The meeting challenge: We say it so often it, it should be one of our taglines: without a meeting management solution, a one-hour meeting is never just a one-hour meeting. Meetings are a constant source of wasted resources and frustrated office workers. In fact, according to recent research, meetings are considered the No. 1 time-waster at the office.
This has major repercussions for the average company. Inefficient and unnecessary meetings cost U.S. businesses approximately $37 billion a year. Despite meetings’ frustrating side effects, meeting frequency continues to increase year over year. It is abundantly clear that the business meeting aren’t going anywhere. But that doesn’t mean office workers must accept the status quo. So how does one solve the problem of meeting inefficiencies and squandered resources?
The meeting solution
Meeting management software takes the frustration out of the meeting booking and handling process, takes care of guests, and delivers analytics to improve overall meeting room utilization.
If you’re thinking to yourself, this type of solution sounds like a big deal; it is. It will change the way your company handles meetings forever, and save an incredible amount of time and resources in short order. While the process of finding and purchasing the right solution is a major decision with repercussions that resonate throughout the entire company, it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process.
This guide will help set the groundwork for you to make the important decisions needed in the process of investing in a meeting management solution. You can also download the full Buyer’s Guide here for an in-depth, step-by-step handbook to finding and purchasing the right meeting management solution.
1. Understand what a Meeting Management Solution Can Do
A robust platform will integrate seamlessly and be available within the tools you already use most for everyday planning, such as Outlook, Office 365, or Google Calendar. Users can search for and book rooms based on availability, number of meeting attendees, purpose of the meeting, and in-room resources. Meeting management will allow for booking meeting rooms across multiple locations and time zones. Users will instantly know the availability of the room before they even try to book it.
Meeting management technology also makes it easy to customize meetings, such as booking catering or requesting specific technology. The front desk staff is automatically alerted of all activity, and visitor management, such as security check in and printing nametags, is handled by the system. Integrated indoor wayfinding ensures every external visitor and internal colleague knows exactly where every meeting is every time.
2. List the Problems
We suggest making an actual list of each of pain point. Dig into each inconsistency, tedious task, and redundancy and calculate how much time is wasted each day on these activities. This will reveal the financial and emotional toll on the company.
In addition to the time needed to put together a great presentation, there is a laundry list of tedious tasks that take up valuable time that could be spent on more important business. This includes finding an available room with the right technological equipment, dealing with frustrating room sharks or no-shows, managing visitors, and directing people to the correct spaces.
This list serves the dual purpose for evaluators who may need to convince any higher ups of the importance of a meeting management solution, as well as the first step in the roadmap towards solving them.
3. Understand How a Meeting Management Solution Will Help
Knowing what you want to do will help you know what you want. Visualize what you would like the meeting process to look like. How would a tool streamline room booking or check in? Who will be using the solution? What will it look like and from where will it be accessed? Say one pain point is a regular difficulty in finding rooms to fit particular meeting purposes. The solution would be to give employees a tool that makes finding and booking meeting rooms faster and easier. Or say you are regularly frustrated by room ghosting. The right solution would know when a pre-booked room has no-shows and will automatically free the room for other users. Know how to defeat your productivity killers.
This step also includes understanding the various meeting management solution components and features. The right meeting management solution should be accessible from and communicate with the platforms employees are already using most, such as Outlook, Office 365, or Google Calendar. High user adoption, after all, is one of the most important elements of any successful software integration. Without high user adoption, the ultimate end goals of a more streamlined and productive meeting strategy will never be realized.
AskCody’s Meeting Management and Digital Room Displays let users search for and book rooms based on availability, number of meeting attendees, purpose of the meeting, and in-room resources. The solution will allow for booking meeting rooms across multiple locations and time zones. Users will instantly know the availability of the room before they even try to book it. Meeting management technology also makes it easy to customize meetings, such as booking catering or requesting specific technology.
Visitor Management automatically alerts the front desk of all activity while handling document singing, security check in, and printing nametags, alerting hosts, and providing attendee overviews.
Integrated Indoor Wayfinding ensures every external visitor and internal colleague knows exactly where every meeting is every time. Users can even search for people or specific points of interest.
Finally, AskCody’s Insights and Analytics deliver data and insight into critical KPIs such as meetings, attendees, and occupancy so users can better regulate meeting room behavior, optimize room utilization, and improve the use of resources.
4: Communicate the goals and benefits of your meeting management solution
Communication is the key to success when it comes to implementing meeting management software across the organization. From mapping out the problems to determining their ideal solutions, end-users should be involved in every step of the software journey. Keeping the flow of communication open will help employees feel valued in the decision-making process and more likely to adopt new tools into their existing routines. After all, they have a stake in this too now.
Communicating goals before implementation will also generate enthusiasm for the newfound capabilities and benefits. There is always some initial (real or perceived) pain involved in the adoption of a new platform, but communicating benefits as well as goals will provide end-users with the motivation they need to see it through. Include concrete, descriptive language such as “easier room booking processes” to describe the end goal of “increased productivity.” Here’s some descriptions to help get you started:
1. Goal: increased productivity
User Benefit: eliminate distractions and productivity killers such as room sharks so you can keep your focus and productivity high.
2. Goal: Increased efficiency
User Benefit: faster and easier room booking so you can focus on the tasks that matter to you.
3. Goal: Improved collaboration
User Benefit: quickly and easily find the rooms most suitable for your group’s needs so you have the spaces and tools you need to work together better.
4. Goal: Better first impressions
User Benefit: wow your guests with modern visitor management that eliminates waiting and uncertainty.
A great communication plan also includes providing the materials employees need to understand the importance of this new platform and learning opportunities so they can best harness the new power at their fingertips. Offering customized training is the best way to ensure high user adoption and proper usage of your meeting management system. The right partner will be with you every step of the way of your onboarding process, offer personalized training, and help set you up for success right out of the gate.
Following this roadmap to successful meeting management software purchasing is the best way you start your journey to more streamlined, productive, better meetings throughout your entire organization. Everyone – from the front desk staff to the meeting hosts to on-site guests—is poised to benefit from your decisions.
Become a Meeting Management Solution Buying Expert
A fully integrated meeting management solution is the key to creating and fostering a truly modern office environment. Download our full Meeting Management Buyer’s Guide for an even more in-depth look at all the best tips, tricks, and expertise for finding and purchasing the right meeting management solution with confidence.