For a snapshot of planners’
agenda-scheduling habits, M&C conducted an
online survey in August. When asked how long the average meeting
lasts, 43 percent of the 293 respondents said three days, 24
percent said their programs last two days and 18 percent said four
days; 1 percent typically hold meetings that last for more than
Attendees are required to get up with
the sun, as the majority (89 percent) of planners surveyed reported
the meeting day starts at 8:30 a.m. or earlier. Two percent of the
sample, however, don’t schedule a meeting to commence until after
10 a.m. The majority (88 percent) plan a full business day for
their groups as well, finishing up the day at 4 p.m. or later.
Along the way, most meetings offer two breaks,
not counting meals, as reported by 72 percent of the sample.
Another 14 percent offer three breaks. Attendees have an average of
15 to 20 minutes to get coffee and make phone calls, according to
61 percent of the respondents; 18 percent give their groups 25 to
30 minutes to stretch their legs.
As for building leisure time into
meetings, 69 percent of those surveyed always or sometimes schedule
time off for their groups, while a third (31 percent) never do;
more than half (53 percent) do not build leisure time into each
Less than 10 percent of the overall agenda is
free time, according to 55 percent of the sample, while about a
quarter (27 percent) said 11 to 20 percent of the group’s time is
free. Many planners (68 percent) sometimes or always arrange
outings for their attendees, such as rounds of golf, spa
appointments and shopping trips.