Meetings can be totally counterproductive if they're not done well. A recent survey of 3,000-plus international professionals by Hilton Worldwide found more than three-fourths of professionals, across generations, overwhelmingly prefer meeting in-person.
  1. Schedule morning meetings
    Meet in-person, face-to-face. More than 90 percent of survey respondents favor morning sessions.
  2. Coffee!
    Don't forget to supply coffee. Eighty percent of professionals drink their coffee before 10 a.m.
  3. Prepare beforehand.
    Virtually all survey respondents (93-plus percent) insist on preparation. They also overwhelmingly favor starting on time; beginning with small talk, but more so in the US versus other countries (63 percent); and having Wi-Fi and AV equipment available.
  4. Broadcast objectives.
    Include a purpose statement that articulates the objective of the meeting. This ensures the time spent together is focused and stays on track.
  5. Be clear about responsibilities, expectations.
    Know whether a particular topic requires a discussion, a formal presentation or merely an update. This proves efficient and avoids gaffes.
  6. Don't get sidetracked.
    Tackle the important issues first so that if time runs out, the critical issues have been addressed.
  7. Supply the essentials.
    Provide what participants will need – whether it's coffee and tea, pens, pads of paper, Wi-Fi or remote access.
  8. Consider comfort.
    Respondents favor a traditional meeting room, and six in 10 like a window view. Most survey respondents said "comfortable seating" is important and contributes to the success of a meeting.
  9. Know the audience.
    Recognize that rituals and preferences vary across cultures. When hosting an international gathering, make sure that attendees are comfortable and aligned with the meeting setting and format.