Tips for scheduling successful meetings:
- Consider neutral slots that accommodate across time zones.
- Try to schedule meetings effectively in advance to secure attendance and reduce no-shows.
- Provide virtual meeting options or group scheduling formats.
- Use visual references and encourage participation.
- Send clear agendas along with meeting invites.
- Try to minimize meetings at both the start and end of participants' workdays.
- Reduce back-to-back meeting scheduling.
- Make use of scheduling software and tools.
Meeting scheduling tips for successful meetings
Meetings are par for the course in the working world and there is no way you’re going to avoid them. The thing about scheduled meetings is that when they’re bad, they’re really bad but when they’re good they can, quite literally, change your life.
How to schedule and arrange meetings successfully
As an activity that we are bound to always encounter and a near universal experience, scheduling meetings does not have to be an arduous and painful process. There are many ways to arrange and conduct successful meetings and appointments that are respectful of people’s time and allow for a smooth conveyance of information.
Let’s take a look at some meeting scheduling tips that have helped us be a bit more mindful and keep our scheduled meetings impactful and informative.
Schedule time buffers for meeting preparation
If you’re planning a super strategic meeting and you’re at the scheduling phase:
- Consider hosting your meeting slot at a neutral time that guarantees a level of attention and engagement.
- People dislike meetings that are scheduled during lunch hours or at times that encroach COB, so it really is in your best interest to select a meeting time that negates opportunities for disinterest and irritation. Humans are fickle creatures of habit and much like Pavlov’s Dog, the bell tolling for lunch and home time is more instinct than habit at this point.
- Your best bet to secure attendance in meetings by attentive guests is to book times from Tuesday to Thursday in the mornings after everyone has settled in and checked their emails at least once. Plus, you should ideally give people more than 24 hours notice of an incoming scheduled meeting and send out calendar invites as far ahead as possible so people know what is coming their way and they can prepare for the scheduled meeting accordingly.
- Due to a variety of factors, you may find yourself in need of scheduling instant meetings and live appointments that require all parties to connect pretty much immediately. When this is the case, the idea of adding a time buffer and opportunities for planning ahead becomes a little irrelevant. Our suggestion for scheduling effective instant meetings is simple. Send as much information as you can in the actual meeting invite and link to any resources that could help or guide all attendees’ understanding of the matter at hand. Maybe you can all go through the attachments together on call or encourage reading while the discussion is underway.
- Instant meetings are steadily becoming the norm as our interactions become ever more virtual and our teams global. Try to schedule them sparingly and make sure they’re relevant, topical and somewhat urgent.
Having buffers and preparation time between the scheduled meetings is essential for maintaining productivity and avoiding burnout. When we schedule back-to-back meetings without any breaks, it can be mentally exhausting and stressful, leaving us little time to digest what was discussed and prepare for the next meeting. With buffers, we have the opportunity to review our notes, gather our thoughts, and clear our minds before diving into the next task. Additionally, buffers allow for unexpected delays or overruns in meetings, reducing the likelihood of running late or having to cut a meeting short. Ultimately, incorporating buffers and preparation time into our schedules helps us maintain our focus, productivity, and overall well-being.
Stick to scheduled times for your meetings and figure out the best times to have your appointments
Maybe this is obvious, but in the attention economy of today it is beneficial to be mindful of people’s time. When you schedule a meeting with a person, you’re asking them to pay attention to your needs for x amount of time and they agree on the premise of that. So in order to make sure they feel respected and considered, it’s best to stick to the agreed time in the meeting and use it appropriately to discuss all relevant matters. When you go overtime in a scheduled slot you run the risk of coming across as someone who rambles and is unable to be concise. Of course, it should also go without saying that punctuality is still very pertinent as we all know there is no feeling quite like staring at yourself while waiting for someone to join a call.
As can often occur in organizations that are appointment intensive, sometimes you have to meet with the same people in different contexts or in varying conversations. If you find yourself needing to do so, try to allow for brief intervals in between scheduled meetings so your attendees have some time to file notes, clear their heads and prepare for the next meeting.
How to schedule your meetings effectively
Sticking to scheduled times and meeting end times is perhaps one of the best meeting scheduling tips and is crucial for maintaining respect for each other's time, avoiding delays, and ensuring that all participants can plan their day effectively. When meetings start and end on time, it demonstrates a level of professionalism and consideration for everyone involved. It also ensures that everyone can effectively manage their workload and avoid scheduling conflicts. On the other hand, when meetings run over their scheduled time, it can be frustrating and disruptive for those who need to attend other meetings or have other tasks to complete. Moreover, running late can put pressure on people who have strict deadlines or commitments. In conclusion, adhering to scheduled times and meeting end times is a sign of respect and consideration for everyone's time and helps to foster an environment of productivity and efficiency.
