8 Tips - How to Host Effective Meetings

The VenueShop Blog

tips on how to have the most effective meeting - blog post by TheVenueShop.comThere are good meetings & there are “bad”. The bad drone on forever, never seem to get to the point, with you left wondering why you were even present. Effective ones will leave you energised, feeling you've really accomplished something. If you're responsible for meeting planning as part of your role, consider these tips for organising meetings participants actually value & look forward to.

So what does a "bad" meeting look like?
A wasted morning or afternoon where nothing actually gets decided or actioned. Could it be that there are too many people who aren’t required, only invited for “political” reasons? Not to mention the distractions… the gravitational pull of your phone & ever increasing to-do list, or a colleague waiting for the meeting to be over to get to another one!

Make your objective clear
Many unproductive meetings have no real purpose or objective. A purposeless meeting can result from too much routine (“But we’ve always had this Tuesday afternoon meeting!”) or too much spontaneity resulting in a hastily put together idea with an ill-defined goal. Take the time to figure out the point of calling a meeting by asking yourself or your boss what exactly you want to walk out the door with. Also, stop to evaluate whether a group meeting is the best way to get to your goal. Too many meetings could have been a memo, email or even a voicemail message.

Consider who is invited
Each person sitting in on your meeting represents money spent by the company for overhead. Most of the time it’s a no-brainer & your list of usual suspects is the right mix, however, sometimes it pays to go through the invitees one by one & consider if that individual needs to be there to contribute, brainstorm, or act as an information conduit.

Follow your agenda
Before the actual meeting begins, send out a detailed agenda of the topics to be addressed & how long you plan to spend on each topic. During the meeting itself, be sure to stay within the boundaries of your agenda. It’s imperative that you enforce this rule on the first few items because once you go over a time limit you set, your attendees get the message that anything goes. After being a “Time Nazi” a few times, your attendees will soon start to get the message - you’ll be amazed that goals are met & progress is made while your meetings get shorter! Of course there are times when the agenda needs to be adjusted, but let that be rare. Also, be sure that you start & finish the meeting on time.

Stay on track
If you are in charge of running the meeting, it is your responsibility to keep everyone on task. This is a crucial role to play - sometimes difficult if the topic or outcome of the meeting is of great interest to you. If things start to drift off, identify it & steer it immediately back to the point at hand.

Monitor technology
We’ve all gotten in the habit of checking our phones relentlessly, as it can prove to be a distraction from your meeting’s goal. Decide if it’s appropriate for attendees to handle their phones during the meeting. You can always try a no-device policy, but there always seems to be exceptions. Expect your attendees to act like adults & hold them accountable for the meeting’s goals. Perhaps an easy solution may be for everyone to put their phones in the middle of the table (on vibrate) during crucial points throughout the meeting. If someone REALLY needs to take a call or text, they are free to do so but it keeps people from compulsively checking their phone unnecessarily every 5 minutes.

Track off-topic ideas separately
It is inevitable that someone in a meeting will begin talking about a related but off-topic subject, so you have to decide quickly if it will derail the meeting & push participants away from your goal. When this happens, recognise the idea, question or thought as valuable & have the person taking minutes note the idea down. Sometimes the tangents call for another meeting, or a sub-group to discuss & report back.

Follow up
Within the next business day, be sure to email or provide a copy of the meeting minutes, including the decisions that were made, Plus, most importantly, what people are responsible for, their deadlines & when & where the next meeting will take place (if required).

We trust this may assist in some way to further refine your meeting management techniques – we’d love to hear any other ideas you may like to share to help your peers too! In the meantime, remember we''re here to help support you with all the behind the scenes groundwork in sourcing the best options from 1,000s of venue & supplier choices while you focus on looking after your manager, your teams & meeting/event content. So lean on us, it’s free…

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So contact our friendly team on 1300 843 836 or SUBMIT your requirements online, for a speedy turnaround & options to suit your personalised requirements. 



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Lisa Roberts is the Owner/Director of Ultimate Conferences+Events, plus Founder of www.theVenueShop.com & Ultimate Performance+Recruitment.


