How to Plan a Meeting People Actually Want to Attend

We’ve all been there: A meeting pops up on your calendar and you immediately get hit with a pang of frustration. In fact, you might start to think, “Ugh, I hope this gets canceled,” or “Why do we even need to have a meeting about this anyway?”

And then, if that meeting does eventually get moved or canceled, you get treated to that intensely euphoric feeling — you know the one. That sense of overwhelming relief when you can say, “Yes! One less meeting to deal with” or “Finally, a much-needed break in my schedule.”

Look, no one wants to be that frustrated meeting go-er. But no one wants to be that dreaded meeting-planner either. And, sadly, in today’s business world, it’s inevitable that you’ll play both parts at some point. Because, yes, sometimes meetings have to be scheduled. And someone has to schedule them — even if they don’t want to be the bad guy.

So, the question now is: If you have to schedule a meeting, how can you plan one that doesn’t form a dreaded black hole in people’s schedules? Or, going further, how can you host a meeting people might even — dare we say it — want to attend?

That’s where this guide comes in.

Beginning with this post, we’ll share a series of articles about how to plan a streamlined, productive, and efficient meeting — one that brings the right people to the table, stays within a time limit, and yields results.

To start, here’s a peek at our meeting prep checklist:

  1. Decide if you really need the meeting
  2. Plot your talking points and goals
  3. Invite the right people to attend
  4. Prepare your data and real-time reports
  5. Have a plan for staying on topic
  6. Anticipate disruptors at every turn
  7. Transform a passive audience into active attendees
  8. Fuel up with snacks and drinks
  9. Test your tech ahead of time
  10. Know when it’s time to call it quits

Going forward, we’ll break each step down into its own post, complete with actionable insights, practical tools, and expert quotes.

Because everyone deserves to schedule a meeting that has people thinking, “Hey, this will actually be pretty helpful!” or, at the very least, “You know what? This doesn’t make me want to delete my whole work calendar, go off-grid, and move to a remote cabin in the woods.”

Now, doesn’t that sound nice? We thought so, too.

Stay tuned for future posts!