You know what content to include in your marketing team meetings. Now, let's discuss how to make those meetings run smoothly. These tips, despite helpful content, can make or break the usefulness of any marketing meeting.
1. Stay on time.
Start on time, you end on time, and honor the budgeted time set for individual presentations. I know it's hard, especially when there's a good discussion going on, but delegate a timekeeper who lets presenters know when they're coming up to the end of their allotted time.
If you're vigilant about this, people will start to self-edit their presentation, and meeting-goers will self-censor their comments, only contributing what truly needs to be said.
2. Don't allow computers ...
... said the internet marketing company. Seriously though, only the meeting coordinator should have a computer to pull up the agenda and presentations.
If others bring their laptops, you'll find people can't help but check their emails, get little bits of work done, and chat online, no matter how riveting the presentations are.
3. Build in time for a break.
Your weekly meeting may only be 30 or 60 minutes, but your monthly meeting could take a lot longer. In that case, build in time for people to get up, stretch their legs, go to the bathroom, get coffee, whatever.
You'll start losing people's attention otherwise.
4. End every meeting with action items.
Whatever you talked about during your meeting should be revisited briefly at the end of the meeting, preferably by the meeting coordinator. If you spend 20 minutes talking about how to solve your lead shortage problem at the beginning of your 90-minute meeting, there's a good chance some of the to-dos and initiatives trickled out of people's minds.
Make sure there's someone taking notes throughout the meeting, and allot five minutes at the end of every meeting to review what people should start doing once they walk out of that meeting room.
5. Consider your remote folks.
Whether your entire team or just a few members are remote, it's important to consider the remote meeting experience. As a remote worker myself, dialing into meetings as one of the few remote attendees takes a bit to get used to.
Research helpful technology to mitigate the gap between in-office and remote workers. Zoom is obviously a great choice, but other technology like The Meeting Owl by Owl Labs may be a good fit for your team. At the start of each meeting, test your connectivity and walk through your slides to be sure the message is clear for folks at home.
Source: Getty Images
Most importantly, gather separate feedback from your remote team members to understand their struggles and accommodate their requests.
6. Review metrics and celebrate wins.
You know those marketing metrics you decided to measure and review in the first section? The ones that noted your team's progress throughout the month?
Now's the time to see whether you hit your goals or not! If you hit your goals, do two things: celebrate, and explain exactly why you hit those goals. That second one is critical. Someone should explain what marketing activities strongly contributed to you hitting, say, your leads goal. That way you can repeat those activities this month!
Meetings Don't Have to Suck
Meetings are a necessary part of work. They're a time to celebrate wins, ask for feedback or help, and get aligned with your team and company.
Sit down with your colleagues to audit your meeting schedule and see where you can trim time or cut meetings altogether. Effective and efficient meetings are much more important than meetings for the sake of it. Your team will thank you.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in July 2012 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.