This is a framework for the initial step to prepare for a meeting, i.e. to build the client relationship, to identify objectives and desired outcomes, to design the meeting process and environment.
To prepare for a meeting collaboratively with the client.
- Works sheets and examples are useful
- flipchart and markers
Time needed: up to 2 hours of meeting time with the client, and 2 hours for the facilitator to document the results
Ideal conditions: A few weeks to a few months before the meeting is to happen.
Type of Facilitator-Client Relationship: Where the client is willing to work with the facilitator to create the meeting design.
I. The three meeting types
A. Type One - Decision Making
- Sub-type 1 - Buy into an existing proposed decision
- Participate in Decision Making
B. Type Two: Information Exchange br>
- Sub-type One: Giving information
- Sub-type Two: Receiving Information
- Gathering information
C. Type three: Social Meetings
- SubType One: Networking
- Sub Type Two: Ceremonial / Symbolic
II. Basic Meeting Preparation Process
A. The Contracting Process
B. The Audience / Participant Analysis
- Why the participants were invited
- What is their history together
- What issues are they bringing to the meeting?
- How can extraneous issues (issues not related to the topic(s) of the meeting be dealt with?
C. Building the Agenda with the Design Team
- List Topics
- Determine Type of Topic (Information Sharing, Decision Making or Social)
- Decide the Products for each Topic based on the type
- Create a Reasonable Sequence of Products
D. Determine Venue or type of venue.
- Considerations about the Space of the Venue: Location, decor, seating, and meeting rooms
- Considerations about Time: Dates, pace, schedule, and free time
- Decide on Equipment: Whiteboards, flipcharts, markers, paper, computers, overheads, etc.
- Decide on any Special arrangements: food, handicapped, religious (prayers), Social, etc.
III. Detailed Sequencing of Events
A. Considerations for Designing the Opening
- Getting acquainted
- Raising the question or issues of the Meeting
- Getting involvement: participation, purpose, sponsorship / champion, logistics, etc.
B. Deciding the Inputs to the Meeting
- Pre-program inputs
- Information input: reports, background information, etc.
- Decision making inputs: issue / opportunity, boundary conditions, time frame, etc.
- Social inputs: type, culture, symbols, rituals, story, etc.
C. Review Decision making elements
- Level of effort: resources, risks, etc.
- Importance vs. Urgency
- Reasonable discussion / decision making time
- Decide Closing Products
A. Time: Ask the hard questions about feasibility
- Fixed items first, guest speakers scheduling, meals, breaks, etc.
- Can we actually do this in the time allotted?
- What is essential (we can't leave the meeting without).
- What if we have to drop something? What is the least essential and socially acceptable?
B. Designing Space
- What decor must we bring? Music, gifts, toys?
- What facilities do we need beyond the normal conference facilities?
- What material do we need?
- What equipment do we need to produce the end products (printers, computers, web access, networks, photo copiers, overhead projectors, software, etc.)
- What is the actual time and length of meals? (e,g, a 3 course meal takes more than 45 minutes.)
- How flexible is the venue about making changes during the program?
- Are there special diets that have to be considered?
- Are there other special needs like translation?
D. Surprises (eventfulness) [Making people comfortable]
- Toys, puzzles, games, etc. on side table
- Foods, fruit, ice cream, chocolate bars, gummy bears (candy)
- Surprise music
- Handouts (Hats, shirts, gifts, etc.)
Follow-Up Required: Check signals about arrangements. Do the program.
Usual or Expected Outcomes: An agenda with topics, topic types, time, deliverables, products, processes and person(s) responsible.
How success is evaluated: Meeting reaches its goals and produces the products.
Source: Maureen and Jon Jenkins
History of Development: This was developed for Shell International Exploration and Production for their Drilling the Limit Team.