Whether it's the chamber board, staff, or members, use the following tips to plan chamber meetings that meet objectives, produce results, and leave participants with a sense of accomplishment.
1. Define the objective: Ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish. Are you:
-Looking for a decision?
-Receiving status reports?
-Do you even really need to have the meeting?
2. Have an agenda: That bears repeating. Have an agenda. Send it out before the meeting so people can be prepared, have input, and give feedback (who knows, maybe you'll find out a scheduled discussion isn't needed because that project is already completed). Include a schedule and a timeline on topics - and stick to it! A typical agenda includes:
-Date, time, and location
-Who will attend
-Topic(s) that will be addressed and the intended outcome
-The order of topics
-Who will lead the discussion on topics
-Time allotted for each topic -make it realistic
-Participants' roles in the meeting (so they can prepare)
Arrange for someone to take detailed notes during the meeting - that way you can focus on keeping the meeting on track. Encourage them to keep a summary of discussion points being made, action steps, and decisions.
3. Who to include: Don't waste people's time -- it's too valuable. Participants should either be decision-makers or essential to the process. Not sure if someone should be included? Ask if they would like to attend or would prefer to receive the minutes later.
Running short and Effective Meetings
Effective meetings need a disciplined approach to be efficient. The second installment of our three-part series about meetings focuses on streamlining the event itself.
-Be punctual: respect the time and effort of those that show up on time. Don't delay the meeting due to the tardiness of other attendees (and don't waste time updating latecomers)
-Keep on track: Keep everyone focused on the agenda. If unrelated discussion topics arise, get them back on track - rambling, non-relevant discussions are disruptive, and impact work-flow. Provide a quick summary after each agenda topic, confirm everyone agrees that it's accurate, and then move on.
-Stay on schedule: End the meeting on time. If it's running behind, push for a decision, table the discussion, or schedule a separate meeting on that topic.
Remember, effective meetings accomplish their objective in a minimum amount of time.
*Shared from Chamber Master Blogs*