Meetings & Conventions: Planner's Portfolio December 2000 Current Issue
December 2000 ChecklistPLANNER'S PORTFOLIO:




The following checklist was adapted in part from The Complete Handbook of Business Meetings by Eli Mina, AMACOM, New York City, © 2000.


  • Does the item fit within the group's operating philosophy and the overall purpose of the meeting?
  • Is the item for information only, discussion or decision-making?
  • Is the issue timely for this meeting?
  • What research or supporting materials will be necessary to address the item? Is there adequate time for preparation?
  • Who will lead the discussion of each item? Determine who will present information and take questions. If necessary, assign people to specific tasks.
  • Determine how much time to allot for each item. Allocate less time for routine and noncontroversial agenda items. Conversely, allow more time for items that are likely to provoke dialogue.

  • Schedule routine items for the beginning of the meeting.
  • Issues requiring a vote or decision should be scheduled early to ensure completion.
  • Schedule agenda items requiring creativity for the morning, when concentration is at its highest. Avoid addressing these topics immediately after lunch, when people are more apt to be sluggish.
  • Intersperse substantive items with lighter ones to avoid attendee burnout.
  • Leave time at the end to discuss new business or to accommodate issues that exceeded their designated time.
  • Develop a numbering system for agenda items to make minute-taking and future references easier.
    If a meeting agenda needs to be fleshed out or diversified, consider the following elements.

  • Begin the session with an icebreaker, or arrange for a comedic sketch facilitated by a professional.
  • Schedule a keynote speech addressing the group's operating principles. Consider using a guest speaker for variety.
  • Have small group discussions on pressing issues.
  • Schedule a strategically timed refreshment break (coffee, dessert bar, etc.) to encourage networking.
    Solicit feedback from members to encourage their involvement and integrate valuable ideas into the program. Some questions to ask:

  • How can we serve members/customers better?
  • What creative fund-raising methods should we consider?
  • How can we keep members/customers informed and abreast of new initiatives?
  • How can we collaborate with similar organizations to help further our goals?
  • How can we improve communication with the community, news media and general public?
  • How can we capitalize on the skills, knowledge and experience of staff and volunteers?
  • How should achievements and contributions be recognized?
  • What can we do to better facilitate the exchange of feedback?
  • How can we enhance the quality of meetings?

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