point to recap the last session before starting a new session. Each session has a specific purpose and the meeting goal is a sum of all these parts and so it’s best to encapsulate each session before moving forward.
Everything does not tick like clockwork at a meeting. If things go very well without a hitch, consider yourself very lucky. There will be gaffes and glitches and you must be alert and watchful of these. You will have to engage in a whole lot of firefighting at the meeting.
Meeting venues can be a whole lot of fun as well, and attendees must get some time to hang out in between the meeting – they will have fun and feel motivated about the whole show.
You must have notes taken at the meeting. Discussion items, comments, action items, humor, concerns, etc., must be noted and worked upon after the meeting.
AFTER THE MEETING
Create a document that encapsulates all the meeting highlights, action items, key notes of every discussion, minutes, etc. Distribute this document to the management and the speakers, and if required, email it to all the attendees. You must ensure that all action items are followed up and you may have to call the speakers or a few participants to ensure that all the action items are attended to.
This step is as necessary and important as choosing a meeting venue.
These are the essential items to be executed before, at and after the meeting.
Darla Corner is an event coordiator and marketing specialist who like to blog about tips for meeting planners. She recommends using a free service for finding meeting venues in your area at: http://www.empowermint.com