Most businessmen spend a significant portion of their day attending meetings. However, when was the last time you actually sat in a meeting that you found productive? According to a research study conducted by a private institute, meetings alone cost companies in the UK a mind-boggling £16,000 in a year. That’s a huge figure, considering the other operating costs incurred by a company. As focus turns towards maximising productivity, more and more people have begun to realise that spending time on meetings isn’t a wise move. Only 10% of the meetings take less than 30 minutes. Almost 26% of all meetings held in the UK can last around 30 to 60 minutes.

However, there are certain ways to make meetings more effective. Rather than booking large conference centres, you can also host meetings in the small conference room of your office. Certain meetings, where delegations are called in from abroad, can cost more money. You will need to host the meeting in a separate conference centre to make a good impression on the foreign delegates. Here are some important tips on how to make meetings more productive.

Create a List of Topics

The biggest problem with most meetings held by companies today is that they don’t follow a set pattern. Only the main topic is decided and nothing else. However, the next time you walk into a meeting, carry a notebook that includes all relevant topics that you want to discuss. This will make it easy for you to direct the course of the meeting and to make sure that the discussion doesn’t deviate from the main topic at hand. This is a small caveat that will significantly improve the productivity of your meetings.

Priorities

You need to rank your meetings on the basis of priorities. For instance, if it’s an important meeting that can impact your company’s profits, you should tackle it first thing in the morning. Ask your planner to schedule all non-essential meetings at the end of the day. Most executives that take part in non-essential meetings during the early hours of the day often miss out on important work as a result. Your time could be well-spent in doing some other important work rather than tackling pointless meetings.

Unplug

The key to a productive meeting is to unplug and talk to the people around you. According to a study, one out of nine people at every meeting tend to daydream. Many others spend their time playing a game or messaging on their mobile phones. Make it a company policy that whenever an employee enters the conference room for a meeting, they will have to leave all electronic devices outside. Or, the devices should be shut off and kept aside. Not only will this drastically improve input from people at the table, but it will also help in building attention. Renting a conference venue is a great idea and can save a lot of money for companies that don’t have dedicated space.