A Meeting Planner Can Help Organize Your Business Meetings

Private-sector employees have now to attend plenty of meetings regularly. These people are aware that a badly planned meeting can cause plenty of stress apart from being boring. In order to plan a proper meeting and avoid being tedious companies that lack the organizational skills can use the help of a meeting planner. These people play a dual role by being the organizer as well as the facilitator for the meetings. Generally, there is a feeling among companies that organizing a meeting is not difficult and all that needs to be done is arrange a few chairs and invite the staff. Unfortunately, these habits can lead to a meeting becoming repetitive and over a period of time, the staff members may consider such activities as unnecessary.

A meeting planner will work differently and will, in the first place get all information necessary from the company about the meeting. He or she will then configure the area to suit the type of meeting planned. Setting up the room before the event is something, which they will be looking forward to. Such events deliver the best results when people attending the same can get their message across and therefore, a circular roundtable arrangement is best suited. Configuring a room like a classroom will make it seem that lectures are being delivered and will make the meeting look less interesting.

The planners will also look into the factors of organizing the get together in a proper way. They will have an agenda prepared apart from handouts or pamphlets that may be required. A tangible guide for the business meeting will be prepared to help both the speakers, and the listeners remain on the same page. Such factors will help the meeting progress smoothly.

Livening up the meeting is another factor that will also be considered. It is a fact that most business meetings tend to get repetitive over a period of time. Therefore, some distractions are necessary in order to liven up the audience. Managers of an organization may not realize this factor, but a meeting planner will definitely consider them.

The primary job of a meeting planner is in specializing and helping an employer make business conferences run better. The best among the lot have all the skills required to organize, prepare and ensure that all individuals get the information that the employer needs to exchange. They also spare the time to allow for an interactive session during which questions can be asked and answers received.

Gone are the days when managers of a company could be entrusted with the task of arranging such matters. Today this is a specialized task, which is better managed by a business-meeting planner.

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.

Running Business Meetings

Business meetings may involve just a few individuals, or at times, many people. Not everybody is born with the talent to address so many people, especially when the object is to promote an idea or product or explain some financial statement. It may involve the takeover of a business, starting of new business, or negotiations of a deal. It may be called to obtain the approval of shareholders to sell assets of the company, or raise share capital. It may be necessary to consult experts or partners on any business matter, or plan how to deploy surplus monies on hand.

Even briefing meetings and brainstorming meetings for coming out of any crisis can be classified as business meetings. Periodical review of productivity, marketing, and financial liabilities, etc., are all part and parcel of business meetings, as are pitch sessions. Likewise, meetings where personnel requirements, and other issues related to personnel are discussed also qualify as business meetings. In addition to these, there might be creditors, and debtors meetings.

Based on the type of business that is to be conducted, meetings may be classified as conferences, seminars, board meetings, annual general meetings, extraordinary general meetings, creditors, meetings, debtors meeting and sales meetings.

Any business meeting should be conducted with a predefined agenda. This is absolutely essential otherwise the matters that are discussed at the meeting may end up completely overshadowing the important matters that need to be resolved immediately. The agenda may be accompanied by some documents providing details and explanations on various items in the agenda. This enables the recipients to mull over the contents, and come up with their input on the matter.

A reasonable notice needs to be given so that no stakeholder feels excluded from the meeting. The time and venue of the meeting too needs to be clearly defined in such notice.

There are legal provisions for calling shareholders meetings, and board meetings. When the meeting involves just a few individuals, like a board meeting, then such notice may be given verbally. But it is always advisable to have documentary evidence, or an email to prove that the meeting was called, and reasonable notice was given.

Since one discussion can lead to another and the meetings can end up nowhere, it is always better to conclude matters that can be resolved quickly first, and keep complex matters that require extensive discussions for later part of the meeting. For ensuring this, there has to be somebody who conducts the meeting, and opens each item for discussion and resolution. It is the responsibility of this person to ensure that the matters discussed do not deviate from what is stated in the notice or agenda. The person leading the meeting needs to ensure that any new matters if made are duly noted so that another meeting may be called, and opinions of all concerned on the matter can be obtained.

Another problem with large gathering is that people tend to repeat the same questions or the same opinions. The person conducting the meeting needs to ensure that this is minimized, as everybody’s time is valuable. Using a timer helps.

Tips for Planning Business Meetings

It is always advisable to consult professional meeting planners if you dream of planning successful business meetings. These are professionals who are very knowledgeable and who are certain to make your event a successful one. It is not mandatory to seek the services of one however, since with a few guidelines, you can successfully plan a meeting. Below are quality tips to help you out.

The theme is very important. It is important that the agenda is compelling so that you can attract a lot of attendees. It is true many business people like to attend events, but no one is going to attend any event that sounds dull. Additionally, the agenda should have one theme to avoid overwhelming your attendees. Remember the theme is what holds your meeting together.

You have to choose a convenient date for the meeting. Even with the most appealing agenda in this world, a meeting that is not scheduled on convenient date is likely to be assumed. Depending on the main reason of the meeting, choose the best time for everyone. If it is a seminar for instance, scheduling it in the morning is advisable. Appreciations are best scheduled after work. Do not schedule them on holidays.

The guest list you compile must be an appropriate one. Remember that your business agenda must address a specific audience. It is therefore important that you carry out some research on any guests you would like to invite, to ensure they are well suited. If your meeting is open to the masses, get in touch with them as early as possible. Advisably, you should invite guests of similar rank like yours.

Make a point of inviting your guests as early as possible. This is one of the most crucial factors that determine the attendance you are going to get. In addition, you have to constantly remind them about it, especially those who have confirmed that they are going to attend. Come up with unique ideas to create excitement for the event.

The partners you choose must be reputable. This is a business meeting, and any business partners you choose must have the best reputation ever. Take your time to research comprehensively about any partners you would like to be involved with. Researching on the internet about a company is advisable, but it is not enough. Consider asking around about the company in question.

No meeting can be successful without a viable budget. Make a point of planning well in advance to avoid getting unpleasant surprises in the long run. If there will be food and accommodation, plan appropriately so that you know the amount of money the event needs. Equipment and labor are other things that should be planned for in advance as far as money is concerned. You should also set aside enough money for unforeseen expenses.

You have to be flexible when planning business meetings. Anything can happen and you need to know what to do. The equipment you have hired might not work, your chief presenter might get held up somewhere or maybe the caterers fail to show up. Prepare yourself for such incidents so as to tackle them well in case they arise.