Meetings can be a powerful weapon for SMEs, but also a huge waste of time. A well-organised meeting agenda can be vital for any company; the key here is to be clear about the agenda of business meetings, the reason for each one, the people who will attend and the maximum time that can be devoted to each. Once this information is analysed, it is easier to create a meeting that has far more worth than one simply thrown together in a rush.
Seen this way, the task may seem daunting, but fortunately today there are many tools to help you manage your schedule of business meetings and to fix an appointment with employees or customers. These are the ones we have selected:
Tools to set up meetings
Its main function is to organise the calendar of meetings, but can also be used for other events. With Doodle, you can know the availability of the people they want to meet up with and so find the date that suits everyone. Once you have it clear when you want to be at the meeting, you can send the link by email or through the interface to other participants.
Doodle works as a shared online platform and is known for being a very intuitive calendar. If you do not have time to learn to drive a more powerful calendar and do not have big needs, this is your tool.
One of the tools that is most renowned and most used. It is a paid software which not only allows you to manage a calendar of events, but also makes presentations to large groups and even creates online polls and surveys. It has several versions which also include the possibility of interactive training sessions.
GoToMeeting is a good choice for those conducting online meetings and conferences through the network on a regular basis. Besides organising the meeting agenda, you can setup meetings through the platform.
With improved Google Apps, Google Calendar also comes to mobiles and tablets. The advantage of Google Calendar is that it integrates with your Gmail and, of course, is free. The tool provides a personal dashboard that allows you to create appointments, set reminders and even share with other team members. Plus, you can synchronise with Google Hangouts to video conference with up to 10 people.
TimePal is useful for setting events with partners from different time zones. It also allows you to set the duration of the meeting, so that it will tell you if you are exceeding the schedule.
TimePal functions as a board that matches the schedule of each region, to see the hours that match the rest of the group. Like most applications, there is a limited free version, or if you pay, then you get no ads and more features.
As with Google Calendar, TimeBridge can be used to organise meetings or personal events. TimeBridge’s meeting management service can either be operated with large groups or one-on-one meetings and cover different time zones too. It can be integrated with Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar and Apple iCal. and also includes phone and Web conferencing opportunities.
WhenisGood is a basic, online tool that will generate a link to a survey and send this to other participants with different proposed dates. Once respond by all, you can access the results and choose the date that received the most votes.
Meetomatic is another free service online, where you just have to choose possible dates and send them via email or social networks. With the responses of all participants in, you can easily establish which date generated the greater consensus.
A very useful tool to find out who’s who in a meeting. UberConference can query data collected from other people and initiates a simple, visual, and free to use conference call. It allows you to quickly set up and join free conference calls without the use of PINS.
Attendium is a tool that automates the lists of invitees to a meeting, which is useful for mass events, but perhaps not for use with meetings where there are a limited number of participants.