Creating a productive meeting agenda
You land a meeting with your dream event client and you’re really excited about it, but you’re worried because you don’t know how to prepare a productive meeting agenda that makes you look like a pro.
I ran into this when a client asked me to meet them to discuss an event proposal I had submitted. This client ran two large events per year and it was an amazing opportunity for me to get regular business and to expand my client base.
For this meeting, I knew my main objective was to get hired but I needed to prepare for this (very important) meeting because I knew they’d be asking me questions about my experience, how I could help them plan and manage their two events, and how to help them grow the (overall) event too.
I was worried because my website wasn’t ready and I didn’t feel like I was as polished as I needed to be to showcase my event skills and talents.
It’s easy yet more stressful to go with the flow and cross your fingers hoping that it’ll all work out. But, preparing with a step-by-step meeting agenda is going to show that you’re a professional, it allows you to bring up important ideas so your clients see how you’ll help them with their event, and preparing with a meeting agenda helps you stay calm!
A meeting agenda is a plan that outlines what topics will be discussed and in what order. The goal of creating a meeting agenda is to keep you on track and inform your event clients about the topics that you’ll cover during the meeting.
It’s a good idea to send your client the agenda prior to the meeting so they can add items (and you can prepare) before you meet them.
If you’ve got a big client meeting coming up and you want a step-by-step method to prepare your productive meeting agenda, use this checklist to prepare and deliver a great meeting.
Checklist to create your meeting agenda:
Create your meeting agenda early. Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare your agenda. Getting started early gives you time to prepare an outline, make changes or updates, and gives you time to create a professional document in PDF or PowerPoint (include graphics).
Define your objective. What will be discussed in the meeting? This should be clearly stated at the top of the agenda.
Do your research. Get to know your client before meeting them by looking at their social media profiles, Googling them and by asking friends (or friend of friends!) that work at the organisation about their organisation. Understand what’s important to your clients.
Allow time for each agenda item. This isn’t always the easiest task but it’s important to prioritise your agenda items.
Create a win-win situation by adding value and showing your clients how your services benefit them. By simply creating a document that lists all the ways your event expertise will benefit them, it shows the client that you’re prepared and a professional.
Don’t do all the talking! Listening to your event clients allows them to share their vision and for you to learn more than if you do all the talking.
Leave time at the end of the meeting for attendees to get clarification on agenda points and ask questions.
Before you end your meeting, decide your next steps. Will you meet again to discuss the event further or does the contract need to be signed, for example?
After the meeting, send a handwritten thank you note to leave a good impression.
Follow up. This step is really important and often what people skip, but a simple email or phone call can remind your client of your meeting, allow them to ask more questions, and it shows you’re interested and on your game.