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Meeting Preparation and Time Allocation

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 14 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Preparation Meeting Agenda Participant

Allocating sufficient time to prepare for a meeting ensures that the relevant information is passed on to the correct people at the right place and time. Key factors like these can only come together through careful preparation and the understanding of the aims of the meeting. Considering all the important elements of a successful meeting should therefore be a priority.


Being aware of the amount of time that has been allocated, at the start of your preparation, will enable you to structure your aims to fit within this restrictive period. Working to timescales may limit the amount of input but not the quality. Ensuring therefore that you prepare relevant content, and invite participants who will contribute specifically, will result in a successful meeting.

It is also worth considering how each of the participants will communicate within a group setting. Invite individuals who are able to contribute ideas, skills or advice that will help you achieve your goals or aims. Do consider re-arranging the meeting if key people are unable to attend at the time, and location, you are planning to hold the meeting in. Also bear in mind that you may have to allow for travel time to the location.

Date Alert

The easiest way to begin your preparation is by selecting a date for the meeting. Doing this purposefully will stop a constant exchange of emails or phone calls whilst attendees try to agree on a suitable date. Fixing a date for the meeting, and then informing everyone of the choice of date and venue is a sensible option. Always send written confirmation of the finalised date of the meeting so that all attendees can prepare accordingly.


Drawing up a list of potential attendees is a good idea. Doing this will allow you to consider each individual’s strong points and also how they can possibly contribute to the success you are hoping to achieve, as a result of holding the meeting. Evaluate the skill of the participants and draw up an agenda. Always be aware that you are preparing for a meeting that has a strict time allocation.

Once you have a workable list of attendees inform each individual of the time and place of the meeting. Informing them of the purpose of the meeting is also important. Each attendee should be aware that you will be expecting their participation throughout the meeting, and to help them with this you may consider sending relevant information that can be read and understood before the meeting.

Points to Remember:

  • Working within a timescale need not limit or restrict your purpose. Being aware of the limitations will allow you to plan your meeting to fit the allocated time period.
  • Choose a date for the meeting and then inform all potential attendees of the details of the venue and time. Be prepared to re-arrange the date if a key participant is unable to attend.
  • Carefully evaluate the skills of each of the participants you are planning to invite to the meeting. Make sure that all attendees are aware that you expect them to contribute to the meeting.

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