Tips for your next small business meeting

Meetings with small groups have a different dynamic than, say, a hotel ballroom full of faces.

If done right, meetings with smaller groups can be informative and productive – ideal for team-building, strategy development and training.

But just as you need to tailor each meeting to the audience, there are definite do’s and don’ts to make your next small meeting a success.

  • DO plan ahead. You may have to spend much more time planning than the actual meeting. Determine your objectives, who needs to attend, expected results, length of time, breaks and more. Consider an off-site location to get away from the office.
  • DO create an agenda that includes all the vital issues to be covered and the amount of time dedicated for each. Have a clock handy to move the meeting forward. Give everyone a chance to speak – but within reason.
  • DO plan for breaks. For meetings longer than two hours, your agenda should have breaks built in. Consider whether your attendees will need some time to check e-mail or return calls.
  • DO arrange the seating so all participants are facing you as the host and any whiteboards or screens you’ll be using. Eye contact is crucial in small meetings.
  • DO prepare opening and closing remarks. Open the meeting with a few comments about the purpose of the meeting. Make eye contact with as many attendees while speaking, and keep it friendly. Close the meeting with a recap of events and thank the attendees for their time and efforts.
  • DO make sure everyone is heard. Every meeting has both outgoing people who contribute without prodding and those who don’t speak up unless called upon. Make sure they’ve all had a chance to absorb and examine the information shared.
  • DO take minutes and distribute them after the meeting. Your meeting should have a purpose, and what is done to reach that goal needs to be recorded and shared.
  • DO seek a meeting space that is ideal for small teams – where everyone can be heard, sit close together and stay nearby during breaks.
  • DON’T overuse technology. While the latest gadgets are cool in large meetings, small meetings rely more on face-to-face communications, so before you invest too much in technology be sure it adds value to your meeting.

VTEC’s state-of-the-art meeting space is ideal for all-day training sessions, quick meetings for up to 30 people. To learn more, call our experts at 617-726-9399.

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