What is a business meeting?
A business meeting is a gathering of more than one person in which ideas, goals and information are exchanged in regards to a company’s operation. Attendees are invited to the business meeting and given a specified time, date and location. Business meetings typically follow an agenda and are held in various locations, such as the workplace or over a conference phone or video call.
Common methods for running business meetings as a manager
Business meetings should be held to provide information, empower a workforce, foster communication and develop skills. Here are the steps to take when running a meeting as a manager with the most common methods for doing so:
- Determine if a meeting is necessary
- Plan for the meeting
- Ensure the meeting is serving its purpose
- Assign tasks
- Summarize the meeting
- Follow up
1. Determine if a meeting is necessary
Determine if a meeting is absolutely necessary by finding out if the purpose of the meeting can be resolved through an email, phone call or other means instead. Plan what you want to achieve through the meeting, determine if there’s a better way to communicate and if any feedback is necessary. For example, if you need feedback from your employees and want to brainstorm ideas for a new project, this would likely warrant a meeting. If you’re holding a meeting with others, get their input before deciding whether or not a meeting is necessary.
2. Plan for the meeting
Consider who you want to invite to the meeting and invite them in person, via email or through your company’s personal software. Then, consider who you’d like to speak, and fit them into the agenda with set speaking times accordingly.
In addition, determine how long you want the meeting to be and the location. Make sure to make the proper accommodations beforehand.
You should also create an agenda that outlines what you want to address during the meeting. Make sure it includes the purpose of the meeting, who will be in attendance, the speakers and the meeting’s time and location.
3. Ensure the meeting is serving its purpose
To make sure the meeting is running smoothly and efficiently, foster open discussion and get as many employees to contribute their ideas as you can. In an effort to stay focused, stick to the topics listed on the agenda and stay on schedule. Doing this will help maintain the flow of the meeting and keep it on topic.
If the discussion goes off-topic, don’t be afraid to reroute the conversation back to the main purpose of the meeting. This will en sure that the goal and objective of the meeting is being met.
4. Assign tasks
Before the meeting ends, assign responsibilities to the necessary parties and set clear deadlines. Make sure to address every person with a specific task before the meeting concludes so they know what needs to be accomplished.
When your employees clearly understand what their duties are, the better they’ll be able to execute them and complete them in a timely manner. Be sure to cover the who, what, where, when and how for a particular project or task related to the meeting’s purpose.
5. Summarize the meeting
Just before the meeting ends, provide attendees with a brief summary of the meeting. Verbally reiterate the main points or conclusions the group reached during the meeting. Summarize the agreed-upon delegations in the previous steps. This way, attendees will know not only what they need to accomplish but also will understand the purpose of the meeting and how the company will move forward from there.
6. Follow up
After the meeting is over, remind the attendees of what was discussed and what’s expected of them. Check up on the progression of any delegated tasks in order to ensure they’re being completed in a timely manner. You can follow up in person or through email. This is a great way to know whether or not the meeting was effective. It will also let you know whether or not your employees take direction well and are able to perform their tasks in a timely manner.
Tips for running a meeting
When you run a business meeting, it’s important to conduct it efficiently. Here are some tips for running a successful business meeting:
- Create a concise agenda. When creating an agenda, avoid unnecessary information and keep it concise. If attendees will need to make a decision, provide them with the information ahead of time and keep it out of the agenda.
- Start the meeting on time. Be sure to start the meeting promptly when it was scheduled for to save everyone’s time.
- Establish accountability. Before you conclude a meeting, make sure to delegate tasks and determine what will be done, who will be in charge and when it will be done or completed by.
- Remain brief in the meeting summary. Once the meeting is over, stick to a short recap and only recap the action items. This refers to what will be done, who will do it, when it will be done and more.
- Follow up individually. Rather than following up with an entire group, follow up with those responsible for the tasks at hand. This will avoid wasting anyone’s time if they’re not directly responsible for the project or task.
Related: How to Manage Employees
Business meeting FAQs
Here are answers to some common questions regarding business meetings:
What are some types of business meetings?
There are several types of business meetings an organization can have, including:
- Decision-making meetings
- Team-building meetings
- Status update meetings
- Problem-solving meetings
- Idea-sharing meetings
- Innovation meetings
- Project meetings
- Emergency meetings
- Motivational meetings
How can you invite people to a business meeting?
There are many ways to invite people to your business meeting. You could send them an email invitation, invite them to your online calendar event, invite them in person or invite them via phone.