Our Catering team have catered for a fair share of meetings and training seminars, and we’ve picked up a few hints here and there. It doesn’t take much to derail a discussion, so we thought we’d collate some pointers to keep your meetings on track.
Planning for success
Before you rush into organising a day-long seminar, it helps to take a moment to define what you’d like to achieve and how you can do it. You should consider:
- Objectives – have a clear idea of why you’re doing this, even if it’s just a quick catch up to brainstorm ideas
- Process – does this need to happen in person or does it require multiple sessions?
- The attendants – only invite those required to attend and likely to add insight to the discussion
- Schedules – if availability doesn’t match up you might consider conferencing options
- Preparation – do the attendants need to be briefed or have required documents they should bring?
- Materials and refreshments – make a quick list of any laptops, AV equipment, stationary, or refreshments you will need
Another key element of a successful training session or meeting is the length and if breaks are provided. Studies show that engagement drops to about 60% after the 45 minute mark, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead for longer sessions.
- 30 minutes – enough time for a quick decision or discussion, as long as everyone is on the same page
- 1 hour – good for meetings that establish direction, or include in-depth discussion or review
- Over an hour – some things take time, especially if it’s training or learning a new system
It’s not easy to focus nonstop, so remember to give your attendants a break or offer food and drink. There’s nothing like a cup of coffee or tea to get you going again!
Stay tuned next time for more handy planning tips.