Working life during the last 6 months has seen a massive step change. A simple 5 minute conversation across the office has had to turn into either a telephone call or online meeting. The discussion around how effective this is can be saved for another time. What cannot be saved however is talking about how effective meetings are.

The need for effective meetings has never been more important. Many employees before lockdown would say they were involved in too many meetings and that few or little were effective in achieving any real results.

Some of the more common complaints were as follows:

• Meetings rarely start on time as people arrive/sign in to the meeting late (Is their time more precious than yours?)
• Exchanging small talk and pleasantries at the start
• Time wasted trying to set up technology – not prepared for the meeting
• Technology failure resulting in abandoned meetings
• People working and not giving the meeting full attention
• Taking calls whilst in the meeting
• No Structured Agenda to follow, resulting in no formal objectives being achieved
• Time is wasted going off on a tangent which does not relate to all present in the meeting
• Getting towards the close of the meeting and actually discussing what matters or leaving with issues unresolved?

With over 11 million meetings taking place every day around the world how do we make these effective?

It really is quite simple!

There is a famous saying that, “if you fail to prepare you prepare to fail”, and this has never been truer than with a meeting.

The answer therefore is to plan and prepare for hosting effective, productive, result driven meetings.

Here at Universal AV we have been discussing the effectiveness of meetings and these are our thoughts on how this should be achieved. It needs a two pronged approach.

First and foremost, The Technology:
* Determine the type of meeting it will be.
o Do you need to be in a room?
o Do you need technology?
o Is someone joining from a remote location?
o Do you have sufficient audio?
o Do they need to be able to see what is on screen?
* Engage with AV specialists (Universal AV Services) to help you realise what you need and will use as opposed to a wish list of wants and features that are never used and therefore a waste of money. We have worked closely with Panasonic and Wolfvision to create a solution for this that simply works at the touch of a button – take a look here
*Importantly, train employees on the technology decided upon and the benefits it provides

The actual meetings:
• First question should always be - Is it actually needed? – Aim to reduce the number of meetings held.
• A format most appropriate – at the moment this is likely to be on-line. Set a clear agenda and distribute in good time so people can prepare
• As host, ensure you are in the online meeting room early to ensure everything is working
• Have a Chair of the meeting to ensure the agenda is stuck to
• Educate staff on meeting etiquette such as arriving on time and not being distracted whilst in the meeting
• Be decisive, make decisions, minute and distribute
• Set time aside for a catch up at the end. This has never been more important at the moment and does not distract from the meeting
• Follow up on action points

Hosting an effective meeting is really quite simple. It comes down to preparation, good time keeping, good manners and someone taking control to achieve an outcome. The technology is part of this, you need to be confident it works and in its ability but it is actually down to us humans to control the rest….

For more information or a product demonstration please contact your account manager or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.