You’ve developed your strategy, have department goals defined, and taken time to organize marketing collateral. Now it’s time to implement all these great ideas!

As a marketing leader, you recognize that none of the planning done thus far will be effective if you can’t have a clear communication plan to help with implementation. It’s time to take a close look at your existing meeting structure and reassess best practices.

Most AEC marketing and business development meetings are too long and get off-topic. Most importantly, no one is accomplishing their tasks. Actionable items are shifting from week to week and month to month due to ineffective marketing meetings. How can you be better organized so that your meetings are shorter AND more effective? Here are ten tips.

  1. Department Task Review: Keep everyone on track by sending out or holding a mid-week/mid-month short review email or check-in. Ask that participants be ready to report on and discuss outstanding tasks. While this step may require a little more of your time, it will benefit the success of the meeting and provide an opportunity for one-on-one discussions. Coming prepared to this non-billable meeting encourages meaningful participation: discussing positive actions like wins, asking urgent questions, delegating rush projects, determining which client contacts need attention, and assessing flexibility needs for the week.

  2. Utilize Technology: Face-to-face time is always valuable. However, with the pandemic and advancement of video and teleconferencing tools, it does not have to be every time. You can still have face-to-face conversations, screen share, and troubleshoot with remote meeting options.

  3. Actionable Agendas: Invite administrative, entry-level marketing staff, or even emerging technical professionals to attend and document the meeting as a mentoring opportunity. Assign someone to prepare the meeting agenda to keep attendees on track. Create a system for prioritizing agenda tasks by level of importance (hot/warm/cold or A/B/C priority). Discuss hot/A priority items first and then move down the list based on time and team member availability. Assign a champion and a deadline for each task.

  4. Share the Love: Invite everyone to facilitate the meeting. By becoming more involved, they will be more likely to understand the frustration when colleagues do not attend or achieve their tasks. It also aids in holding one another accountable.

  5. Stay the Course: Often, it is easier to cancel or reschedule a meeting when people can’t or don’t attend. If a meeting gets canceled often or rescheduled, it seems unimportant. If the meeting is held on the same day/time, regardless of other circumstances, you will create an environment that enhances accountability.

  6. Have Fun: Make time for fun activities that will bring people together. Hold a short and simple training or team-building moment. Take five minutes and share exciting industry or project news. Take a moment to brainstorm a competitor or strategize on a speaking topic with everyone’s participation.

  7. No Bad Ideas: In meetings, establish an attitude that there are no bad ideas. Welcome and value all opinions and suggestions.

  8. Start and End on Time: The epitome of professionalism and good business is punctuality—respect participants’ time by starting and ending on schedule. Once the clock strikes the meeting hour, begin immediately. Those who are late will quickly learn that tardiness is not acceptable behavior. If you didn’t get through all your material, determine if it’s necessary to host another meeting or if placing this content in the follow-up email is sufficient.

  9. Follow-Up Email Summary: Send a summary of all action items within a day of the meeting. Use this to remind people of their responsibilities and tasks related to the meeting. Include an overview of the action items and other critical factors discussed. If there is something you didn’t have time to discuss, send questions or follow up in the email.

  10. Evaluate and Adjust: After holding a few meetings, evaluate whether they are successful. Did the meetings produce the results you intended? Do you feel that attendees were engaged and responsive? These are essential components of running effective meetings. In addition, ask attendees periodically how they think the meetings are going. This will provide helpful insight and motivate colleagues to share feedback and authentically engage in the process.

An organized and engaging meeting structure will help you continue to achieve your goals and keep team members accountable.


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About The Author

Keri Hammond, FSMPS, CPSM

Keri is a long-standing trailblazer in the Utah AEC industry. Clients appreciate her ability to get things done – they know she does whatever it takes, with integrity, to help them build their business. Keri is known for her leadership and diplomacy; she motivates others with positivity, trust, and unwavering support.

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