You’re gearing up for the Big Meeting – the one everyone’s been talking about in places ranging from the lunchroom to the boardroom. Your business, or the one you work for, is gearing up to make a very important deal, and you’re to be the hosts. You have some planning to do, and you’re aiming to make the right impression – one that says you absolutely do mean business.
Feeling a bit stressed out? Use these tips to make The Big Meeting task easier.
Assuming that your meeting is a real humdinger, it’s bound to break for lunch – and that means catering! The lunchroom microwave is not up to the job and you seriously don’t need all the hassle of counting chairs, finding matching cutlery and crockery, and preparing the food. Office catering is best left to the professionals, so check out your budget, do a head-count, and start finding out what’s on offer. Professional caterers won’t let you miss a beat. So, all you need is the green light, and you can check that intimidating item off your to-do list.
Book out the boardroom for the day leading up to the meeting so that you have time to set everything up, troubleshoot and act on any detail that may leave your company looking less-than-professional. Set up and test projectors and screens if powerpoints or videos are part of the package. Pin up fresh flipchart paper and keep a spare handy in case the brainstorming requires one.
Test the marker pens and make sure that there are at least three colours available plus backups in case a pen runs dry. Ensure that there are water jugs and water glasses within reach of every delegate. Add a considerate touch with small comfit dishes containing boiled sweets to soothe dry throats, and place a name card for every delegate according to your seating plan.
At the very least, each delegate will need a copy of the agenda. However, for really big meetings like this one, you’ll probably need a few extras. A notepad and pen, any brochures that will be studied, and copies of any fact sheets containing important data should all be available. If you only have one projector, it might be wise to print out copies of PowerPoint presentations – sure, the projector works now, but these things have a nasty habit of failing when you least want them to! Enclose all materials in files or folders, ensuring that their contents are present, correct, and sorted into a logical order. For an even sleeker look, consider having them bound at a print shop.
Talk to all your company’s delegates to ensure that they understand their roles in the meeting and remind them to be on time. The chairperson should ask all delegates to turn off their mobile phones, but throw in an early word about this. A rock and roll ringtone might be just the thing for alerting them to their phone calls, but it would definitely disrupt the flow of a meeting.
With caterers on the job, the meeting area prepared, and the people raring to go, you should be all set. All that remains is welcome guests to a meeting. Record the moment with a professional photograph. From start to finish, they’ll know you mean business!