When it comes to planning a corporate meeting, most meeting planners will tell you that a well laid out agenda is key to a successful meeting. Creating a well-planned agenda may be another story. Agenda creation takes time, understanding which items deserve more merit than other topics can leave even the most experienced planner second guessing. Here are a few tips to help you plan an agenda that will address key issues and keep your meeting moving efficiently.
Seek Leadership Input
Start your work by talking with whomever requested the meeting. Understand what objectives need to be met and which topics need to be addressed. From there, you can prioritize accordingly. If there are subtopics, make certain that you have them listed under the appropriate key topic. Use bullets with titles and a brief description when possible. This will help attendees prepare.
As soon as you list your key topics, assign a moderator to help start the discussion. If the subject pertains to a particular area or falls within direct responsibility of a manager or subject matter expert, try to assign the topic to them. You will need associates who can confidently discuss the subject in detail.
Timing is Everything
A corporate meeting typically has a specified amount of time. Make sure that you assign each agenda item a start time. Doing this will help keep your meeting on track, and it will alert attendees when things start running a bit over on time. Also, you will want to assign a meeting facilitator. This person should keep track of the meeting agenda items and discussion points. They should also be responsible for any meeting notes and items parked for additional discussion.
Get a Head Start
Once you have an approved agenda, send an advanced copy to each attendee. Give enough time so that any preparation work can be done before the meeting. A few days notice usually works well.
Summarize and Follow-up
Once your meeting is complete, send out meeting notes and formal to-do lists for action items. Make sure there is a person responsible for item and assign a deadline. Summarize key discussion points and agreements. Once you start to practice these agenda points, your corporate meetings will become much more productive.
If you enjoyed this post you might also want to read, “3 Benefits to the Coffee Shop Meeting.”
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