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How to conduct effective business meetings

How to conduct effective business meetings

How to conduct effective business meetings

Whether it’s your daily status update or a planning session for a large long-term project, you and your team want to get the most out of any meeting you have. Rather than filling up a work calendar with unproductive chats and inefficient catch-ups, make sure that every colleague present in your meeting becomes informed and motivated.


So how can you make sure that every business meeting you conduct is productive and effective? 


What types of business meetings are there?

Before you start planning, it’s essential to know the kind of meeting you’re conducting, as this will inform your session’s overall structure and objectives. Here are some of the key types of meetings:

 

  • Brainstorming meetings: also known as creative meetings, this is where team members get together to discuss and develop ideas. Often following an open forum, everyone is available to speak freely and ask questions. These can be the most difficult meetings to set a structure for. 
  • Planning meetings: whether for a short or long-term project, planning meetings often involve multiple business departments getting together to discuss processes, costs and potential obstacles. These can often be long sessions with a list of objectives or agreed strategies that need to be reached as a result. 
  • Problem-solving meetings: these can be quick and impromptu chats that help solve an immediate crisis or wider discussions to fix a more strategic problem. These are meetings that include some of the clearest objectives, though many stakeholders may need to be involved depending on the size of the problem. 
  • Team building meetings: often run outside of the office space, they can involve a range of exercises designed to build bonds between colleagues and improve their communication and collaboration. These can also be run by internal HR teams or external providers. 
  • Status update meetings: status meetings are one of the most regularly scheduled sessions that can be conducted on a team, project or department basis and involve colleagues discussing the imminent tasks on their to-do list. Managers, senior leaders and junior team members are often all present in these discussions. 

 

How to prepare for business meetings

The way you prepare for business meetings depends on three factors: your role within the meeting, the type of meeting being held and what you’re looking to take from the meeting.


If you’re taking a key role in running the meeting, then there are a few important questions to consider when preparing: 

 

 
  • What are the objectives? Whether they’re set out in a meeting agenda or are individual takeaways that colleagues set for themselves, each meeting that you hold should have clear objectives and outcomes to be effective and productive. 
  • How much time will the meeting take? Ensuring the session doesn’t create a clash in any colleague’s diary will ensure the meeting starts on time. To ensure no time is wasted once everyone is present, think about how you will split up the section into time slots and how long each will run. That way, no team member feels like their precious time is wasted. 
  • What do you need colleagues to bring to the table? Think about whether you need colleagues to prepare ideas, get answers to questions or gather necessary materials in advance. That way, you make the most of everyone’s time together. 
  • Will the meeting be remote or face to face? If remotely, then you need to make sure everyone has the technology to join. If face to face, then make sure you choose a meeting room that’s in a suitable location for everyone. If your meeting will have a combination of remote and in-house attendants, you’ll be glad to know that most Regus meeting rooms have the space and the technology to easily set up hybrid meetings where everyone can have their voice heard.
  • Which colleagues will be invited? Think carefully about who you’re inviting. If in doubt, ask them directly whether they want to be involved, and they’ll be sure to give you an honest answer. 

How to make business meetings more engaging

If you think carefully about all the elements above and plan out your meeting structure, you’ve already made a start on making your meeting more engaging. A lack of planning can cause sessions to take an unwanted direction and mean they’re ultimately unproductive. This doesn’t mean you have to spend hours creating an exciting presentation full of video, sound and fireworks. Simply setting out the objectives and some rough timings for the elements you want to discuss will help those present stay focused and engaged. 


Setting out some ground rules at the beginning of a meeting is also a good idea, for example whether you want people to ask questions at the end or raise their hand on a video call before they speak. Outline these rules to everyone before you start, alongside the outcomes you want to reach, and this will help keep your meeting timely and productive. 


Finding the right room for your meeting

Although it’s the team-members’ attitude that creates a truly successful meeting, choosing the right meeting room can also help set you up for a productive session. Whether it’s a conference room for a formal, all-day planning meeting with clients or a collaborative space where you can chat and interact with colleagues as you’re brainstorming new ideas, Regus can help you to find the ideal meeting room. 

When you book your meeting room with us, you’re in complete control of the size, location and facilities you need. You can book rooms on demand for two to fifty attendees, for as little as half an hour, in hundreds of locations worldwide. We’ve got plenty of central locations in capitals, major cities and transport hubs, but we also serve suburbs and towns with our fully-equipped spaces. (Note that some locations are limited to 21 attendees.)

Simply enter the date, time, duration, attendance and location in our booking tool, and we’ll show you all the nearby options. If you want extras like catering, coffee or teleconferencing equipment, just let us know 24 hours in advance and it will all be in place when our receptionist at the location greets you and shows you around.

Work your way with Regus meeting rooms and we’ll help you conduct an effective business meeting, whatever its objectives.