Successful meetings are essential to any strong business venture. Consistently running taut, productive staff meetings can gain you a lot of clout among your superiors – and the affection of your coworkers.
On the flipside, if you mess up a meeting, the outcome can be disastrous. If you can’t seem to get the technology to work right, you’re going to look unprepared to your coworkers in the room and the clients hanging on the other line. If you tell the clients one time but the project team leader another time – who conveniently went out for lunch that day – good luck fumbling their presentation based off a half-finished PowerPoint.
But those are just basics. There are some ways that meetings can go terribly awry that even a grizzled middle manager can miss.
Not tracking how many people will be in attendance
Say you use the same conference table for most meetings at your office. It seems to suit every business department well for staff meetings.
If you’ll be hosting a whole other company’s business unit – in addition to a unit of your own – then that otherwise ambidextrous conference room isn’t so useful anymore. You want to avoid making anyone stand during long meetings if you can help it.
If you can’t find a better room, don’t do the intern the indignity of dragging four or more chairs across the office floor to the conference room right after things got started – make sure they’re in the room ahead of time.
Check for food allergies
Food allergies are becoming more and more common. Well, to be accurate, more and more people are becoming aware they have food allergies in the first place.
If you’re ordering catering for a meeting with new clients, make it a point to check ahead of time for some of the most common types of allergies and diets. These include whether anyone is gluten-free, vegetarian, has a nut allergy or is lactose intolerant.
This may seem simple, but you’d be astonished how many people forget this step when preparing for meetings.
Not just lunch – all the food
From the meeting manager’s perspective, offering snacks and coffee is essential because they can help raise blood sugar levels among attendees and wake people up in the morning via caffeine.
But just like our previous tip, make sure you have something that anyone can eat. If you use a revolving stash of granola bars for meetings, guess what – a lot of them have nuts in them or wheat, which make up two of the most common food allergies. Offer only caffeinated coffee? If any of your attendees have high blood pressure, they’re out of luck.
You may have the philosophy that if you serve something someone can’t eat, then they’re just not going to get to join in the fun. But in today’s business environment – and toxic food supply – that’s just outdated thinking. You’ve got to have something for everyone, otherwise you’ll just be seen as behind-the-times.
Ready to take things to the next level?
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