4 essential roles your next business meeting can’t do without
by Sue O'Rourke on February 19, 2020 in Conference tips
Running a successful meeting or conference is a bit like putting on a play.
The ‘players’ are allocated their roles.
They’re expected to practice their lines and their actions.
And there needs to be an understudy in case anything goes wrong with the main players. A back-up plan if one aspect of the show needs changing.
Ok, so I’m pushing the analogy.
But it’s true. When you’re organising a successful event, there are a lot of things – people and resources – that need to come together on the day.
No matter the size of your meeting, to ensure a smooth-running event you’ll need to allocate certain responsibilities to the right person.
So, if you’re the event organiser, the director of this play, a key part of your role is to ensure everybody else knows what they’re doing.
What are the 4 key roles you need to have in place at your next business meeting?
The Facilitator, or Meeting Leader, is an important role. They must carry enough authority to guide the flow of discussions without ‘treading on any toes’.
- Takes care of the pre-meeting organisation – the what, where, when and how.
- Prepares the agenda for the meeting.
- Encourages participation by everyone at the meeting.
- Ensures the meeting progresses through the agenda items.
- Prevents any one person from dominating the conversation.
- Must try and stay neutral and positive. It’s best if they don’t have a stake in the outcome of the meeting.
- Can manage the agenda well. They have the skill to know when a discussion should end so that the meeting can move on to other topics.
- At the conclusion of a meeting, the Facilitator usually sets the time for the next meeting.
Keeping a record of what has been discussed at a meeting is crucial. Unless someone in the room makes an accurate, objective record of the decisions made and a note of who should take responsibility for actions, your meeting could be a waste of time.
- The Recorder needs to have a grip on any technical terms that may be used during the meeting.
- They need to able to summarise accurately, writing down the most important points of discussion.
- They might find it useful to write these points on a flip chart or use a laptop and data projector so that everybody in the room can see what’s being recorded. This will support transparency and confirm that discussions are being fairly documented.
- To make sure the meeting record is accurate, at the end of the meeting, the Recorder should confirm all of the decisions and consequent actions (and who is responsible) with the group.
- So that the momentum of a successful meeting is not lost, the Recorder should distribute the meeting minutes within 72 hours.
The Time Keeper
To avoid discussions becoming bogged down on one topic, it’s necessary to have accurate timekeeping.
- Timekeeping seems like an easy role, but it has to be to handled delicately. This is especially the case when individuals at the meeting get ‘carried away’ with their particular agenda.
- The Time Keeper helps the Facilitator keep the meeting on track. This ensures that the meeting’s participants stay with the agenda and don’t run out of time.
To achieve the best meeting outcome, most people don’t just ‘turn-up’ and expect that they’re there to simply observe.
- It’s important that meeting participants have had enough time to take a look at the agenda and had a think about the points to be discussed.
- Meeting participants should be prepared to listen and to speak up where appropriate.
- Where possible, they should come to the meeting with a positive attitude and a willingness to learn.
- They should be active participants in the discussion.
If you’d like to discuss holding your meeting at Figtree Conference Centre, please get in touch with our Venue Coordinator Sue O’Rourke on 02 9393 9051 or send her an email.
We’re located in the heart of Sydney Olympic Park. We have plenty of free parking, free Wi-Fi and we’re also close to transport.