The business industry has changed drastically over the past year. Our living room tables replaced company offices, and Zoom meetings stepped in for international conference events. As lockdown restrictions begin to lift, businesses are likely to adopt a flexible approach to remote working. Some meetings will be virtual, and others will be in-person.

Steps to planning an effective business meeting

If you need to plan a business meeting soon, bear in mind these tips to make sure it goes smoothly.

Work out the details

Sometimes in-person meetings are essential for big events like a merger or acquisition. Schedule the most convenient time and location for each meeting member and clearly state these details in the invitation. Opt for an office space or conference room over an informal place like a pub or your home. Always include a contact number on the invitation if anyone has an emergency or is late to the meeting.

You should determine how many people are attending and arrange the correct number of refreshments for them. Organize catering for the attendees and plan in a few breaks to give people time to network, connect and exchange ideas. Make sure to hand out your business cards during these network breaks to get your name out there.

Make sure the meeting is essential

You should consider whether an in-person business meeting is necessary for the current climate. If it’s a short and casual meeting, it might be more appropriate to host a Zoom meeting, so employees don’t have to commute on busy trains and waste vital hours of the working day.

UK based printing service, instantprint, surveyed 500 small business owners and found that 25% of SME owners are stressed about government regulations the most. In fact, one in eight SME owners are so stressed about new regulations they only sleep for three to four hours a night.

Running a business is a stressful and challenging role at the moment – make meetings easier for yourself and your employees by utilizing the technology available.

Sometimes a virtual meeting can save you a lot of stress and prevent further spreading of the virus.

Send everyone an agenda

You need to write a plan before the meeting and send it out to everyone. Determine the meeting’s purpose and what you hope to accomplish from it. Outline the discussion topics and prepare assignments for each subject. You should also include time estimates for each topic and the start and end times of the meeting.

An agenda will make sure attendees are prepared for the meeting and know what to bring with them. Make sure to email updated copies of the plan to attendees if anything changes.

Business meetings are an essential part of every industry. Try to be patient with those organizing conferences and the logistical challenges they will face.