It’s the result of numerous, unstructured meetings, many of which come with documents or presentations attendees are asked to review up-front. The same meetings can follow up with reams of minutes and if you’re totally out of luck, produce a list of actions for you to pick up.
To turn this modern office nightmare around, businesses are looking to project and meeting management software to help standardise their approach and improve meeting effectiveness and efficiency with better preparation, organisation, structure and archiving.
How does meeting management software work?
It looks at the various stages and components required to run an effective meeting, helping organisers and attendees address the right things, at the right time.
Different software packages offer different features and benefits, but as a guide, this is the kind of support a business can expect from a good quality provider.
Before the meeting
This stage builds the foundation for the meeting itself, so it’s critical for providing clarity and giving attendees everything they need to prepare properly.
Receiving the agenda ten minutes before the meeting starts or worse still, at the meeting, means a second meeting is inevitable as employees are unable to come informed or have put any pre-work in.
- Meeting scheduling
- Agenda setting
- Agenda distribution
- Assigning pre-meeting tasks
During the meeting
At this stage, the software helps automate as much as possible, making the meeting run faster and smoother. If a specific decision maker can’t attend, automatic rescheduling can rearrange for a more suitable time.
The right software also helps ensure structure, so the agenda is discussed in a logical order and keeps pace, meaning items can be closed off or tabled with detail, if they need more work.
Assisted note taking helps save time while adding accountability and consistency. Good software can even offers voting tools, Pro/Con tools and rating systems to help find consensus and make decisions quickly.
- Noting attendance
- Covering agenda topics
- Taking minutes
- Decision making
- Assigning tasks
After the meeting
If a meeting’s effectiveness is determined by the results, well-presented minutes with search and merge functionality, easy distribution, security features and clear task allocation are a must.
- Consolidated meeting notes
- Minute documentation
- Minute distribution
- Minute archiving
- Assigning tasks
- Task follow-up
Here are six key benefits of Meeting Management Software:
1 - Paperless meetings
In stark contrast to the volumes of paper a meeting might usually require, a digital pack can be viewed by anybody given access to them, and on any device, allowing attendees to prepare for and act on meetings on the move, if you operate a CYOD/BYOD policy.
2 - Increased security
With cyber security so important, a business may fear documents with confidential or sensitive information being misplaced, but when you use meeting software you can make everything accessible online via cloud computing and add security measures to avoid the risk of information falling into the wrong hands.
Some providers even offer auto-purge features that mean you can wipe data from a device if it’s lost, stolen or several unauthorised attempts are made to access information.
3 - Improved collaboration
Efficient meetings are inclusive and encourage participants to get involved. They’re not always necessary, but where they can add value, presentations, video demonstrations, using a whiteboard to work through process issues or asking participants to ‘sticky note’ thoughts and ideas can help keep meetings interesting and achieve results faster.
4 - Synchronised information and real-time updates
By keeping everyone in the loop digitally, changes and updates can be made instantly, ensuring participants always have access to the most up-to-date information, and version control is well-managed. No more spending hours working on that set of tasks only to find out half of them have been replaced since you last opened the file.
5 - Simplified note taking
If you’ve ever run the agenda and acted as scribe for a meeting, you will be familiar with the scenario where you wrote down a shorthand note to come back to, only to later have no idea what it meant. It’s easy to miss important details or forget why you noted something as a result, because by the time you get around to writing up the notes, the context is gone. Automated meeting notes can help make sure nothing slips through the cracks and every meeting has comprehensive minutes that can be shared and archived.
6 - Improved participation at remote meetings
It won’t matter if participants are in opposite ends of the city, country or world with the right meeting software, as everyone can participate like they’re in the same room, saving time, cost and allowing progress to keep pace, despite busy schedules.
If you think your business could benefit from the many time and cost-saving opportunities meeting software creates, outsourced IT support from pebble.it can help get you up, running and managing meetings like a pro in no time.
Contact us to see how we can help you save time better spent running your business.