First, determine if you should schedule the meeting, or if it should be delegated. If delegated, make sure you give clear instructions. Some of the things you'll want to be clear about up front are:
- which participants must be there, and which are optional
- is it o.k. for participants to send a designate (someone to go in their place)
- whose schedule do you need to work around most, and will others be expected to change their schedules to accommodate
- is it more important to find a common time where everyone can meet, or simply a time when most people (including the required attendees) can meet
- what kind of room or facility is needed and what a/v or computer equipment is required
- will the meeting require catering, either coffee and tea or a full lunch?
As you're beginning to see, there are so many details involved in scheduling a meeting. It's no wonder that when we think of scheduling as a simple matter of making a few calls and sending a few messages...things
can go awry. What seemed like a simple task becomes a frustrating game of cat and mouse, no-shows, location foul-ups, and general disorganization.
So what are some of the solutions?
Once you've realized that organizing a meeting will take some planning, and you've made some choices about how you're going to proceed, there are several options to help you make things go smoother.
MeetingWizard.com offers an online solution for scheduling meetings that takes you through the process of planning a meeting and sending invitations, providing you with numerous options depending on what you want to do. Even for setting up deceptively simple meetings between two people, Meeting Wizard includes an automatic reminder function, and ensures that you don't forget to specify important details such as how long the meeting is expected to last, not to mention the location!
As a full Internet-based solution, Meeting Wizard can be used to schedule meetings with anyone who has access to e-mail and a browser. People being invited to the meeting do not need to be registered users, and no one needs to post their personal calendars online. This is an enormous advantage of closed systems like Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes.
You may want to read our section on Software Solutions to see what other solutions there are and how they compare.