How to organize a formal meeting

Sometimes an email is not enough. There are business decisions that can only be made with the impulse of a face-to-face meeting between the heads of the departments involved, or even between members of different companies and institutions. Like any formal act, a meeting requires to fulfill some steps for its correct development. That's why in .com we explain how to organize a formal meeting .

Previous phase: organization of the meeting

First of all, a question should be asked: "Is it really necessary to organize a meeting for this topic?" And is that these appointments often, and rightly so, have a reputation for being authentic devourers of time, delaying too many hours without resolving the issues discussed. Therefore, it is necessary to consider each time a meeting is going to be organized if there really is a need for it, or if the issue to be dealt with can be solved much more quickly with a couple of emails, some phone calls or even a video conference session through of Skype or a Google hangout.

Once the decision has been made, it is necessary to determine the number of people who will attend and send them the invitation, preferably by a written means and in sufficient time, for example 15 days if it is a question of quoting people who have to travel from another city, although it will depend on the agenda and the situation of each company.

One recommendation: the more people go the longer the meeting will be eternalized, so it is best not to mention more than the essential people. Days before the meeting, it is advisable to confirm the attendance of each of the guests by telephone.

In addition to the list of people, you must also establish an estimated duration of the meeting, indicate an agenda and establish a place for the meeting, in a room equipped for that purpose. All this must be well explained in the citation document that is sent to each participant of the meeting.

Preparation of the room

If the work center does not have an appropriate meeting room, or if it will not be free for the day set for the meeting, you can always resort to a convention center or a hotel or business center that has spaces enabled. Depending on the meeting, it may be necessary to have an Internet connection, enough plugs, a projector or videoconferencing equipment.

On the same day of the meeting, you must first check the room, check that the lighting, sound and computer equipment work without problems and that the furniture is correctly arranged. Also, you have to put water and glasses next to each seat. If the meeting schedule advises, you can prepare some coffee and snacks, either before the meeting, or as a break.

Development of the meeting

Brevity is important, so that the act is not eternal. It is therefore convenient to keep an agenda and follow it strictly, trying not to deviate from the issues addressed and in any case leaving for later or for a later meeting the secondary issues that may arise.

If it is not the first meeting on the same topic, one can start by recapitulating the issues discussed and the agreements reached previously. It is advisable that one of the participants, or several taking turns if deemed appropriate, at the meeting act as a secretary, carrying a draft report on the development of it.

At the end a small decision report is left ready and, if necessary, the date of the next meeting is established.

Later stage

With more tranquility, the draft report on the meeting is cleared. Likewise, it is sought to leave the room used in good condition, and preparations are organized for the next meeting, beginning again the process.