Keep attendees engaged during scheduled meetings
Unless you're doing a presentation where an info dump is a necessity (and sometimes even then), participation and conversation can be your best friend when scheduling appointments with others. When you're having a one-way conversation, other meeting guests can feel like they’re being forced to witness an oral or a training session they didn’t sign up for.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Questions in Meetings
By posing questions and creating space in the time you schedule for discussion, you’re not only freeing yourself up from oratory responsibilities but making sure meeting guests can engage with what you’re trying to communicate and that they’re learning from each other.
The Importance of Visual References in Meeting Presentations
It should also go without saying that your slideshow should include information that goes beyond the words you’re actually saying. Try to include as many visual references and collateral as possible so that you can make connections to what it is that you are discussing and create opportunities for understanding and grasping that go beyond the scheduled engagement.
Encourage Engagement for Productive Meetings
Keeping attendees engaged during scheduled meetings is important for ensuring that the meeting is productive and that everyone benefits from the discussion. One effective way to keep attendees engaged is to have a clear agenda and goals for the meeting, outlining what will be discussed and what outcomes are expected. Encouraging participation and inviting attendees to share their thoughts and ideas can also help to keep them engaged.
Visual aids such as slides, diagrams, or videos can also make virtual meetings more interesting and help to break up lengthy presentations. Finally, taking regular breaks and scheduling shorter meetings can help to maintain attendees' attention and prevent fatigue.
Overall, creating an interactive and engaging environment can make a big difference in the success of a meeting and help to ensure that attendees are invested in the discussion.
Optimize your scheduling infrastructure with meeting scheduling tips
A great scheduling tool to have in your arsenal when scheduling successful meetings is having proper scheduling infrastructure and procedures in place to make sure you're conducting meetings that matter and doing so in a timely fashion that reduces friction and the back-and-forth for everyone.
Benefits of a Streamlined Scheduling System in Meetings
Optimizing your scheduling infrastructure is crucial for maximizing productivity and efficiency in meetings and appointments. Having a well-organized and streamlined scheduling system can help you avoid double bookings, scheduling conflicts, and other scheduling errors that can be time-consuming to resolve. Additionally, optimizing your scheduling infrastructure can help you make the most of your time by automating routine scheduling tasks, such as sending reminders, rescheduling appointments, or confirming attendance.
This can save valuable time and reduce the risk of human error in scheduling meetings, allowing you to focus on more important tasks. Finally, an optimized scheduling infrastructure can help you better manage your workload, ensuring that you have enough time to prepare for meetings and appointments, reducing the likelihood of missed deadlines or rushed work. Overall, optimizing your scheduling infrastructure is critical for improving your productivity, reducing stress, and maximizing the value of your time.
OnceHub Meeting Automation Solutions for scheduling tips
There are a variety of ways you can automate almost all of your scheduling needs, such as OnceHub’s meeting journey builder and booking pages. By automating the way your calendar responds to booking requests and availability, you save yourself time and also provide visitors and clients with a way to exert some control over the way they want to engage with you.
Another great habit to introduce as a meeting scheduling tip into the way in which you schedule time with people is making the desired outcome of a meeting known from the jump. When sending a meeting invite and opening up the possibility of interaction, you should include necessary details in the invite description that provides crucial information and allows for context before hopping onto the call.
Another way of building context and making sure your virtual meetings have context is by setting up a booking page that qualifies your incoming meeting attendees by posing a series of questions that allows to you classify, categorize and define the participants in a way that can give you the upper hand when trying to accomplish your goals for the meeting.
You should also consider who needs to be in attendance and if key figures necessary to continue the conversation or project at hand can make it. There is beauty in simplicity and this definitely applies to your approach to meetings as we’re all prone to include more people than we need to, in fear of missing out on communicating important information to people who might need to hear it, but still.
Lastly, in designing and trialing the most efficient ways to communicate and schedule meetings with others, setting up some boundaries can do wonders for building morale and empowering people. Many organizations benefit from having no-meeting days where teams are allowed to focus on their work and buckle down to get things done.
We hope you were able to learn something from our meeting scheduling tips and that you have great success in configuring your scheduling methods in a way that works best for you and your team.