Planning a meeting: An admin’s guide to providing support for meetings

The purpose of this white paper is to show you how to optimise your meeting management processes and reduce your meeting preparation time to run productive, secure and cost-effective formal meetings.

Personal assistant providing administrative support for meetings

Effective meetings have a significant impact on the performance of an organisation. As the complexity of the business environment continues to grow, leaders are faced with new challenges and opportunities.When run correctly, meetings are pivotal in navigating difficulties, and capitalising on opportunities. Therefore, the importance of effective business administration cannot be understated. 

Those providing administrative support for meetings, therefore, have a vital role to play. From assembling agendas and compiling meeting materials in the pre-meeting phase, to distributing the meeting minutes post-meeting, it is incumbent upon those providing administrative support to ensure that the meeting process runs smoothly. Administrators are the glue that keeps the meeting together, and the oil that keeps the engine firing at full steam. 

In this article — and our free guide — we explore the components of success in providing administrative support for meetings, so that those responsible can elevant their team’s meetings to the next level. 

How to organise a meeting 

To organise a meeting effectively, you need to follow a series of simple steps. Starting with ensuring invites are sent, and extending as far as meeting follow-up, there are practical checkpoints that you can put in place to ensure that you organise meetings effectively.

After all, arranging executive meetings isn’t straightforward. Things change quickly, and you have myriad stakeholders to involve throughout the process — all of whom have different needs and expectations. This all means that there is a significant pressure heaped on those providing administrative support for meetings. 

When organising a meeting, administrators not only need to collate and distribute all of the necessary information, but they’re also charged with creating an effective meeting agenda. In isolation, this task may sound simple, but when a range of stakeholders and participants need to collaborate on agenda creation, each providing their own input, this task can snowball into something much more complicated very quickly. 

Therefore, the process of organising a meeting involves: 

  • Making sure all those who need to attend are invited, 
  • Ensuring all meeting materials are distributed in a timely manner,
  • Creating and circulating an agenda, formulated as questions, with clear roles and responsibilities (we recommend using a meeting agenda template to do this), and 
  • Encouraging collaboration and preparation from all participants. 

Planning a meeting: Whose responsibility is it? 

As we can  see, the role of a meeting organiser is a varied and important one. But whose responsibility is it? The answer isn’t  simple, as these tasks can be fulfilled by multiple individuals, and responsibilities vary between companies and meeting types .

Overall, however, administrative support for meetings is usually provided by one or a combination of the following: 

  • Corporate Secretary: For board meetings, they often assume overall responsibility for meeting administration, including developing and circulating agendas and taking and distributing meeting minutes. 
  • Assistant to the Corporate Secretary: They frequently support the Corporate Secretary with some of the more administrative parts of planning a meeting, such as managing updates to documents, or printing and distributing meeting materials. 
  • Executive Assistants: For board and executive meetings, it’s likely that the Executive Assistants to participants will be charged with providing administrative support. This will include collating information, managing calendars, and — in some cases — working by proxy to ensure that all necessary arrangements are made. 

When planning a meeting, it’s likely that more than one pair of hands are required. While a Corporate Secretary will take overall responsibility for this process, there will be support from a number of functions — both in terms of overall organisation, and in terms of ensuring that participants are prepared to attend, collaborate, and contribute. 

Planning a meeting: Download our free guide

The purpose of the following guide is to explore some of the challenges of meeting administration in the pre-meeting, in-meeting, and post-meeting phases. We demonstrate how those providing administrative support can optimise their meeting management processes and reduce meeting preparation time in order to run productive, secure, and cost-effective executive and board meetings. 

You will learn about:

  • The art of running meetings and taking meeting minutes,
  • How to select the best meeting management tools for your organisation, and 
  • how to foster a meeting culture that focuses on productivity, security & cost-efficiency.