Just like this blog, we should have our client meetings short and sweet. Also whether you are the business or client the typical meeting costs money in terms of time lost in productivity. This is especially significant with meetings as they normally require more senior people. Therefore getting the most from meetings is even more important. Here are some tips that I use.
Always be prompt for the appointment. Try not to come more than 10-15 minutes early, as their are likely other meetings in progress before yours.
Define a start and finish time when you make the appointment. This puts a little urgency in the meeting prompting productivity. It also affirms that everyone's time is valuable.
Set an agenda for the meeting. Yes, it is not just a thing. Make up a productive agenda for the meeting and share it with everyone involved so they have plenty of time to get organised for the right things.
If you are a client it is best to help the business you want to deal with be prepared. Blindsiding them maybe useful if your testing their knowledge. However, if it is already known they are experts you are more than likely wasting everyone's time. It is best to disclose the topics you need to discuss and have the other party be fully prepared so you are more productive. You can then spend the time collaborating, which is far more likely to produce something great.
Confirm the appointment two days before hand then the night and morning of. This maybe a little to much for some, so adapt it for your participants.
Have the meeting area pre-prep'd before the meeting. If you need to use the project make sure it's their and it is working. Make sure your powerpoint is working and you are confident using it. Make sure whiteboards are clean and you have a supply of working pens. Have chilled water ready. It doesn't make sense to have a one hour meeting and spend 30 minutes setting up after everyone is there.
Stay on topic. Close of each agenda point first, then chit chat.
Phones off! Do not disturb on the door. Managers etc staff are band from coming in unless it is to save everyone's lives from fire.
Do not schedule meetings near the later part of the day on the last day of the working week.
Prepare information to the other part to take away. Notes are especially useful, that way no one needs to break concentration to take notes as they go.
Don't have meetings unless there is a real chance of productive activity. Instead use email, items can be described in a more productive way when you have to write them down to articulate to another person.