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Meeting Basics

Meeting Basics

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If you’ve ever been in charge of planning a meeting or other event, you know that there’s many things to think about and a lot of work to do. Here’s a few Meeting Checklists to help you stay organized. Some tasks won’t apply to every situation, and there will be other times when you’ll have many tasks to add. At the least, these lists can get you headed in the right direction.

Before the Meeting

____ Clarify your purpose for the meeting

____ Draft agenda for meeting

____ Identify potential group members

____ Identify a facilitator (if needed)

____ Select date, time, and site for meeting

____ Notify group members of meeting

____ Identify and invite resource people

____ Prepare materials for the meeting

____ Arrange for visual aids

____ Arrange for food and beverages

____ Arrange for signs (if needed)

____ Confirm site arrangements

____ Follow up with facilitator & resource people on arrangements, materials and introductions

____ Prepare agenda and evaluation form

____ Check on equipment and supplies

____ Write (or collect from speakers) the introductions

____ Arrange for parking

____ Supervise delivery food, refreshments

On the meeting day

____ Inspect room for correct set-up, temperature and lighting

____ Hang/set out signs

____ Double-check audio visual equipment

____ Handle any problems with food, refreshments, room, audio visual equipment

____ Hand out evaluations

After the Meeting

____ Supervise return of visual aid equipment, supplies and resource materials

____ Arrange for payment of bills, if any

____ Collect and analyze evaluation forms

____ Send thank you letters to resource people, speakers, and others who helped

Supplies and Equipment

____ Notepad

____ Handouts and other visual aids/props

____ LCD Projector

____ Laptop computer

____ CD, disk with PowerPoint presentation

____ Flipchart easel and paper pad

____ Magic Markers

____ Masking Tape

____ Overhead projector

____ Extra bulbs for projectors

____ Screen

____ Slide projector

____ Extension cords & adapter

____ Tape recorder

____ Video

____ Name Tags

____ Pencils/Pens

Selecting a site

When searching for potential meeting sites consider the following criteria.

____ Proximity: How close is this site to the largest number of group members?

____ Cost: Is there a charge for using the site?

____ Flexibility: Are there extra rooms nearby if we need them for break outs?

____ Accessibility: Is the site easily accessible to people with disabilities?

____ Food and refreshments: Can food and refreshments be provided on site, in the room, or nearby? Are their vegetarian or special dietary need choices?

____ Parking: Is parking convenient? Is parking free, or does it require payment or a permit?

____ Visual aid equipment: Does the site have equipment on hand? Is it free or is there a fee?

____ Experience: If you used this site before, was the experience positive or negative? If negative, can those earlier problems be overcome?

Evaluating a potential meeting room

As you check out different meeting spaces, consider these questions.

____ Atmosphere: Is the room cheerful and inviting? Does it have outside windows?

____ Layout: Is the room large enough for your needs?

____ Furniture: Are the chairs comfortable for longer meetings? Is the furniture moveable?

____ Conveniences: How far away are the rest rooms, fire exits, vending machines, elevator, stairs?

____ Lighting: Is there sufficient lighting? Can the room be darkened easily for audio visual presentations?

____ Noise: Is the room free of excessive noise and interruptions?

____ Outlets: Are outlets available for your equipment? If not, are there extension cords available?

____ Heating and Cooling: Will the temperature be appropriate and can you control it yourself?

____ Telephone: Is there a phone nearby for participants to use privately? are there pay phones nearby? Is there a phone in the meeting room (and do you want one there)?

Recording using a flipchart

• Position the flipchart so everyone can see it. Walk to different parts of the room to check for readability.

• Stand at an angle to the easel as you write and then stand to the side while listening to the next speaker.

• Write in large block letters at least 1 1/2 inches high.

• Leave about two inches or more between lines.

• Use several colored magic markers.

•Support the facilitator. Work cooperatively.

• Listen to the comment. Then write.

• Be brief, but try not to evaluate or edit the comments.

• Abbreviate words and use symbols but make sure the group understands them.

• Highlight key words with contrasting color

• If you aren't sure how to spell a word ask for help.

• As a sheet is full, tear it off and tape it on a wall. Ask someone else to help you with this task.

Sources: SCS Informational Booklet, Pre-Meeting Arrangements and Visual Design