4 Tips To Organize Group Meetings Faster

Have you ever tried to organize a group meeting?  Has it ever become a marathon session of emails trying to come up with a date and time? 

Group Meeting

Meetings are an often essential part of the marketing process.  Sometimes it involves team members tackling a specific project – like a website.  Other times it may be volunteers or committee members organizing an event.

At their worst, meetings become time wasters and hamper progress.  At their best, they can be an incredible opportunity to educate, facilitate feedback, build consensus and move forward with momentum.

In this post let’s discuss how to get off on the right foot, by making sure setting the date and time for the meeting goes well.

#1 – Decide if the meeting is really needed.

What outcome do you want from the meeting?  Take a few moments to sketch out a rough agenda.  Watch for items that are time sensitive, controversial, require votes & signatures, etc.

How important is it to gather the group?  Do members interact on a regular basis anyway?  Could the agenda items be accomplished through a simpler method such as a phone call?  Consider these questions to determine if it would be more effective to tackle the issues through one to one conversations and/or defer items to the future.

#2 – Get in a routine for regular meetings.

If you find yourself meeting every 3  – 4 weeks, then set up a routine.  For example, we’ll always meet on the third Thursday every month at 3pm.  This way, individuals can mark their calendars.  If necessary, send a reminder and re-confirm attendance beforehand.

 #3 – Set the next meeting time before ending the current meeting.

While you have everyone together for a meeting – decide on when the next meeting will be and get it scheduled.  If people are missing, set one or two tentative dates and then confirm it later.

 #4 – Use Doodle.

I love Doodle.  It’s a free online tool that works great for group meetings and is easy to use.

Before I discovered it I would send out an email with dates on when to get together.  Not everyone would respond, and there would always be those responses that were a bit cryptic.

With Doodle, I set up all of the options at once, and send a link out to those invited.  Invitees check off which times work for them, and Doodle assembles all of the responses into a tidy chart.  Sure, you may still need to track down some people to respond, but it’s very clear which dates and times will work best.

A couple of extra Doodle specific tips…

Use the ”yes / if need be / no option.”  This allows invitees to indicate which times work great, and which times are ok but not preferred.

When you send out the link asking people to respond give them a 1-2 day deadline.  It’s important to get feedback and set the meeting date and time quickly – before schedules change.

With these tips you should find organizing your next meeting to be a much more enjoyable experience!

 

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