An ideal lunch meeting agenda template should have the following sections.
This section handles the 'first things first' of the meeting. It includes sharing quick bits of information before getting to the main agenda. You may also share decorum tips like asking participants to switch off their phones, turn on devices for presentations, etc.
It also covers any introductions and apologies for absence and approving previous minutes and issues that may arise from them.
If you're meeting a high-profile guest for the first time, housekeeping involves warm introductions and small talk as you wait for the food. It's essential to do your homework on the guest to have discrete non-intrusive conversations on neutral topics –technology, travel, and trends in your business space.
This part seeks to get everyone in the meeting on the same page. Reiterate why you arranged the meeting and what the meeting hopes to achieve.
Hosts explain the purpose in a brief narration or in points. And if it's a meeting between you and a client, recapping previous conversations and the issues the client wants to solve is paramount at this point.
Sharing a pitch deck may also be necessary for meetings that require pitching ideas.
The primary purpose shared on the second agenda item always comes with subtopics that support that purpose.
Set each topic as a question to provoke thought and initiate a conversation. If more than two people are attending the meeting, assign ownership to each topic for accountability and order and set a timer on the responses.
Assigning ownership is also vital to help keep time because the longest lunch meeting you can have is only about an hour long.
After back and forth deliberations, make time for everyone to write down the action items. This part also includes writing down the decisions, conclusions, and key takeaways they picked up from the meeting.
The bottom line is to organize the meeting's findings and enable the participants to have a good idea of the actions they need to take.
It's common for off-topic issues to arise during the meeting. They can quickly set the meeting off track and derail your efforts at achieving the meeting's main purpose. This section is where you place those off-topic discussions to help keep the meeting on track, obey the clock, and still have time to address the subtopics.
The wrap-up section in the lunch meeting agenda is the same as the adjournment bit in regular business meetings. But because it's a lunch meeting, it's advisable to have a warmer wrap-up than a flat, formal ending.
Write down comments that you believe will crown the meeting on a high note and tweak them appropriately during the session. Include a pleasant statement to thank the guests and decide at what point everyone leaves the table.
Work meetings tend to be cold and uninteresting and, to a large extent, a means of squandering time and money if they are poorly planned. A lunch meeting introduces a more relaxed and livelier setting that can be a productive outlet.
But because the setting of a lunch meeting can easily steal the focus from work and turn it into a casual exchange, it's crucial to prepare a carefully thought-out meeting agenda to ensure you meet your goals.
An hour is a short time to have a business meeting in between bites and sips. But you can get the most out of your meeting if you prepare adequately. Here's how:
Double-check the time and logistics and ensure your reservation is clear and confirmed if you're going to a restaurant. Confirm the location and time to avoid hitches that would call for rescheduling.
Also, prepare some materials for participants so that everyone has access to the same information and management can appropriately communicate it to the staff.
Send out the agenda at least two days before the meeting to give enough time for attendees to prepare for it. Ensure the information is clear and easy to understand.
You could also use this time to offer restaurant options in locations that are easy to access for all parties -a great wasabi place, a hotel lunch area, a low-priced but decent option, etc.
The attendees and the main goal of the meeting will set the tone for your lunch meeting point. For instance, a new high-profile client deserves a reservation at a high-end restaurant with a stunning view. It is a great way to make a good first impression and show them that you value them.
On the other hand, a meeting with colleagues can work fine at a modest restaurant around town. Go for a restaurant with a good ambiance, positive energy, and an environment where wait staff doesn't keep interrupting you.
Avoid noisy and high traffic restaurants for lunch meetings regardless of the attendees.
Ask about any dietary restrictions before choosing a venue or caterer for your lunch meeting. Committed vegetarians would feel unconsidered if they turned up for a lunch meeting at a stake house. Meat lovers would also feel cheated if they came to a lunch meeting and only had vegetarian diets on the menu.
Opt to hold important meetings at restaurants you're familiar with. This way, you can avoid rude surprises. Ask about parking too before you make a reservation.
For office lunch meetings, have every attendee select a meal beforehand and order boxed lunches. The other option is to get a referral for a caterer who can prepare a buffet lunch so everybody's needs are catered for.
The best caveat to put on yourself is avoiding last-minute agenda preparation or arriving late to the meeting. Arriving late steals your time and puts you in disarray and you may have a hard time leading the meeting.
Conversely, arriving five to 10 minutes early gives you enough time to settle your mind and go over the agenda. This also allows you to naturally steer the meeting because you're settled and ready to start.
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