The Ugly Truth About Running a Professional Business Meeting
When you own your own business communication is one of the most vital keys to finding and maintaining your customer base. Business meetings play a huge role in informing new clientele of what your business has to offer and keeping established customers informed on the ways you will continue to help them. Holding business meetings will come with ease over time, but until you find your niche and an appropriate venue, they can be stressful and unproductive, for both you and your audience. If you are opting to utilize a home office, finding a professional meeting space can be one of your biggest challenges. Here are 6 tips to help you run an orderly, time efficient, productive business meeting.
Your Meeting Space – We have all been in a noisy restaurant or crowded coffee shop with friends or family and had to let someone, not in your party, “squeeze” through or had it be so loud you couldn’t hear the person across from you speak. Now imagine hosting a very important business meeting but your attendees not being able to hear you because of surrounding noise. Not only have you wasted time and money arranging the meeting but you have wasted the time of your attendees as well. There are many restaurants that offer private meeting rooms that can be utilized but unless you are planning a breakfast or lunch meeting this would not be a feasible option. One option available is utilizing a virtual office. These facilities often have meeting rooms, conference spaces, private offices, and offer many other amenities of having your own office without the high monthly overhead.
Your Professionalism – When you walk into the meeting you will want all eyes on you, for the right reasons. That first impression is the most important. Make sure to dress professionally. You can never go wrong with a well fitting suit and appropriate accessories, for either men or women.
Meeting Rules – Have a set of meeting rules prepared so that your meeting will run smoothly and on a timetable. Eating, people speaking out of turn, cell phones, and chatter during the meeting can all be very distracting. Having a set list of rules in place and referencing them at the beginning of the meeting can make the meeting run much smoother because distractions will be minimal.
Value of Time – When you are hosting a business meeting be sure to have set start and end time that you stick to. In some cases attendees will have other places to go and other meetings to attend before and after yours. Being punctual will prove to those in attendance that you respect their time and do not want to put them in jeopardy of missing anything.
Have an Agenda – Before you arrange a meeting make sure you have all of the topics you want to cover. Be sure to allot a time frame to speak about each subject you wish to address and allow a few extra minutes after each topic for questions from your audience. Once you have covered a topic and allowed a Q&A time move on to the next subject. This will keep you from having to backtrack at the end of your meeting to stuff addressed early on. Also, to help stay on your time table, let everyone know that any questions they do not address during the appropriate time can be discussed through email or a phone call set up at a later time.
Stay on Track – When you start the meeting it is a good idea to hand out minutes from the previous meeting. This will allow everyone in attendance the opportunity to know what you have already covered and remind everyone of subjects previously discussed that may be revisited in the current meeting. Having everyone on the same page, information wise, will keep everyone on topic so you won’t have to rehash information already covered. Don’t let your meeting get sidetracked by old business. This can be frustrating and feel like a waste of time to those who were in attendance at previous meetings.
These are just a few simple ways to make your business meeting run smoothly. Contact The Concierge Office Suites to reserve a professional meeting space and utilize their various amenities such as endless quiet meeting spaces, coffee, and WiFi. Ask about a la carte services like copies, scans, faxes, shipping, box lunches, snacks, or business concierge support to get things done while you meet with clients. You can now book online and check meeting space availability. If you have a group of eight or less, The Concierge Office Suites is the perfect place for your next meeting. Welcome to everything you need to run a professional business meeting.