Five tips for keeping meetings on track and productive

Published October 16, 2015 2:22 pm by LoSasso

At LoSasso, we believe one of the keys for successful marketing is a healthy, collaborative relationship between an agency and their client. Daily communication is essential, and although face-time is ideal, it’s not always feasible because of busy schedules or distance. So when we are able to schedule an in-person meeting with our clients, it’s important to make the most of this valuable time to cultivate the relationship along with effective strategies and marketing solutions. Here’s how we get the most out of every in-person meeting:

  • Provide an agenda at least 24 hours in advance. Every attendee can come to the meeting well prepared with speaking points and ideas, preventing surprises or lulls in conversation. Plus, you can always refer back to the agenda during the meeting if the discussion begins to veer off topic.
  • Allow plenty of time for setup. It’s tempting to be tweaking a presentation until the last second with ideas still flowing, but commit to a hard stop at least 15 minutes prior to your meeting’s scheduled start. Take those last few minutes to make sure your laptop is properly projecting, all documents are stapled and ready to hand out and team members are ready to go. Your meeting can start smoothly and on time, setting the pace for the day.
  • Take breaks. What’s one of the best ways to boost creativity during a long meeting? Taking a break. Along with grabbing a fresh coffee, a break also helps improve focus and leads to a fresh start as you move from one topic to another.
  • Participate while taking comprehensive notes. It can be hard to pull off this double-duty but it’s possible with practice. I find it much easier to jump from answering a client’s question back to a laptop to take notes, rather than scrambling with pen and paper. Plus taking notes on a laptop can also make it easier to complete our next step …
  • Develop a meeting recap. Follow the agenda when developing the recap for easy reference by all attendees. And most importantly, add a section of “Next Steps” with specific deliverables with an assigned due date. This helps keep key action items moving forward, and ultimately ensures the meeting leads to productive outcomes benefitting both the agency and our clients.

What are some of your tried-and-true methods for running a productive meeting? Have an untraditional solution that you used when a discussion took a drastic turn?