16 May 2010

Whose meeting is it anyway?

Do you ever get a meeting request and an agenda has not been provided, or if it is a teleconference the call-in details have not been given or the boardroom hasn't been booked for an internal meeting?  Whose responsibility is it anyway?

When booking meetings ownership of the meeting has to be established.  The person sending out the request for the meeting and asking for dates would be considered the meeting organizer.  They are responsible for canvassing the participants for dates and determining the date everyone is available and communicating that information to the participants by sending out a meeting request to everyone or emailing the date (depending on how you or your organization prefers to send notices of meetings).  This person is also responsible for making sure the agenda is sent out on time and will need to set a reminder to the meeting Chair to make sure that is done.  They should also provide call-in numbers for a teleconference and ensure someone is the moderator for the call and that the appropriate information is sent to that person (this would be the Chair or the person who called the meeting).  They would also need to book a boardroom and make other arrangements as necessary.

If you are not the organizer, you still have a responsibility to provide available dates in a timely manner, set a reminder to make sure there is an agenda and if there isn't, email to ask for one.  You also need to make sure your boss is aware of the call-in numbers and if they are the moderator that number is made available to them.

I love having a checklist so suggest for each meeting you start a checklist to make sure you cover all the bases.  This checklist should have the following information:
  • Meeting name, date and name of person you are arranging the meeting for (if you work for more than one person)
  • Names of people that are required at the meeting
  • Purpose of the meeting
  • Time required for the meeting and location
  • Canvass for available dates (I usually don't give more than 3 or 4 dates)
  • Has an agenda been provided?
  • Is the boardroom booked?
  • If it is a teleconference have the call-in numbers been provided and moderator code provided to the appropriate person?
If you are unsure who is responsible for the meeting -- ASK!  You don't want to find out on the day of the meeting that you were the person that was supposed to book the boardroom or provide the call-in codes.  When I provide my boss's available dates I usually put in the email "I look forward to receiving the agenda (or call-in numbers) and location of the meeting."

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