Before you go to an off-site meeting, make sure you do your homework and have this information:
- Full adress of the location (and name of the meeting room)
- Telephone and/or mobile number of your main contact
- The number of the reception desk of the company you’re visiting
- A full written down list of names of the people attending
- If you’re not sure if a name on your list a man or a woman, check Google Images, try Gulnihal for instance, it’s a common Turkish girl’s name but you probably wouldn’t know that if you’re not from Turkey
Why? Should you ever get lost or stuck in traffic you should call the people you’re meeting. When you arrive, and it’s a big site, hopefully you can find the right building and the meeting room. You often need a full name of the person you’re meeting at the reception desk or you won’t get in. Now you’re in the room with all the new people, time to say hello to everyone.
Imagine saying something like this to CIO just-forgot-his-name …
Hi mister .. euhm … sir! Isn’t mister Gulnihal attending?
… you get the point.
I got rescued in the nick of time once by a lady bringing in coffee, before I heard her say a few names I was dying inside, hence the checklist.
During the meeting do the following:
- take notes, even if someone else is taking care of the minutes
- keep focussed on the purpose of the meeting
- assume rapport if there is no clear reason not to
- when things get hard to explain, get out of your chair and/or make drawings
- keep an eye on the body language of the people around you
- mind your own body language (check out “The Definitive Book of Body Language” it’s a good book)
Whatever happens, a meeting should always result in a set of actions for the participants.
Have your business cards ready for everyone at the end. good luck!