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To Meet or Not To Meet: Exploring The Financial Impact of Meetings

When a meeting organizer puts the focus and purpose of the meeting to the test, the result should be measured across two areas - immediate action or more follow-ups.  In either case, there is a financial impact to conducting a meeting when there is no clear agenda, no one capable of facilitating the meeting to stay on topic, and no one with the ability to drive tasks towards completion.  Meetings like these have a financial impact that costs the organization based on the calculated hourly rate for each participant plus travel costs if the participants are not local.  This can be expensive if there are no resolutions and no clear direction because subsequent meetings have to be held which can require additional invitees.

There are three ways to determine if the meeting is financially smart for the organization:

1. Determine 

Determine if an email can be sent to the appropriate parties to resolve the issue.  With modern technology, people can instant messenger others who might have the answer to thoroughly answer the email.  This would save money overall with the use of corporate technology to make a time-saving and cost-conscientious decision.

2. Identify

Identify how many people need to attend because they are actual contributors to the actions deemed necessary. Count how many should be optionally informed and how many are mandatory because they will make the decision - the ultimate sniff test to weed out the informants .

3. Recognize 

Recognize when people just want to take a trip on company dollars with no valid purpose because similar meetings were run using web conference.  It's understandable that those who travel are looking for the hotel points and airfare miles to keep status with their favorite travel partners.  However, the amount of money spent on the airfare, hotel, car rental, and per diem may be extremely costly when web conferencing is nearly free and allows people to remain in the comfort of their homes.

Next time you think a meeting is necessary, take the chargeback rate and expenses associated to all consultants and time and material costs for employees.  Calculate these rates times the length of the meeting.  This will determine financially if the meeting was worth being held  in-person or in a web conference.


benilhalk said...

Happy to know about this Conference planning ideas. I wonder if you can share name of meeting room of this conference. I am very eager to be a part of such important conference as I also have attended this similar one at meeting space San Francisco and it was a great fun.

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