Organize Meetings Prepared by:Odett Baker-Campbell
CONTENT• Responsibilities of a secretary before, during and after a meeting• Factors to consider when deciding on a meeting room• Preparing notices, agenda and minutes
Before the meeting Scheduling and organizing• Reserve the meeting room• Make and confirm hotel accommodations and transportation available to and from the meeting.• Get a written confirmation or confirmation number of all reservations.
• Determine how the meeting willbe announced•Determine audiovisual or anyother special equipment needs•Order audiovisual equipment
Reserving the Room Here are some questions to ask when arranging for a room:• Do the room and its furnishing contribute to an effective meeting?• Does the arrangement of the room meet the purpose of the meeting?
Reserving the Room• Is the room large enough to comfortably accommodate the participants and any planned audiovisual aids?
• Is the room free from distractions and interruptions such as telephones and loud noises?• Is there adequate lighting, heating and ventilation?• Does the room accommodate serving refreshments or a meal?
Sending Notices• Time and Type: determine the best time and means to send notices; the type of meeting will help in determining these.• Details in the Notice: Use who, what, when, how long, where and why as guides for composing notices.
Agenda In preparing the agenda pay attention to the following:• The items of business dealt with at the previous meeting• Minutes of the meeting• Matters arising from the Minutes• The items to be discussed• New Business
Developing an agenda• State the title of the group or meeting at the top of the agenda• State the day, date, starting time and finishing time and location• State the purpose of the meeting• Ensure that the time set for the meeting and the discussion of agenda items are realistic
• Include the name and title of the person responsible for each agenda item• Stipulate time for each item to be discussed.
Assembling MaterialsMaterials may include:• An up-to-date participant list• Minutes of previous meeting• Letters, memorandums, and reports related to the agenda items
• Copies of material your manager has prepared for distribution• Materials available from others directly related to the topics or issues to be considered.
OrderingRefreshments/meals/beverages • For a morning meeting, coffee, tea, and juice can be served; water fruit and pastries. • For luncheon meeting, consider a salad or light entree
• For afternoon meeting, coffee, tea, juice and soft drinks, cookies and fruit may be served
DURING THE MEETING• Take Notes• Recording Minutes – this can be done by using a tape recorder, laptop, shorthand or a notepad. When using a tape recorder you need to be alert to what is not being recorded and take essential notes.
• Record the time, date, and place of the meeting; attendance, reference, corrections and additions to the minutes; who is speaking, volunteers for follow-up work; time of adjournment; etc.
How to Record Minutes• Write the exact words of anyone who asks that his or her view be made part of the record.• When officers are elected, record the names of all the officers and their respective offices• Make notes on the place, date and time of the next meeting
• Jot down the time of the next meeting.• Get a copy of all materials read and discussed in the meeting.• As soon as the meeting adjourns, verify any doubtful points.
• Record of participants who were present or absent• Points discussed and suggestions made• Issues raised• Action Items/Future Action• Formal motions• Decisions taken at the meeting
AFTER THE MEETINGHere are some things to be completed after the meeting:• Check the room for orderliness• Make necessary follow-up entries in the appointment calendars• Set aside materials to be sent to people who were absent
• Prepare a listing reminding the manager of his/her obligations• Put a copy of everything in a folder to be used as reference.• Handle any request that may have resulted from meeting• See that the audiovisual equipment is returned.
Preparing Minutes• If the meeting has been recorded, listen to the tape and take brief notes.• Write the minutes immediately following the meeting• Keyboard a rough draft of the minutes and submit to your manager for approval before you prepare the final form.
• The information should be brief• Remember that the third person is what is always required (he/she) and in the past tense• The items should be written in the same order as they appeared on the agenda