Meetings. Let’s be honest; most of them can be a waste of time. Effective team meetings are few and far between. If you shudder everytime you hear your manager utter the words “team meeting” you’re not alone. A survey of 2,000 employees in the UK, France and Germany found that people spend a total of 187 hours in meetings every year. The poll claims 56 per cent of these meetings are usually  “unproductive” – and 66 per cent of those surveyed admitted they make excuses to avoid meetings. 

It doesn’t have to be this way. With some planning and preparation, you can run meetings that are not only efficient and enjoyable, but meetings that drive team collaboration, get decisions made and inspire action.

Here are CatchApp’s 10 top tips for running effective team meetings like a pro.

1 – Do you even need a meeting?

Controversial first point! Before you go on auto-pilot and schedule a meeting, think about whether you really need to take time out of your day to have a meeting at all. Can you achieve everything you want to with an email or phone call instead?

We need to put an end to meetings for the sake of meetings.

2 – Only invite the right people

Meetings often go wrong because there are too many people there, all trying to give their opinions. When arranging your meeting, be selective about who you invite. The fewer people, the better. Make sure all the decision-makers are in the room, as well as people who can influence change. Remember Elon Musk’s rule for meetings – only people who are adding value should be present. 

3 – Have an agenda

You should have an idea of how you want your meeting to go before it starts. Before your meeting, speak to stakeholders about the problems that need to be discussed and resolved. Set out an objective for the meeting, detailing what you need to achieve. Distribute the agenda far enough in advance to be useful, with clear notes about who is responsible for reporting on what information during the meeting. Use the meeting to finalise your plans and actions.

4 – Take notes

Assign someone to be the note-taker in your meeting. This is essential for accountability so you have an accurate record of key input and decisions made. Create an actionable status report to hold everyone to account and send out to the attendees and other relevant stakeholders. 

The art of effective team meetings is to ensure that everyone is on the same page and things actually get done! 

5 – Avoid big egos

If there’s someone who has a big ego and tends to dominate meetings, don’t invite them unless you really have to. Your aim is to create an open environment where everyone can have an input without fear of being judged or talked over. Big egos in these situations can create friction.

Instead, talk to them in advance to get their input and ideas.  Then email them after the meeting with a recap to keep them in the loop.

6 – Set a time limit

Keep meetings short and to the point. 

Meetings don’t have to automatically be half and hour or one hour long. Think about setting a fifteen minute meeting if that’s all it is going to take and then  make sure it doesn’t drag on for an hour. Meetings become time-wasters when they go on for too long.

7 – Location, location, location

Hold your meeting in a location where you can discuss everything without distractions –  a private meeting room if you can. If this isn’t possible and you have to meet in a public place,  find somewhere quiet. No-one can concentrate with the violent hissing of the coffee machine going off in your local coffee bar!

Remember,  CatchApp integrates with Google Maps, so you can add any location to your invitation and it will provide the photo, full address, telephone number, website and reviews to your invitation.  So no-one will ever get lost on their way to your meeting ever again!

8 – Choose the perfect meeting time

When choosing a time for your meeting, remember to factor in travel time. You don’t want people to be late or stressed when they arrive. 

The best way to schedule a meeting time is to use CatchApp. With CatchApp, you can suggest multiple times for a meeting, allowing your attendees to choose the time that’s best for them.

9 – Send meeting invitations

Use CatchApp to send your 1-on-1 or group meeting invitations. You can also set up groups so that you save even more time in the future. Make sure you have accurate contact details and that you spell all their names correctly. 

10 – Fuel Your Meeting

Meetings always go more smoothly if there is food and drink available. If you know what your attendees’ favourites are, lay it on for them. It will always make a good impression.   Don’t forget the soya milk for the non-dairy people – and it’s good to think beyond the basic biscuit tray! 

If you are hosting a meeting in the office, use services like City Pantry or CaterWings. For external meetings use Foursquare City Guide or Google Maps to identify a cool cafe or a fancy restaurant for your meeting.

Our picks to book in for a business power lunch are the trendy Latin American hotspot, Amazonico in London, Grand Bar and Lounge at the Soho Grand Hotel in New York and Italian at Perbacco in San Francisco. 

How effective team meetings  can accelerate your growth 🚀

Best way to schedule your meetings? Download CatchApp. The Meeting Scheduler that’s 100% Free, and Ad-Free!

  • Powerful 1:1 meeting scheduling
  • Juggle dozens of 1:1 meetings with 1 invite
  • Group meetings scheduled super-fast
  • Works with Apple, Google, and Microsoft Outlook calendars

Follow our 10 effective meeting tips and you’ll never doodle uselessly through a boring meeting again! 

Effective team meetings start with proper organisation. Use CatchApp to schedule times that suit all of your attendees. The follow-up confirmations and reminders will make sure everyone is there on time and actually at the right location. All done with a few taps! It couldn’t be easier.

Meetings are crucial for facilitating excellent collaboration, creativity and innovation. They help create positive relationships between team members and ensure proper communication which then leads to business acceleration and growth. However, this only happens when the meetings are well-organised and well-run. 

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