3 Ways to Get More Done in Your Next Offsite Meeting

Out of the Office

The ongoing worldwide financial crisis has caused companies to tighten their belts in many ways, including limiting offsite meetings. However, there are some occasions when offsite meetings are necessary, or at least advantageous. For instance, if your company is participating in the organization of an industry-wide event, you may decide to locate the meeting offsite to encourage attendance from representatives of other companies.

A site located equally distant from as many participant companies as possible is one way to ensure that no one company must bear an inordinate share of expense to attend an offsite meeting. Another approach is to choose an exotic locale so that attendees could combine a vacation with your meeting. If you take the latter approach, you should consider the types of amenities and upscale hotels Sydney, Rome, Bali or other desirable vacation spots have to offer.

Whichever approach you take in choosing a location for your meeting, you should combine business with pleasure to encourage a larger number of attendees. Plan social outings and allow downtime for attendees to explore the location. Once it’s time to get down to business, following a few strategies will make your meeting more effective.

Establish a Clear Agenda

No matter how beautiful a location you have chosen, no one wants to waste time at a meeting. Have a clear idea of what you want the meeting to accomplish and plan the agenda accordingly. Distribute the agenda well in advance so that participants know what to expect. For instance, if the meeting is designed to produce a working document, schedule time at the beginning of the meeting to go over the outline and assign sections to different teams of attendees. Leave sufficient time at the end for working groups to reconvene so that different sections can be synthesized with one another.

Plan a Realistic Schedule

Be realistic in planning the agenda for the meeting. Allow sufficient time for attendees to check in and be seated before the meeting starts. If your meeting includes one or more meals, allow extra time for people to eat. Allow time for questions after each speaking session. By planning enough time for each session, you will increase the chances that your meeting will remain on schedule. Otherwise, you risk the possibility that at least some =participants will need to leave the meeting before any real work as been accomplished because sessions have run so far over their allotted slots.

Limit Off-Topic Discussions

Of course, you will want to allow time for discussion and an exchange of ideas during your meeting, especially if there are controversial topics on the agenda. However, you should not allow the discussion to dissolve into a free-flowing conversation about unrelated topics. Not only will your meeting fail to accomplish its stated goals, some participants may be put off and decide to leave. If participants seem determined to stray off-topic, you can encourage them to meet separately after the meeting to discuss whatever they like. You can also add optional sessions to the end of your meeting to allow participants who wish to stay to do so.

Tom Grant is a manager with a passion for productivity. He loves to share his best productivity tips on small business blogs. If you are looking for hotels Sydney, he recommends you to visit the link.

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