How early do you start to plan next year’s events? Successful business meetings and events require proper planning. However, it often gets buried under other tasks when things get busy, and suddenly it’s happening in a couple of weeks! HUONE Helsinki shares its own event calendar for the first half of a year and a few tips for organising. Let’s plan ahead and be prepared for the coming year!
HUONE’s example event calendar for the first half of 2023
HUONE, like any other company, has a lot of internal/external meetings and events. Sometimes when things get busy, they get overlooked, and then you are rushed to organise everything last minute. We have put a few practices to make sure our meetings and events are effective and worthwhile for all. The event calendar is what we use internally to align all and prepare well in advance for what’s coming.
All-hands meetings or company-wide meetings and events
Events such as kick-off, strategy day, and festivities such as summer party and Christmas party happen annually for the whole company. One of the most crucial things is to fix the date and communicate the basics with everyone or your guests clearly well in advance.
(HUONE’s event calendar for the first half of 2023)
Smaller internal recurring meetings
In addition to the company-wide events, there is a variety of smaller weekly and monthly meetings. We recommend setting the meeting structure clearly together with the team (e.g. when it happens, is it virtual or in-person, the goal for the meeting, who’s in charge of what, brief agenda, etc.). For example, HUONE Helsinki’s weekly sales and marketing meetings play an essential role in the team to strategize, align everyone, as well as to motivate each other. The operational team has a separate meeting in the same light. Since HUONE is a global company with units in three countries, we also have global meetings for department heads to share insights and plans. In addition, there are regular trainings for each position, workshops, and onboarding for new staff.
Examples of Recurring Internal Meetings
- Events Weekly sales/marketing meetings
- Weekly operational planning meetings
- Bi-weekly team meetings
- Monthly global marketing meetings
- Monthly management meetings
- Regular trainings
Must-ask questions for all upcoming meetings and events
No one should have their calendar to be filled with back-to-back meetings. Thus, one should always think carefully about what is really necessary and who should be involved. We share few questions one should always ask before start planning for the future events:
Why are you organising this meeting or event?
Define and communicate the goal. The main goal of the meeting should be shared clearly with everyone from the very beginning so that you can work towards it together. Meetings happen between people and they are designed to facilitate human collaboration after all. In good meetings, everyone knows what they’re there to achieve.
Who do you need to invite?
Invite (only) the relevant people. Now you have a goal, who should you invite? Events are downsizing more and more, and the quality of the guests is more important than the quantity. The cost of a meeting expands far beyond the cost of the meeting space. By only inviting the relevant people, you save time(=money), and will drastically improve the effectiveness of your meeting. In addition, communicate what is expected of them; ‘why’ do you need these people?
Where are you meeting?
Decide on ‘where’ carefully. Is it going to be on-site, virtually, or hybrid? The environment is a crucial factor to consider to make your meeting or event succeed. It is much more than just finding an available space big enough for your group. It will directly affect the behavior of the participants, which will directly influence the outcome of the meeting. Also, make sure the meeting is ‘inclusive,’ if it is in a hybrid format.
What should be on the agenda?
Share an agenda with your guests in advance. It is one of the meeting attendees’ rights. How about introducing the rule: ‘no agenda, no meeting’? Make sure to include all the above elements, as well as the time frame, and contact person. Make sure to communicate if there’s anything that needs to be prepared beforehand by the participants.
Tips for different meeting and event types
Kick-offs are all about alignment. Whether it’s a project kickoff, season kickoff, or a kickoff with a new team, the focus is always on ‘aligning’ everyone. Check out our article to learn more: 3 different types of kick-off and get inspired with an example agenda.
2. Strategy Day
Strategy Day is where the most essential discussions about the company’s future strategy take place. Attendees are mid-senior manager-level people, so the day should be planned in detail beforehand⏤almost by the minute. Remember to carefully think about who to include and how long you will need for each item on the agenda. You should also have concrete actions to implement after the strategy day, so do the wrap-up efficiently. See how HUONE organized a global strategy day.
3. Team Day
People are the most valuable asset of any business. Without your team members, no magic happens. Team days are a great way to combine a meeting and a more casual team activity. Check out how easy it is to combine the day with a program at HUONE!