We’ve all heard someone say (or perhaps said ourselves) “that meeting could have been an email”, which is never what its organiser had intended. To make sure any meetings that you set up run smoothly and effectively, here are a few top tips from our team. 

Checklist for productive meetings 

Before the meeting, make sure to go through this simple checklist so that every element is incorporated throughout. 
Set clear objectives: Know what you want to accomplish and communicate this to the participants beforehand. 
Create an agenda: Develop a detailed agenda that outlines the topics to be discussed and the time allocated for each. Share the agenda with participants in advance so that they can come prepared. 
Invite only essential participants: Limit the number of attendees to only those who are crucial to the discussion. This helps to keep the meeting focused and prevents unnecessary distractions. 
Limit the duration: Keep meetings as short as possible without compromising on detail. Long, drawn-out meetings can lead to disengagement and reduced effectiveness. 
Start and end on time: Begin the meeting promptly and stick to the schedule. Also, respect participants' time by ending the meeting at the stated time. This encourages punctuality and helps to maintain productivity. However, if the meeting naturally ends early, don’t stretch it out unnecessarily. 
Encourage participation: Create an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts. Encourage active participation and honest input to make the meeting more engaging. 
Use technology wisely: The right tech can make a big difference, such as a large screen for people attending via video conferencing software. If you’re sharing a presentation or video with the group, ensure that it’s ready before the meeting begins. 
Follow up afterwards: Clearly identify action items and assign responsibilities by the end of the meeting. Follow up with participants afterwards to ensure tasks are completed on time. 
Thank everyone for their time: Even though everyone needed to be in attendance, thanking them for coming along only takes a moment and ends the meeting on a positive note. 

How to set up a room for a meeting 

When setting up a room for anything from a weekly team meeting to an important presentation to a client, it’s crucial that multiple factors have been considered. 
Choose the right venue: It could be a small meeting room in your own offices or a hired venue that offers a lot more space. Either way, your surroundings have a significant impact on the success of a meeting. 
Consider the seating arrangement: Arrange chairs in a way that encourage interaction and engagement. For smaller meetings, a circular or U-shaped setup can foster discussion. For larger presentations, a theatre-style arrangement may be appropriate. If there’s going to be a lot of interaction or activities, groups of tables will work well. 
Check audio-visual equipment: Ensure that all AV equipment is in working order before the meeting, including projectors, screens, microphones and video conferencing tools,. 
Set up a speaker's area: If there's a main presenter or a panel, designate a specific area for them to stand or sit. Make sure this area is visible to all participants and well-lit. 
Light and temperature: Natural light is ideal but ensure you have control over the room's lighting too. Use curtains or blinds to manage glare and adjust the lighting to create a comfortable atmosphere. As for temperature, remember that both too hot and too cold will make attendees uncomfortable and hinder their focus. 
Provide refreshments: Depending on the meeting’s nature and duration, you may need to provide water, tea, coffee and possibly snacks. 
Consider accessibility: Ensure that the meeting room is accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. 
The right kind of furniture is key: Does the meeting space have enough chairs and tables for everyone attending? Are they of a high quality and allow people to easily move around should they need to pop out to the toilet? Office furniture can make or break a meeting, so put extra thought into what you need and how it can work in your favour. 

Upgrade your office with Merlin 

We create positive workplace environments that ensure your staff are comfortable, happy and productive. To find out more about how we can design office layouts that perfectly suit your exact requirements and increase workflow, get in touch on 01482 301000 or use our contact form
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