A notification just went off your iPhone and it’s the client requesting a bigger room. He’s bringing in more stakeholders – but the meeting begins in 6 hours.
That leaves you with just a couple of hours to accommodate changes and you’re clueless as to what steps to take. Your mind is about to enter panic mode with hundreds of questions flooding your thoughts.
Can I get a bigger room?
Who’s in the other conference hall?
Am I going to disturb an ongoing meeting?
This is a short notice! How can I handle this?
Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to fret about last-minute meeting changes, and you were well prepared for the unexpected?
Fortunately, there are ways to avoid the anxiety. Here are some measures you should take in advance to swiftly deal with last minute meeting changes:
- Invest In Room Scheduling Technology
There are software options that provide full-service room scheduling to companies of all sizes. Therefore, all you need to consider is a minor investment to schedule the services, resources and rooms you need easily and quickly to accommodate last-minute meeting changes. Most of such software can be accessed from any device – mobile, tablet or desktop PC – so you can make changes at your convenience and see modifications in real-time. Features such as the ability to capture critical information about visitors are also present in top software offerings.
- Build Good Relationships
Don’t wait until the last minute to ask someone for a favor, rather constantly work towards building relationships with key individuals (who hold, manage and attend meetings) in different departments. By having good relationships with other meeting professionals, you can ask them to help you out should you get any modification requests at the last minute. Add this measure to your list of “meeting survival kit measures”. Also, apart from building relationships with meeting professionals in different departments, be nice to your co-workers. You never know who might be helpful at a moment’s notice.
- Consider Second-Best Alternatives
Did you plan on using wall charts to explain some figures to the attendees and in the morning the vendor shares that the supply did not come in? Keep your clam and inquire about the next best option to get the job done. It may not be what you had in mind, but it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to proceed with the explanation. Sometimes, the second best alternative, like a drawing board in this instance, can accommodate the task at hand better than what you had originally planned to use.
- List “Emergency Assets” on the Checklist
Checklists are the guardian angel of most meeting planners. They help in avoiding unnecessary panic by enabling meeting hosts or planners to keep tabs on all the processes that go into scheduling a meeting. Because hundreds of things go into making a meeting puzzle, consider becoming a checklist fanatic. Add everything necessary to cover your bases, but don’t forget to add additional things under the heading of emergency assets. For instance, you may need an additional projector, room or food item at the last minute, so it’s always better to have some extra in case a need arises.
Unexpected changes can occur when it comes to meetings, but these tips will allow you to deal with the nuisances easily.