January 01, 2003
Meetings & Conventions: Planner's Portfolio January 2003 Current Issue
January 2003 ChecklistPLANNER'S PORTFOLIO:




The following checklist was compiled with the help of Jerry Van Eeckhout, CEO and chairman of ACT Teleconferencing, 1658 Cole Blvd., Suite 130, Golden, Colo. 80401; (303) 233-3500;


  • Determine the approximate number of both local and international participants so the correct number of phone lines can be reserved.
  • Outline the meeting goals and agenda in order to determine a reasonable time frame for the teleconference.
  • When planning the conference time, consider the differences in time zones.
  • Consider service features that will help support the objectives of the teleconference. Options might include participant polling, audio replay, transcription, taping of the call and management of the participant list.
  • If an operator will contact participants, collect their names and telephone numbers, and turn them over to your contact at the teleconferencing company.
  • Reserve the call well ahead of the conference, and review all selected features.

  • Send out invitations or reminders via e-mail or fax confirming day and time of the teleconference, scheduled duration and dial-in numbers.
  • Have participants RSVP via fax or voice mail. Some teleconferencing firms handle this as part of their service.
  • Prepare a final list of participants, and distribute the agenda and conference materials.
  • If applicable, prepare a list of speakers who will be presenting material during the call.

  • Be sure there are no distractions in the immediate surroundings.
  • Ask the operator to confirm that you and other presenters can be heard clearly.
  • Have the agenda and list of participants accessible.

  • In a clear voice, welcome participants and summarize the conference agenda.
  • Explain how participants can reach the operator for assistance, if needed.
  • Encourage all participants to contribute to the conversation.
  • Remind all participants to identify themselves before asking a question or making a comment.
  • If any participants are using a speakerphone or cell phone, advise them to mute their lines when not talking in order to minimize background noise.
  • Keep the agenda on track so the call does not exceed its scheduled time.
  • If the call will be replayed or made available on audiotape, tell participants how they can access these resources.

  • Within two days, summarize key points of the conference in order to reinforce the purpose of the call.
  • Restate any action items that have developed during the conference with a brief description of the item, the party responsible for the item and the due date of the solution to the issue.
  • Start the follow-up meeting planning process early by getting a consensus on an appropriate date and time for the next teleconference.
  • If necessary, book a follow-up conference and communicate the information to all parties as early as possible.

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