Meetings are a way of life for most professionals, and believe it or not, of the 46 million events held every day in the U.S., roughly 80 percent have fewer than 50 attendees. On average, 30 percent of an employee’s workweek is spent attending meetings.
However, according to CBTS, small meetings can be big time-wasters because they’re often considered unnecessary, and they often don’t use technology in ways that can enhance productivity.
The challenges are laid out below, as reported by MeetingsNet, with our suggestions about what you can do about them.
Problems and Solutions for Small Meetings:
PROBLEM: It’s unnecessary.
SOLUTION: Make sure the meeting has an agreed-upon purpose with objectives. If it doesn’t have a purpose, you don’t need the meeting.
PROBLEM: Meeting goes off-topic and descends into small talk.
SOLUTION: Have a designated person who keeps the meeting focused. Sometimes that’s the person running the meeting, but it doesn’t have to be. This is where a written agenda comes in handy, so people know exactly what will transpire at the meeting.
PROBLEM: Attendees are repeating themselves.
SOLUTION: If information is repeated over and over again, you’ve reached the unproductive zone. Again, the facilitator’s job is to keep things on track, and if a decision has been made or information has been disseminated, it’s time to move on.
PROBLEM: People take phone calls, have side conversations or leave the room.
SOLUTION: State up front that the meeting will start and end on time. Ask people to silence their phones and put them away. When side conversations occur, stop the meeting and wait. Attendees will get the hint, and this type of behavior will stop.
PROBLEM: There’s no concrete next steps.
SOLUTION: Make sure everyone in the meeting knows what to do next and when the next meeting will be. The call to action needs to be very clear, with accessible documentation that attendees can refer to often and record when they’ve completed their assignments.
Meeting Technology Challenges
On top of all the problems listed above, in a 38-minute virtual or hybrid meeting, 8 minutes is spent getting the meeting started, 13 minutes is filled with disruptions, distractions or interruptions, and 17 minutes (or only 45 percent) is spent on the actual meeting content.
With 83 percent of meeting attendees stating that technology is the key to effective collaboration, it’s vital that technology works well the first time.
Small meeting attendees have these expectations from their technology:
- 53 percent want technology that works with the touch of a button (i.e., mobile apps, monitors, tablets)
- 44 percent want wireless technology in the meeting room
- 44 percent want the ability to share information from any device to any device
- 40 percent want easy conferencing with remote attendees
Meeting Technology Solutions
In order to get the meeting started sooner, consider hosting the meeting off-site and engaging the technical staff at the venue to help test the technology well before the meeting starts. This will allow you to start the meeting sooner and keep it on task because the technology will work right, the first time.
Use interactive whiteboards, collaborative software and mind mapping apps to bring attention to the issue, conduct training or formulate decisions you need to make by the end of the meeting. With the right set of tools, less disruption will occur.
With the two components addressed by the solutions listed above, your meeting should go from 45 percent productive to 100 percent (or close to it)!
Lastly, make sure the venue can provide easy-to-use tech solutions, has high-speed Wi-Fi in the room that’s tied to all the devices (printers, scanners and monitors) and provides state-of-the-art videoconferencing capabilities to bring remote attendees into the conversation.
Kalahari Resorts and Conventions Wants Your Small Meeting Business
Want to get off-site and still have a productive meeting? Look no further than Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, where we connect you and your attendees to the right meeting space and technology options. Choose us to manage your next meeting by calling 855.411.4605 and speaking to one of our group sales professionals today!