The Basics of Meeting Planning

“They want us to have a meeting. Now what do we do?”  4/30/12

Meeting Planning is often an intricate process. But there are certain basics that are essential to every meeting.  Once you have them down you will be all right. During the meeting planning process an answer to a key question usually leads to several new questions and challenges to figure out, which is why Program Management becomes very important. Here are the meeting planning basics broken down for you.

The first thing to do is to determine the SCOPE of the MEETING. Let’s review a very top line level of questions when initially considering a meeting.  We shall borrow from the Classic Journalist Questions:  Who, What, When, Where, Why:

The Classic Meeting Planning Questions (in this order):
Why do we need a meeting?
What kind of meeting is this to be and what is it we want to accomplish?
Who needs to attend the meeting?
When do we need to hold the meeting?
Where should we have the meeting?



  • Why do we need a meeting?
  • What is the Purpose/Need?
  • What is the Desired Outcome?


  • What do we expect to achieve at the meeting?
  • What Type of meeting is it? (Sales, Marketing Plan of Action, Incentive, Ad Board, Training, etc.)
  • What is the Take Away message?


  • Who should go to this meeting?
  • How many people will be attending?
  • How many days can they be out of the office?


  • When should we have the meeting?
  • What time of year?
  • What kind of weather can we expect?


  • Where should the meeting be located?
  • What destination cities are easy for us to travel to?
  • Do we go to a Major City or Resort or Orlando?

And one more very important question:


  • Is it more efficient to plan the meeting In-House or engage a Professional?
  • Do you have the time to plan this meeting?
  • Who will make sure all the details covered?
  • Which is the most cost effective?
  • Who is really going to manage the program?

We will break these topics down further in our next installment.