Within organizations, almost everyone is involved in meetings, if not regularly, then at least occasionally. The result of this is that people often believe they know what the outcome of meetings should be, and what should be discussed in in them. This belief is not necessarily accurate!

The purpose of a meeting should be to move the organization forward. This is done by reaching alignment, making decisions and coordinating actions. Although sharing of information is important, it should not take up a huge portion of the meeting’s time. Only 10 – 15% of the time should in fact be used for this. It is much better to share any relevant information before the meeting. This will allow all participants to be aware about what will be discussed during the meeting and they’ll have the opportunity to prepare a plan of action. For this to be effective however, participants should have the discipline to actually review the shared material before the meeting and come prepared. This is something that needs to be managed properly by making expectations clear up front. When information sharing dominates the agenda, it is generally a waste of people’s time.

Utilizing the talent gathered during a meeting optimally will lead to effective outcomes, and wasting time discussing the information does not form part of this. Action does however need to be taken on said information and the focus of the discussion in a meeting should be on these actions. All relevant parties should be aware of this, and actions need to be planned on this basis.

Time can be better spent by using meeting booking software to plan and execute meetings as conveniently and easily as possible. It can be quite time consuming and difficult to organize means, and using the time wisely will improve effectiveness dramatically. Use the booking software to determine who is available at what time, thereby streamlining the process. Time and resources could then be redirected to more important and urgent issues.

In order to improve time efficiency, physical meeting room displays can be used to indicate whether a room is free or booked, display the purpose of the meeting, as well as the chairperson of the meeting. This will eliminate the possibility of anyone arriving at the wrong meeting, or not knowing what the meeting is about. These hardware devices are portable, which means they can be used almost anywhere, be it in reception, outside the meeting room, or even on a mobile phone. While older, more established organizations are often slow to adopt this technology, it’s great to see younger, more agile companies make quick decisions to implement these. This can give them a crucial competitive advantage by making their meetings more efficient, thus enabling them to make decisions faster than their competitors can.

When combined, conference room displays and meeting booking software can help reduce the wasting of meeting resources. These products will help deliver this basic information beforehand, rather than sharing it during the meeting and wasting time. In the long run, this will increase a businesses’ efficiency, thereby ultimately reducing costs and increasing profits.

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