Lunchtime Links: Shorter Meetings, Long on Value

How do you offer up shorter meetings without shortchanging attendees? Also: Why you need to be more responsive to your members.

Ever heard the complaint that meetings take up too much time? Of course you have (you’ve probably said so yourself), and you no doubt keep the value of your attendees’ time in mind as you plan your associations’ meetings and events.

Anne Thornley-Brown, president of Executive Oasis International, shares some tips on how to make your meetings shorter but just as valuable for attendees in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Have an agenda: How do you plan a short (but fruitful) meeting? For starters, having a clear agenda and sharing it with your attendees beforehand. But that’s not all. Anne Thornley-Brown, writing on Cvent, has more tricks of the trade in her blog post “17 Tips for Designing Shorter Meetings Without Short-Changing Attendees.” She recommends you experiment with presentations, schedule meetings for afternoons instead of mornings, and create visual effects to liven up long presentations, among other things. What tricks have you found helpful for planning an important meeting with limited time?

Don’t leave your tweets unanswered: Do you respond to tweets from your members? If you don’t always get around to it, you’re not alone—a recent study shows that 71 percent of businesses leave customer tweets unanswered. Steve Drake shares his thoughts on the study in a recent blog post. It’s a wake-up call to associations about the importance of engaging with members via all mediums. “How you answer incoming messages … whether phone, fax, mail, or social media…represents the first impressions members or prospects have of your association,” he writes. How does your association manage communication with its members?

Social media is your event’s right hand: Any event planner will tell you social media is integral to almost any meeting or conference, for spreading the word and building buzz in advance to creating a “newsfeed” of what’s-happening-right-now info onsite. How can event planners use social media to engage with attendees before, during, and after an event without missing a beat? This infographic by Northwest Creative Imaging highlights the how-tos in social media event preparation, from pre-production to post-event, via Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and others.

What interesting reads have you found today? Let us know in your comments below.


Anita Ferrer

By Anita Ferrer

Anita Ferrer is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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