Helpful Things To Include In Your Meeting Request – Your Delegates Will Thank You!

Sending out meeting requests is something we do so often it can become almost an automatic action – we just assume recipients will match the message to their schedules and agree to attend. Of course, as with anything we do a lot, this can lead to some lax behavior where sometimes, our intended delegates aren’t given all of the information they need to decide if the meeting is worthwhile for them or to prepare if they are planning to attend. Here is how to make your meeting request messages more meaningful and efficient:

Include a Good Agenda

An agenda will help recipients decide whether they can give useful input to your meeting as well as giving them an idea of what to expect. It also makes it look like you have carefully planned the structure of the meeting and aren’t going to be wasting any time. Many people who receive a lot of meeting requests view meetings as a drain on their productive time when half of the stuff discussed has nothing to do with them or when issues are allowed to linger and take up more time than they need to without an efficient decision being made. So, a good agenda is a show of faith that this is a meeting that does need to happened and will add value.

The agenda doesn’t need to be hugely detailed, but does need to list who will be controlling which portions of the meeting and what the planned duration of these parts is. If the meeting is an hour long and there are five things to be discussed, ten minutes each works with the remaining ten given over to starting and ending the meeting.

Beware ‘AOB’

AOB or ‘any other business’ can be the part of meetings people hate the most – this is where people tend to raise stuff that comes right out of left field and sometimes would have warranted an hour long session of its own, or which only really concerns one or two people out of the entire delegation. Instead of giving people a chance to spring their ‘business’ on you in the meeting, invite them to suggest topics for the AOB section of the agenda beforehand, and be clear that this will be added to the agenda and distributed to planned attendees before the event. This is a much better way to handle it than to leave a vague ten or twenty minute section at the end of the event.

Be Clear On Location Information

Just putting in a meeting room or business address may not be sufficient if people are coming from off site or have never been to your location before. Even if the meeting is going to be online, just putting that it will be isn’t enough – you need to give full log in info and not assume that people will have kept this from the last net conference you had with them.

Give clear instructions for how to join the meeting either online or physically, including, if necessary details about parking and how to get past your reception and up to the meeting room. This will save you time on the day of the event because you won’t have to field calls from confused delegates, and will also give people the sense that you are looking out for them.

Attached Images:

Today’s featured writer, Shane Cooper, is a tech enthusiast. He provides technical support for web based appointment software. He likes to read magazines in his free time.

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