If it’s your first time hosting a meeting, you’re probably wondering where to start. Hosting a meeting can put pressure on you. Because after all, you want to ensure that everyone is accommodated and comfortable. Whether you’re preparing for a meeting with colleagues, a church meeting, or a simple neighborhood meeting, the tips we’re about to share will help you.
In this article, we will share what you need to do if you were tasked to host. We will also discuss what you need to consider to provide a comfortable space for everyone and the foods you can prepare. But first of all, let’s find out the common reasons for meeting failures.
Why Meetings Fail
Here are the things you need to avoid if you want to make your meeting a success:
- Bad management. Bad management results in unaccomplished meeting goals or extending meeting hours.
- Poor preparation. Not preparing for the meeting results in many adverse consequences, such as wasted time and an unorganized setup.
- Minimal participation. When the host cannot accommodate everyone, some participants might leave because they feel ignored.
Tips To Host a Meeting
The good news is that you can avoid the mentioned mistakes and hold a successful meeting. It’s all about good preparation and understanding the purpose of the meeting. Here are some tips so you can host a meeting that attendees will never forget.
Purpose of the Meeting
Before anything else, you need to know the objective of the meeting. Why is it necessary, and what is it trying to achieve in the end? Understanding the purpose of the forum will help you plan the tone of the meeting and determine techniques to make it successful.
After determining the purpose of the meeting, it’s time to think of the attendees. Who is going to attend? Don’t try to invite everyone if it’s going to hurt your budget. Make a list of the participants that will have essential roles in the meeting. As much as possible, keep the number to a bare minimum.
Snacks are probably one of the most anticipated parts of the meeting. You’ll have to consider that at some point, your attendees might get hungry. In planning snacks, keep in mind that you’re preparing for a meeting only, not a birthday party. For your reference, here are some snack ideas:
- Fresh fruits or baked vegetables
- Pastries like doughnuts, pizza, cupcakes, or muffins
- Bagels, sandwiches, and cheese
- Granola bars
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Roasted meat
- Baked chips
- Dark Chocolate treats
- Unsweetened tea
- Del Monte pineapple juice unsweetened
- Fresh lemonade
To achieve the agenda, everyone needs to stay focused in the meeting. So removing distractions would be necessary. Upon invitation, ask the participants to turn off their phones before the session begins. If possible, keep the room neat, remove things that aren’t needed, such as oversized decorations.
All your attendees are invited for a reason. It will be a waste if they aren’t encouraged to participate and be active in the meeting. You can ensure that everybody plays a part by asking for their ideas and opinions about several topics. In addition, you can ask them for improvements and suggestions to make them more involved.
Keep it Short
While it’s important to cover all vital areas and concerns, a meeting should only last for an hour. Holding meetings for an extended period will eventually bore everyone, including you. Furthermore, if the participants know that the session will only last for less than an hour, they will be more focused on their tasks. Listed below are some tips to make sure the meeting won’t extend:
- Don’t wait for latecomers.
- Do not discuss one topic for too long.
- Put a time limit for each agenda.
- Plan ahead.
Finally, don’t forget to summarize the events of the meeting. At this point, everybody should be aware of their new tasks and responsibilities. It’s also your chance to set a date for the follow-up meeting to get progress reports. Thank everyone for their time and close the session officially.
Overall, hosting a meeting is an important task. Your responsibility is more than just preparing a venue or providing refreshments. It’s ensuring that the objectives of the conference are achieved. At the end of the day, you can consider your meeting a success if the attendees leave with a complete understanding of their responsibilities.
Remember that a clear plan, commitment, and preparedness are the key components in hosting a successful meeting. Proceeding with the event without a clear objective will only put your time and efforts to waste. So start brainstorming and planning right now.