Lisa (AKA "Lisa-Maree") has an extensive background sourcing appropriate venues & services for an incredibly diverse range of conference & event needs. Highly regarded by her loyal clientele & industry peers alike for her knowledge, insight, integrity & can-do approach - just some of the qualities which have ensured her forging an abundance of long-lasting relationships in the C&E sector.  


Possessing qualifications in Public Relations & Hotel Operations/Catering, Lisa hails from the hotel industry with experience in all facets of F&B, Front Office Supervision/Training, Conference/Events & Sales Management; with most recent industry positions as Director of Sales both within a global Hotel chain & independent more "dedicated conferencing" regional properties.


Most importantly, Lisa's passion for the industry & genuine interest in both matching appropriate solutions & helping people achieve is infectious - with an unwaivering commitment to providing the best possible service in support of your business needs from a meetings & events perspective. As a result, Lisa has developed an extensive network of contacts with strong relationships at all levels. 

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Guest Thursday, 16 August 2018

Clarion Hotel on Canterbury

A huge success... and lunch was amazing!!

Clarion Hotel on Canterbury Thankyou for making our Planning Day a huge success. The team loved the venue and the lunch was amazing!! A very enjoyable day. I will definitely be recommending your venue to all my colleagues - the experience was fantastic!

Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley

We all really enjoyed the conference, everything was perfect!

Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley "Wanted to say thank you so much for the great service and your patience with all our changes throughout. We all really enjoyed the conference, everything was perfect! (Well maybe the coffee machine struggled to keep up with us, but overall, everything was great). The venue set up and lunch was great - the buffet really enjoyable, especially the variety of catering offered.

Fudge by Rich

Absolutely delicious, beautifully packaged...

Fudge by Rich As always, absolutely delicious with amazing feedback from all who tried the product! Beautifully packaged up for us, delivery process fast and reliable, and Nicole couldn't have been more helpful in turning around such a large order on such short notice ensuring we had everything needed for the trade show... Think I have a new favourite flavour too, the Rocky Road is to die for!!

Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach

What a professional events team...

Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach "The events team at Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach are truly professionals at what they do. The organisation in particular of the banquets team - always so helpful and ensure that our seminars run smoothly. The only minor suggestion that I would make is more labels to indicate the types salads and sandwiches that are on offer on lunch buffets."

Rydges Bankstown

Suited our brief perfectly... staff could not do enough for us!

Rydges Bankstown "Rydges Bankstown suited our brief perfectly: close to our sites, an abundance of parking and a great function room with natural lighting. The staff were very friendly and could not do enough for us, I am sure we will use this venue again."

VictorsFood

An absolute blast - can't wait to try another amazing VictorsFood experience!

VictorsFood “VictorsFood made our event a truly memorable one. Every one of our team members had an absolute blast making pizzas together with the fun and enthusiastic chefs… We can’t wait to try another one of VictorsFoods' amazing experiences!”

Mantra Bell City

I really appreciated the attention to detail & communication...

Mantra Bell City "Whilst I do not attend these meetings to see the room in person, I certainly had no complaints from any of my management team (no news good news!) The communication from the event co-ordinator in particular was excellent prior to our meeting. It was organised at short notice and she showed such high attention to detail which I really appreciated."

Rendezvous Grand Hotel Melbourne

Really good quality & great value... best external meeting venue in a while!

Rendezvous Grand Hotel Melbourne "The room was appropriately presented, with everything we had requested already in place. Morning tea and lunch were more than ample, and was 'yummy'! Really good quality and great value for money. One of the managers even said it’s been the best external meeting venue he’s been to in a while."

Dockside

The venue, as well as the staff, location & atmosphere was second to none!

Dockside "We held our Staff Christmas party at Dockside this year - the venue, as well as the staff, location & atmosphere was second to none. From the moment I booked the venue, the service was fantastic. The event organiser kept in contact throughout the year, reminding when things needed to be done. Everything went smoothly on the night of the party, the food was amazing, the staff were excellent & the event manager on the night bent over backwards to help with...

Yarra Valley Estate

Excellent food, fantastic spaces to relax & network, country hospitality - we'll definitely be back again!

Yarra Valley Estate Our team really enjoyed the time spent at Yarra Valley Conference Centre. The staff were friendly and accommodating, the food was excellent and the spaces for the group to relax and network after a hard day's conferencing were fantastic and very well utilised!