Scheduling a meeting can be as challenging as herding cats. The key players are never reachable, someone is constantly off on vacation or there are too many other scheduling conflicts. With some diplomacy and the participation of the administrative assistants, your meetings can go off without a hitch. Here are some suggestions for successfully scheduling a meeting.
1. Allow lead time
Calendars fill quickly with meetings and other events. Allow enough lead time by scheduling your meeting at least two weeks in advance. That way, you will maximize the number of attendees.
2. Talk to the assistants of the key players
Admins usually know about meetings long before the managers. They know the most about their boss and can tell you when the most productive meetings can be held. Talk with the assistants of the key players in your meeting to get an idea of their scheduling.
3. Recurring meetings
For recurring meetings, you want it to be at the same time and place every week. If you are constantly changing the parameters of your meeting, it is less likely that people will be attending.
You want to have a location that is central to the involved players. The room should be quiet enough so that individuals may speak their minds and interact with one another. You do not want your discussions to interfere with the activities of others.
Make sure that there is a clear reason for your meeting and that everyone involved knows that reason. Before the meeting itself, publish the agenda of the meeting so that individuals can prepare themselves and formulate solutions.
6. Auxiliary Services
Make sure that you are able to obtain all of the necessary auxiliary services before scheduling your meeting. This is not as important as having the key players in attendance but it will be a long and boring event without audio visual equipment. If you have no food for a lunch meeting, you are less likely to have the same robust attendance for the next get together.
7. Schedule the meeting
After examining the schedules of the key players, you will discover that there are very few suitable times to hold your meeting. Make sure that your meeting room is available for the time that you have selected. If the meeting room is not available, reschedule the meeting or rearrange the venue.
Each person attending should know the time and place of the meeting. When you schedule the meeting, you want an emailed confirmation of attendance or non attendance. Send reminders the day before the meeting and meeting day to further enhance your attendance.
9. Use a service
If there are multiple people involved in the meetings, use a service like MeetingWave or Time Bridge to coordinate them. You can arrange for meeting rooms, update calendars and coordinate with Evernote using these applications.
Scheduling successful meetings does not have to be a nightmare. Push your attendance upward by making sure that you coordinate with the admins about scheduling and location. Push your meetings to the next level.
This post was contributed by James Adams, a UK based blogger and analyst who writes about tech for one of the leading online toner cartridges suppliers. James writes reviews of newly released products like the CB540A. He enjoys posting on their blog about design and advertising.