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About this article: Organizing an Office Meeting

Many people travel on business and need a place in the hotel to hold their office meetings. Most hotels offer conference and business centers which cater to the business traveler.

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Organizing an office meeting
When organizing a meeting decide, who will be the invitees and what purpose they will serve. The invitees should represent usually one person from the designated group or area, rather than have multiple people from the same group who may not be able to contribute anything additional.

Decide on a venue. Even if it is within the organization, some planning may be required as to booking of the conference room or the meeting hall. Though it is considered trivial, it is still a detail that should be attended to ensure that there is plenty of tea or coffee to go around as long as the meeting lasts and may be have some cookies as well.

Before calling for the meeting, draft an agenda and attach to the meeting invitation. This will have a plan to follow during the meeting and attendees are able to meet their objectives. This will serve multiple purposes:

i. Will help attendees to prepare for the meeting;
ii. The attendees will be aware of the time allocated to each subject so as to be mindful of the time allocated;
iii. It will also focus attention on the issues to be discussed within the time frame and not allow the meeting to be side tracked unnecessarily;
iv. Being aware of the expected time to finish a meeting will permit the attendees to schedule meetings thereafter;
v. This will also make the attendees aware that the time is of value and that it is respected.;

Every agenda must have on their list of items `Any Other Business', which is usually the last item.

Circulate an attendees list to be signed by the attendees, very specially at large meetings.

The day prior to the meeting, copies should be made of the handouts. If there are volumes of stuff to be done before a meeting, and you are being constantly disturbed by impromptu visits by co-workers, just place a `do not disturb' board outside the door and stop answering the phone. Let it go to voice mail and if you feel it is too important to miss, then answer the phone.

After the meeting, prepare `Meeting Minutes' which will provide a summary of key points discussed, outcome of the discussion and the action points. Action points should indicate the time frame in which it is expected to be completed. Minutes serve as a recap for the attendees, as well as a form of information for those who did not attend. When a record of minutes is kept, it is easy to track the trail of issues and the duration taken to resolve an issue or to track issues that are yet to be resolved and the length of time it is has been an issue.

When ending the meeting it is recommended to discuss with the attendees when they would be meeting again, so that they are able to see whether they have any other scheduled meetings on that day. That way they are able to decide on a date which is mutually convenient to the attendees.
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