Too often people leave meetings or corporate events feeling frustrated, tired, or like they just wasted their time. Meetings don’t have to be boring, time-consuming, or ineffective. In fact, with a little structure and planning, they can be incredibly valuable and informative for everyone involved! Here are some fool-proof ways to improve efficiency, get results, and add value to your meetings from the corporate meeting planners and event specialists at the Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel…
Plan a detailed agenda ahead of time.
Creating a meeting agenda is one of the most important things you can do to add value to your meetings. An agenda helps you (and others leading the meeting) prepare talking points and visuals, as well as request any audio/visual equipment they may need. Knowing what to expect ahead of time also allows attendees to better prepare, which in turn enables them to contribute more constructive ideas and feedback at the meeting.
Planning a proper agenda takes time, so the last thing you want is for busy colleagues to quickly glance over it or ignore it completely. To avoid everyone wasting time, you should consider the overall goals of your event and draft an agenda that goes beyond bullet points and actually adds value. Depending on the desired outcomes, you may want to include:
- Names and contact information so attendees can easily network before and after the event.
- Relevant links and documents so everyone can research and access necessary details.
- Additional items to bring in order to complete an agenda item, enter the facility, etc. (ex: cash, photo ID, signed contract, etc.)
- Important event details such as directions, parking, provided amenities, dress code, etc.
How detailed your agenda should be and how much information to include depends greatly on the type of event, who’s attending, and how familiar everyone is with each other, the meeting facility, and the topic(s) at hand. Overall, a valuable meeting agenda should help increase efficiency and get everyone on the same page from the get-go.
Keep an eye on the time.
How long your meeting should be depends greatly on the discussion at hand. However, you should decide how much time you’re going to dedicate to something — and stick to it. That allows everyone to plan their schedule accordingly, keeps discussions on track, and helps avoid burnout. It may be helpful to assign an allotted amount of time for each topic on your agenda to make sure all necessary items are covered. If the discussion needs to continue past the allotted time, table it and add it to the agenda for next time. That will allow everyone to think about what was said, brainstorm new ideas, and come at the topic with fresh eyes at the next meeting, rather than spinning your wheels and wasting time.
Add visuals and audio.
As the old saying goes, “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” Visuals are so, so, so important. It’s one thing to talk about company finances, recent successes, or an exciting new project. It’s another thing to see a graphic, video, or images to back it up. Visuals help capture attention and improve information retention. In fact, research shows that:
- 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
- Visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text.
If creating visuals isn’t your thing, connect with people on your staff who might be able to help — like graphic designers, videographers, and photographers. You can also use stock photo sites, YouTube, and other online resources to help find some attention-grabbing visuals to add to your presentation.
Pro tip: A good corporate event space will have monitors, projectors, and other necessary A/V equipment to showcase your visual aids. Ask about this ahead of time.
Change things up.
Meetings can easily become unproductive when you and your team get stuck in a rut. Getting out of the normal work routine can be a great way to add value to your meeting. Change can spur creativity and new ideas and helps keep people alert and focused. You could try some easy brainstorming or icebreaker games, or completely take your meeting off-site for some fresh inspiration and additional amenities. A change in routine and location can be just the ticket to helping people focus and zone in.
Follow up with definitive action steps and feedback.
Meetings don’t end when everyone adjourns. Much like you sent an agenda ahead of time, you should follow up after the meeting as well. Depending on the event, you may want to provide notes, to-do items, contact information, or a simple thank you. That way, everyone is on the same page, important details and tasks are documented, and there’s a clear direction of what needs to be done.
When following up, you should also encourage feedback. Oftentimes someone may be intimidated to speak in front of a group, or there may have been issues you were unaware of. By inviting people to weigh in and share their thoughts after your meeting, you may get some unexpected insights that make your next meeting even more valuable!
Schedule Your Next Corporate Gathering with Us!
At Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel, we love working with businesses, organizations, and nonprofits of all sizes. If you’re planning a corporate event, we’d love to work with you. We have plenty of amenities to help add value to your meeting, including:
Start planning your next meeting or corporate event in Anaheim, CA by contacting us today!