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Successful meetings and events

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Question: Over the years, we’ve received many questions from readers of Personal Report for the Administrative Professional about how to plan — and pull off — successful meetings and events. Now, it’s your turn to brag. What’s the best single thing you've done that made your meeting or event a success?  -- The editors


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One of our best meetings we had was when we were completely off company property.

We had a small "summit". We had people in from one of our remote locations.

We went to Atlantic City and stayed there for two nights.

We were able to get a lot accomplished.

We were also far enough away to be removed from the normal hustle and bustle that goes on in the office.

Whenever we have meetings where food will be served in some fashion, I make it a priority to (discreetly) learn about the members and be sensitive to their needs (i.e. health, religious, cultural, etc.) I make sure that I can accomodate everyone in the meeting. This makes everyone feel important, and also doesn't make someone the focus of attention if they have special needs.

I visit the site where the meeting will be held. I find out where the restrooms are located, electrical outlets, kitchen (for caterer) and how/where to place the welcome table, easels, etc.If it is a large meeting at a remote location, I would ask to travel to the site if possible.

I gathered information from all participates as to what they needed to discuss and how much time they needed to make their point, made up an agenda with a timeframe (added 15 minutes to each topic for questions) and circulated the agenda with the timeframe to all participates 2 weeks before the meeting.

This worked so well that they ask for this type forum for all future meetings. It allowed everyone to know how long the meeting was going to be as well as what topics were going to be discussed so they could prepare if necessary.

It basically displayed "organization" all around and a lot of "actual work" got done.

I was Adm. Asst. to the Director of Orientation and Training. I would have six meetings to plan for every quarter. I've created a check off table that has duties for 60 - 30 - 7 days prior to each meeting and follow up meeting duties. I could pick up any of the six meeting folders and know exactly what duties need to be performed next. This form eliminiates a lot mistakes due to the many details involved with a meeting. You can email me for the form that is user friendly and you can customize to your needs.

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