How to Host Effective Meetings

The key strategy for process on any type of process, training or system, is to how to host effective meetings. initially determine its purpose. What will be achieved by attending the meeting? Is there a purpose to meet in-person, or would online video-conferencing, such as SKYPE, be a better option?

If there is to be a conference, then how can you ensure that it will be significant to its attendees? Firstly, there should be a mandate, and an outline, for the proposed event. The itinerary, and aim of the convention, should be clearly promoted in the event invitation. Also, the meeting structure, proposed length, and other particulars, should be determined in advance. Questions to ponder when creating meeting outline include: Will it be chaired? Or is it an open discussion period?

The conference location should be chosen, according to the most advantageous conventional features.  State of the art audio visual technologies, for optimal presentation capability, are among the key considerations, for a choice venue.  An optimal meeting place will have a large table(s), with comfortable seating, good lighting, and be furnished with plenty of electrical outlets, for computers and so forth. Even in this digital-age, be sure to have an ample supply of pens and papers, for note-taking. Even if the event will not be fully catered – at the very least, there should be large pitchers of water, with many cups for the attendees.

Once all of the main particulars are adequately met, the next step is to notify all of the intended attendees. In the conference invitation, be sure to include: meeting time, location (venue name) and directions / map; and include a meeting outline / itinerary, in the send out. On the day of the meeting, the host should receive all guests upon arrival. In the alternative a professional greeter should be assigned to the reception desk.

At the onset of the meeting, all attendees should be  welcomed and introductions among the guests should be encouraged. If there is a meeting agenda, then it should be distributed to all members. If the meeting is being chaired, then the chairman should call it to order. Otherwise, the host should begin the meeting by reading the agenda. The host should also requests inquiries about the proposed meeting topics and goals. Discussion will likely ensue, through comments and suggestions.

Now your meeting is underway. The host should be sure to realign the meeting, if the discussion begins to deviate from the intended meeting topics. The host should conclude the meeting, when consensuses on the meetings’ goals have been achieved.

An excellent reference book for meetings is Robert’s Rules of Order, authored by: General Henry M. Robert.


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