Planning a meeting

Mastering the Art of Planning Meetings: 5 Proven Tips for Success

Learn how to plan meetings that are productive, efficient, and highly successful. Click now to take your meeting planning skills to the next level.

Meetings are a requirement in nearly every company or organization at one point or another. They are a great way to share information, collaborate on projects, and make important decisions. However, meetings can also be time-consuming and ineffective if they are not properly planned and executed. In this article, we will share 5 proven tips for mastering the art of meeting planning and ensuring that your meetings are productive, efficient, and successful.

The 5 proven tips for planning a meeting that will be successful are:

  1. Set Clear Objectives
  2. Create an Agenda
  3. Invite the Right People
  4. Take Meeting Minutes
  5. Follow Up After the Meeting.

Now that you have a rough overview, let’s break the art of meeting planning down further to set your next gathering up to be the most productive one yet.


1. Set Clear Objectives

The first step in planning a successful meeting is to set clear objectives. This means identifying the purpose of the meeting, the specific goals that need to be achieved, and the desired outcomes.

Setting clear objectives is an important step to planning a meeting because it gives the meeting direction and purpose. Think of your objectives as a road map for the goals your company has. It keeps everyone on the same page and helps guide them towards achieving those goals. And, when your company meeting is going off track, it’s a great way to gently guide everyone back to the topic(s) at hand.

When you have clear objectives you can build accountability and responsibility among your team members as well. There won’t be any questions as to what is expected of everyone before, during, and after the meeting. As a result, your team members can foster a sense of collaboration.

For example, if your objectives are related to sharing quarterly wins by department, each department can work together to create a presentation that gives them their moment in the spotlight. Developing a presentation like this will show department heads which teams are making the best use of their time and resources as well.

Bottom line: By setting clear objectives, you will be able to focus on the most important aspects of the meeting and ensure that the time is used effectively.


2. Create an Agenda

An agenda is a critical tool for keeping meetings on track and ensuring that all of the important topics are covered. A well-crafted agenda should include the following elements:

  • A list of topics to be discussed
  • The order in which topics will be discussed
  • The estimated time for each topic
  • The person responsible for leading each discussion.

Creating an agenda will help you stay organized and focused during the meeting, and it will also give participants a clear understanding of what to expect.

In a recent post, we shared everything that should be in your meeting agenda for the event to be effective. You can read that post here (link to article 1), but the key takeaways you should know is your agenda should feature:

  • A rough outline of what will be covered during the meeting
  • Assigned time slots for each portion of the meeting
  • Supporting materials (links or copies of presentations and/or documents).


3. Invite the Right People

Another important aspect of meeting planning is inviting the right people. It is important to ensure that everyone who needs to be at the meeting is invited, and that no one is left out. Also, it is important to make sure that everyone invited is needed and will contribute to the meeting. The question is, how do you know who should be there and who shouldn’t?

What does it mean to invite the right people to a team meeting?

When you are considering who to invite keep the following elements in mind:

  • Is the meeting relevant to the person? For example, if you’re hosting a meeting about customer service and how to improve your company’s reviews, there’s probably not much of a point in inviting the graphics design team to the meeting. That is unless part of your strategy for improving reviews is to create graphics that showcase your best reviews to encourage customers to leave more reviews.
  • Is the person you’re considering inviting responsible for the discussion about to take place? This element is very similar to relevance. Basically, if the person you’re considering inviting has decision-making authority to the topics that will be discussed or is invested in the outcome, it is worth it to invite them. At the very least, if they can’t attend you could always send them a recap of what was discussed and the outcome of any topics raised during the meeting.
  • Are they available to meet in the first place? If you’re wanting the CEO or other top executives to attend a meeting, it may be harder to schedule time with them than it would be to have lower level team members attend. In some cases, unless it’s critical for those in higher level positions to attend anything, it’s better to send them details after the event than it is to have them show up. This is especially true for bigger companies.
  • Finally, will they have anything to contribute? The whole point of meetings is to have a level of engagement and interest in the discussions that are about to take place. If people won’t have anything to contribute, there might not be a point in inviting them.


4. Take Meeting Minutes

Taking minutes during a meeting is an essential part of meeting planning. Minutes are a record of the decisions that were made, the action items that were assigned, and any other important information that was discussed. Minutes help keep everyone on the same page and ensure that important information is not lost or forgotten.

Pro Tip: Whoever is taking the meeting minutes should also be in charge of timekeeping.

It’s incredibly easy for meetings to go off topic, especially in remote meetings and with bigger companies. That said, the person taking the meeting minutes should have a rough outline of the agenda, and a rough timeline for how long each item should take. Then, as each item is checked off, if the clock is running out, they should signal the host of the meeting when it’s time to wrap up that portion of the event and move on to the next.

Such a simple action can help prevent a meeting that would otherwise be orderly from going completely off the rails. The last thing you want is to have to reschedule a meeting to address things that were missed because you spent too long on any given agenda item - or worse, covered something else entirely!

What should you do if someone brings up a point of discussion that needs to be addressed, but isn’t on the agenda?

Again this is where your meeting minutes taker comes into play. This is the perfect opportunity to make a note that something needs to be addressed at a later date. And, if it’s something that needs to be investigated, it will give the meeting host(s) time to look into the matter and decide on a course of action from a calmer state than they would have if they made a decision on the fly in front of everyone. A meeting is the last place you want to make a public announcement that you might have to later retract!


5. Follow Up After the Meeting

The last step in meeting planning is to follow up on any action items that were assigned during the meeting. This includes ensuring that all tasks are completed on time and that any issues are resolved.

It is also important to schedule a follow-up meeting if necessary to ensure that progress is being made on any ongoing projects. Again, the follow up is why you will be so glad you had someone taking meeting minutes. You’ll have a simple summary of the most pertinent things that were discussed and a record of anything that wasn’t covered or that needs to be addressed later.

Bonus Tip: Use Taggg to Schedule Your Meetings!

We promised five tips, but this bonus tip is critical if you want to take the headaches out of traditional meeting planning. Taggg helps you connect to team member calendars so that you will instantly know the best dates and times to try and get the majority of attendees to say yes to a meeting with you. 

Let’s face it, the bigger a company is, the harder it is to get the power players, and even mid level managers together in the same room. Taggg helps you see the availability of everyone you are connected to so that you can avoid the awkward back and forth and polling to book a meeting. Say goodbye to hassle, and get meetings on the books much faster. Sure, you still might have a time conflict here and there, but it's a lot more likely that the attendees you want to show up will when you book with Taggg.

So where do you go from here? Meetings are an important part of any business or organization, but they can also be time-consuming and ineffective if they are not properly planned and executed. By following these six proven tips for mastering the art of meeting planning, you can ensure that your meetings are productive, efficient, and successful. And, you can get started with Taggg completely free by clicking this link. See for yourself how easy it is to get meetings planned. You won’t regret it!

Start Booking Group Meetings Today!

About the author

Similar posts

Get notified on new meeting scheduling advancements

Be the first to know about new ways to schedule and run better remote team meetings.