Here are a few gems from economic and business news that will help you hold better meetings:

  1. Focus on Your Core Business

    Build a meeting that supports your company's objectives. For example, Standard & Poors has guidelines for companies to report on their “metric core earnings” — figures that leave out the gobbledy-gook that confuses investors' understanding of how a company is doing (things such as goodwill impairment charges, pension gains, or unrealized gains or losses from hedging activities). So, too, plan and hold meetings that, first and foremost, support your business goals.

  2. Diversify:

    Changing circumstances don't mean that you should get out of the stock market completely, only that you change the mix of your investments. The same is true with your meetings. For example, sales meetings at which key information is shared with your revenue-generating arm of the company are imperative — and sometimes should be held more frequently when the market is sluggish.

  3. Don't Overreact:

    Influential economist John Maynard Keynes said, “There is an animal spirit in the marketplace,” referring to a tendency to overshoot and overreact. Belt tightening is an appropriate response during difficult times. However, when a company overreacts and makes inappropriate cuts in its meeting and incentive budgets, it can result in unmotivated, unproductive employees.

  4. Rebalance

    Different business cycles require different responses. Who among us didn't try to ride telecom stocks as they soared? When things change, it is time to rebalance your portfolio. Changing circumstances at your organization may require that you rethink the type of meetings you hold and rebalance them appropriately, or rebalance your budget for those meetings.

  5. Track your Results:

    Mutual funds and banks send out statements that show how your investment is doing. Every day, we watch the Dow and S&P. The meetings we hold should do the same. Determine what is most meaningful to your organization and track your results using those measures — whether it's ROI, ROK, ROO, or all three.

Source: Tips for Innovative Meetings & Events newsletter, Sue Tinnish