When the meeting participants are mostly VIPs, scheduling can be a hairy process, says executive assistant Trisha Heil. Currently, she offers attendees a basic date-filled chart, so they can narrow down the choices to a mutually convenient time and date.
But what do other admins do? she asked on the Admin Pro Forum. Here’s what she heard:
√ Focus on A-list attendees first. Whose presence is most important for the meeting? Cater to those schedules first, suggests admin Yvonne.
Amy, another admin, agrees. After determining who’s most critical to a meeting, she holds a conference call with other executive assistants to narrow down the meeting time. “We then send out the meeting request, explaining this is the only time available for key individuals to meet,” and ask others to work around it, she says.
√ Accept as “inevitable that some participants will have to conference in,” says admin Amanda.
√ Ask for a proxy to attend on behalf of a tough-to-schedule attendee, if all else fails, suggests Laura.
√ Schedule an internal meeting in Outlook, invite attendees and, before you hit “send,” you can check their availability, says admin Patty.
√ Swap out the simple date-filled chart with an online version. Doodle.com is the preferred tool for several admins, particularly if the meeting involves people outside the company. The tool offers a grid of available meeting times and dates, allowing participants to check off those that suit their schedules. Another one to consider: Tungle, tungle.me/Home.