Wondering what it takes to gather everyone together and run things smoothly?
In this post I offer a few tips to make the process of organizing a group of people as seamless as possible.
Make detailed plans ahead of time.
You wouldn’t send out party invitations to your friends without telling them the date, time and location of the party, would you? Of course not!
Before you gather people for a meeting, it’s important to figure out all the relevant details ahead of time.
Why are you asking everyone to meet or gather? Do you have a specific meeting location in mind? What do you want people to do once they arrive?
Carefully plan out all the details, from the schedule, to the people you want to invite, to the goals of your gathering as well as any materials you’ll need.
Take numbers of people into account.
It takes time for a group of people to physically move from one location to another.
Do you have enough time in your schedule for people to meet and move to another location?
Another item to think about is the size of the room, location or area in which you will be meeting. Is there enough room for everyone? You don’t want people to be crowded or falling on top of one another, everyone should be able to sit or stand comfortably.
It might be worth doing a bit of scouting ahead of time to ensure there’s enough room for all.
Give clear and simple instructions.
The easiest way to organize people is to give clear and simple instructions.
People shouldn’t have to think about where they are going, how they are going to get there or what they are doing at a particular place (that’s your job!).
All of your instructions should be simple phrases or tasks as in “Meet by the center atrium,” or “Pick up an information pack and fill out the survey inside.”
Make it as easy as possible for people to understand and follow instructions.
Make definitive decisions.
Whenever you are gathering a bunch of people together to do something, it is imperative you make definitive decisions. Making one decision, changing your mind, and then changing your mind again is a recipe for chaos.
You don’t want to move 50 people to one conference room in a hotel only to realize they need to be in an entirely different conference room.
Of course, you can’t always avoid the changes that must be made in different situations. What you can do, however, is take the time to come to a clear and well-thought decision.
Think carefully, and then think again before you make a final decision for the group.
How about you? Have you ever had to organize a group of people? What was it like? What did you learn from the experience? Join in the conversation and leave a comment below!