Memorable, productive meetings don’t happen by accident. They are a result of precision planning and skilled facilitation.
When planning high stakes meetings such as executive off-sites, annual trade association conventions, national sales meetings, or leadership conferences; a lot of planning energy is focused on peripheral elements like food, entertainment, and facilities. Relatively little attention is paid to why people are gathering in the first place.
The two most common complaints about meetings are that they are boring and a waste of time. Assuming the facilities and accommodations meet minimum standards, and most do, the complaints are about foundation elements such as goals, agenda, speakers, activities, facilitation, and decision making.
To get these elements right, it helps to partner with someone who can focus attention on making the meeting itself a success. We bring the right questions, suggestions, and experience to the planning table. We bring the right enthusiasm, professionalism and problem solving abilities to the podium.
Keys to a successful meeting
- A clear purpose
- A solid agenda
- The right participants
- Engaging content
- Someone who can effectively lead
- Great accommodations
- Output that drives meaningful action
6 ways we make your meetings better
1. Facilitate your planning team
Big meetings usually involve a whole host of stakeholders who all have an opinion on what the meeting should be about and how it should run. Having an outsider who understands meetings lead these decision-making sessions can help guide the group to quicker decisions that make sense.
2. Develop a great design
A good meeting design begins with goals that are compelling and achievable. Once identified, we will work with you to develop an agenda that takes into account all key considerations.
3. Suggest resources
When deciding on the site, A/V equipment, food selections, and the hundreds of other details that go into a great meeting; we offer our experience with a wide range of venues and situations to provide the right advice so that you don’t spend more than you need to or make a decision that works against the meeting’s objectives.
4. Facilitate your meeting
Some meetings are just too important to leave to chance. The person running the meeting has to be able to adapt to any situation, keep the process on track, and help participants stay engaged. We’ve run hundreds of meetings of every type and size.
5. Provide meeting documentation
If you don’t write down what happened, you may as well not have even met. It’s as if the meeting never happened. When we facilitate planning and problem-solving meetings, we provide a written summary of key decisions and actions, typically within one business day.
If you need content for a breakout session or a dynamic speaker who can address the whole group, Tom LaForce has made thousands of presentations on a wide range of employee development and team effectiveness topics.