Organising a meeting that involves staff members from every department in your company seems like a daunting task. However, if you plan everything carefully, there is no reason it cannot be accomplished without too much fuss.
- Decide what exactly it is that you hope to achieve. The worst kind of corporate meetings are those where the organisers have no clear idea of their goals and concentrate purely on the logistics of the event. Many readers may have attended such meetings in the past and spent most of the day thinking about all the more productive things they could be doing.
- Choose a suitable venue. If the attendees will consist entirely of locally hired staff, it makes sense to hold the meeting on-site. If there is not a convenient space where you do this, book a function hall at a nearby hotel or conference centre. If you have the space available at your corporate headquarters, holding it on-site will reduce the cost of the conference quite considerably.
- Arrange cover for key employees. This will be necessary if you do not want to close the company for the day. Most companies are not keen on the idea of suspending normal business activities for a whole day just for the sake of a company meeting. Hence, you will probably need to think about how you can make sure that each department is able to function without many of its key members of staff. It may be possible to operate on a skeleton staff and have junior employees contact senior managers if they should run into difficulties but this could affect the concentration of the managers concerned so it may not be the best solution. If you want to have a productive meeting you will need everybody to focus on the topics being discussed, which is why it is probably best to arrange cover if at all possible.
- Think about the food and drinks. This may not sound very important but attendees will quickly lose their concentration and function less effectively if they do not have access to snacks and beverages throughout the day. If your company is currently housed in a serviced office Edinburgh or a similar facility, there may well be conveniently located snack bars and restaurants in the building. However, if you are renting a conventional commercial property, you will need to think about hiring an efficient catering team or arranging for attendees to be transported to a local eatery at lunchtime. It goes without saying that tea and coffee making facilities should be available at the meeting venue so make sure that this is indeed the case.
- Finalise the agenda. This is something that should be done as far in advance of the meeting as possible. If it is left to the last minute, you may well find that the people who could have made the biggest contributions to the topics under discussion are unable to do so because they had too little time in which to prepare. In fact, the agenda is one of the first things that should be attended to as it will have an effect on many other arrangements. For example, until you know exactly what it is that you are going to be discussing, you will not know who to invite to the conference.
- Organise overnight accommodation. This is especially important for employees who are travelling from branch offices in other parts of the country. It is best to take care of this sooner rather than later to avoid future complications. Depending on the time of year, you may find it difficult to locate enough suitable rooms if you leave it until the last minute.
- Send a copy of the minutes to every attendee as quickly as possible. Make sure you do this once the meeting has finished. This way, you can ensure that the decisions taken at the meeting are actually put into action in the near future. It is worth having a local printer on standby ready to produce good quality copies in bulk so that you can achieve this aim more easily.
About the Author
Regus is a leading British flexible workspace specialist, offering a wide selection of business centres in prime locations across the country.