In the modern office, where employees are often scattered across the country or the world, meetings remain an effective tool to help improve the company or team’s productivity and creativity.
Even some of the best teams will often lack a sense of communication among each other, and in the virtual workplace, office communication and culture have become increasingly challenging to cultivate among employees.
Despite many employees citing that meetings and other team collaborations could’ve been executed differently, such as via email or through a newsletter, studies suggest that around 86% of employees and executives find a lack of effective collaboration as their main cause of work-related failures.
What’s more, it’s been found that millennials, those born between 1981 and 1996 according to Pew Research Center, are often more motivated to participate in team or group meeting events if the purpose is to help advance their career networking and job opportunities.
How to Boost Attendance: Top 9 Things to Increase Attendance
In 1976, there were an estimated 11 million meetings held throughout the year; today that number stands between 62 and 80 million per year.
Keeping teams engaged and creative requires organizations to think outside of the box, and with some teams working in different parts of the country or world, it can be challenging to get everyone on the same page for an upcoming event.
Here are some simple ways to help boost meeting attendance.
The setting or environment in which the meeting will take place can ultimately affect not only attendance but the level of concentration every member of the team may have during the meeting.
In some offices, meetings will often take place in a large board room, around a conference table, where all members can directly discuss with one another. In contemporary offices, meetings can often take place in less formal spaces, which welcomes more people to attend the meeting, while bringing the meeting to the employees, rather than it being the other way around.
In some instances it’s best to choose a convenient location, that allows attendees and the guest speaker to not only locate the event easily, but also to ensure the location won’t be the reason why people don’t attend the meeting or event in the first place.
The setting helps to make all the difference, if it’s in a space where employees feel welcome, relaxed, and less pressured to contribute, it may often work in the organization’s favor to adjust where their meetings are being held.
Make it Worthwhile
Part of why employees don’t want to attend meetings is because they often feel it’s not worth their time, or have to lose valuable hours they could’ve spent completing other work.
Meetings need to be worthwhile, it has to add some sort of value to the employees’ day or their job. Though it might not be anything significant that you’d like to discuss, it’s important to consider how bringing different members together will help drive a bigger impact on the company.
Whether it’s a corporate business meeting, or perhaps an event hosted by the company, it’s important to market the meeting well in advance to ensure there is enough time for potential attendees to add the relative dates to their schedules.
A good rule to follow is to focus on social media platforms, promoting the meetings and the positive impact the event will have on event attendance.
For larger corporations, it could make a significant difference in their attendee sign-up if they market their meetings either virtually or through more traditional mediums such as print advertising.
If the meeting will cover smaller and more departmental topics, a simple email will suffice, but for those more exciting meetings, it can be more enticing to market it as a big opportunity where employees will be able to learn, collaborate and network with other teams.
Keep Attendees Excited
Keep it fresh and exciting throughout the meeting by including different uses of media, either video or pictures, and music as a way to keep those in attendance engaged and excited.
Many organizations will seek innovative ways to keep participants excited by using materials and resources from previous events. Encourage employees throughout the participation of the event to open communication, with promotional materials, and well-detailed event planners or guides.
Reading through lengthy paragraphs on the screen, and having employees follow along in their printed copies is a thing of the past, and following these models will leave organizations with fewer employees attending collaboration efforts.
Unorganized meetings can feel like a burden in many instances, where employees may feel as if important information is being left out, or not covered during the duration of the meeting.
Increase event attendance with an agenda that oversees all the important pointers that will be discussed, while also leaving enough time for any potential questions or follow-ups afterward.
While the meetings’ agenda is important, remember that employees want to feel included in the meeting, so make sure to pay attention to different ways that one can entice employee collaboration efforts.
Send Personal Invites
For smaller companies, it’s possible to send out personal invitation and emails to potential attendees, especially in teams where the member count is smaller and more manageable.
In larger firms and corporations an invite can still be personalized, but this can be harder to do, and can easily become a time-consuming activity if a personal invite is to be sent to dozens if not hundreds of different employees.
In some offices, it may be found that those leading the meeting might not have the right public speaking skills to effectively communicate with employees. Although this isn’t completely uncommon, it’s best considered to ensure that the person or people leading a meeting undergoes enough training to take charge of the meeting place in a professional yet engaging manner.
Different training programs can be implemented to assist employees with their communication and networking skills. This would help them not only help them get along better with their colleagues, but it could also help them be more engaged in meetings and events.
Connect Speakers With Attendees
Nothing can be more off-putting than having a speaker(s) that is completely disconnected from the crowd. The best way to avoid this from happening is to ensure that speakers are directly facing the attendees and that there is enough time allocated for the speaker(s) to answer questions from the room.
Often larger corporations will host meetings in smaller groups or en masse. When a meeting becomes a large-scale event, often corporations will send out tickets to possible attendees to help structure and organize the entire event.
In case of low attendance or sign-ups, companies can then start looking to donate seats or tickets to employees in different departments.
How Do I Invite More People to a Team Meeting?
Make sure to answer what the meeting will be about, who the speaker will be, and what the potential benefits will be after attending the meeting. Keep information fresh and exciting, and encourage people to engage as often as they can.
What Are the 8 Elements of Effective Event Planning?
1. Know the target audience that will be attending the meeting.
2. Ensure that the venue or location is convenient.
3. Communicate the objective of the event.
4. Event planners need to select appropriate times and dates.
5. Make sure to have a plan and timeline.
6. Create engaging messaging.
7. Attract the target audience through targeted content.
8. Consider the structure of the industry event, the setting, and the people.
Not all meetings have to be time-consuming or mundane. Taking a bit of time to better understand what the objective of the meeting may be and how to attract more attendees will help companies generate engaging teams that can effectively communicate and collaborate with each other.
The idea behind meetings is to put teams in the front seat of productivity, helping to entice their creative side while at the same time ensuring they have the opportunity to network and advance their career prospects.
Look at meetings as a way to help employees improve their communication efforts, but also make sure they have the necessary tools or information to help them properly prepare for meetings beforehand.