Have you ever been tasked to organize a business meeting or a town hall event? Surely, the formal nature of both events can be overwhelming because of how it silently demands for perfection. But then again, perfection is boring. With events that require comprehensive and intellectual discussions, dynamism and customization is a must.
Adding a vibrant touch and highlighting the main theme of a town hall or business meeting makes the said event stand out more and appeal better to the audience. Today’s events need to cater to modern-day audiences, otherwise it will be tougher to secure higher engagement and participation from attendees. At the same time, it will be easier to assimilate the relevance of your event as a whole.
So how do you go about planning a truly enticing and successful business meeting or town hall event? Use our checklist below as your definitive reference!
Do extensive research
Business meetings and town halls are similar because both events gather people for the purpose of discussing certain issues and exchanging ideas with the group involved. But, when it comes to the participants involved, town hall meetings cover a wider audience. Town halls involve government officials and community members; therefore, researching about the community and the requirements of the participating government representatives is a must. Your meetings, apart from imparting relevant information and enabling comprehensive discourses among the participants, should likewise reflect the community’s unique background and adhere to what the official needs in terms of attending events similar to town hall meetings. Check with the communities if they have certain celebrations on certain dates so as to not clash with these important gatherings. When it comes to government representative requirements, some ask for specific documents or certifications, while there are those who have a particular set of items and conditions that they allow when attending public events.
Book a date and venue in advance
We know you’ve probably mapped out the purpose of your business meeting or town hall event even before you’ve reached the first item on our list. Thus, apart from defining the objective of your event, a key detail that you need to take care of is your event’s venue. Choose a venue that evokes the perfect ambience and has as little distractions as possible. Booking in advance allows you to find and secure a more high-class place for your formal meeting. It likewise provides you ample time to pick an equally elegant second or third option in case you might need one.
Elaborate your event’s segments and sequences
Specifying the program proper of your town hall event and business meeting means writing down the important subtopics that are relevant to your agenda’s main objective. Divide these subtopics into segments and arrange each according to how significant and closely related it is to your main topic. Then, assign activities to each event segment to help expand each topic to be discussed and help your participants reflect more effectively on every issue that you will be deliberating on. Enumerating the key segments in your business and town hall meetings will help you pick out sequences that complement your theme and make it more put-together.
Finalize your list of participants
Define the people whose attendance and participation will effectively kick-start your event and make it more meaningful throughout the entire duration of the meeting. For business meetings, determine which departments are involved. Is the meeting a company-wide assembly? Which rank and file employees are involved? Which employees at managerial and executive level are needed to facilitate the meeting? For town hall meetings, choose carefully which representatives for the community will you invite to take part in your event. Determine representatives who share your event’s goals. Find members of the authority and the community who have had commendable or viable contributions to the topic or issue you wish to discuss.
Prepare your materials
Event materials, such as supporting documents, and slides expand the depth and impact of your event. Such materials guide your attendees and provide supplementary information. Thanks to the rise of event apps, documents and slides are digitized and made more interactive. At the same time, you can now add customized speaker biographies and digital forms to be filled out by participants without the need to print it on posters or have attendees bring a pen to complete the forms.
Get the media involved
This is more applicable to town hall meetings. Often times, town hall gatherings are held to discuss pressing issues concerning a particular community. That said, getting the attention of the media can be done either through distributing a newsletter, holding a press conference, posting an announcement on your local newspaper or advertising on the radio. Simply inviting the media to attend will not do. Let them know what makes your town hall meeting significant and a must-see event. Tell them what issues you will be tackling and specify why their attendance is important. In addition, you must know which reporters and media personalities to invite. Make sure that these news icons support your event’s core goals and cause.
Map out your promotional strategy (for Town Hall Events) or Follow-Up activity (for Business Meetings)
As was mentioned, getting the attention and participation of the media is required for Town Hall events. However, keep in mind that they are not the only group of people whose attention you want to engage. You want to make sure that you encourage higher community participation through event promotions. Strategize and determine which advertising methods work best for your target audience. Are posters and flyers simply ignored or end up in the trash bin? Perhaps you can use a more high-tech approach, such as sending an invitation through Facebook or via email. If the community is not that tech-savvy, try coordinating with the local radio station or authorities and see if you can hold a brief presentation to promote your meeting.
When it comes to business meetings, assign someone to take down the minutes of the assembly. And though discussions may be dynamic among your co-workers, don’t forget to ask attendees to input their feedback on the said meeting. This way, you can gauge whether you were successful in meeting your objectives or not. You can also use their feedback as a reference point for improving operational, managerial and performance-related processes in the company.
Business meetings and town hall events don’t always have to be implemented in a ‘by-the-book’ kind of manner. The list above points out the key details that you need to make your town hall gathering and business meeting work. These key details can be modified according to how you want your event to turn out and your main objectives to be met. As such, use our checklist as you see fit for your upcoming meeting!