Booking a meeting room can be surprisingly stressful. Let’s not kid ourselves, your boss and coworkers are going to be judging you based on how good the meeting room is, and you’ll look a lot better if the meeting itself goes smoothly. Book an over-priced, cramped room with shabby furniture and a lack of the right tools? Your coworkers are going to remember that.

Luckily, we’ve run a lot of meetings ourselves, and we’ve also helped plenty of other companies book and run meetings. This has helped us put together a list of essential meeting tips. So if you’re planning to book a meeting with clients, investors, or coworkers, make sure you check out these tips and implement our suggestions!

Count on early arrivals

Somebody is going to show up sooner than expected. It happens nearly every single time. Might be that you yourself want to show up early so you can get comfortable with the meeting space and make sure you’re prepared. Either way, preparing for early arrivals is a must.

We always recommend that people book the room for a time a bit earlier than the anticipated start time. If your meeting is scheduled to start at 10:30 am, for example, you should book the room starting at 10 am. That way, if someone shows up a bit early, they can head to the meeting room and enjoy some refreshments while they wait.

Plan on running over too

Meetings almost never finish on schedule. Often, an important party, say an investor, will show up late, meaning your meeting can’t even get started on time. This greatly increases the likelihood of the meeting running over. You need to be prepared for the meeting taking longer than expected.

Problem is, many venues book multiple meetings per day. While it’s sometimes possible to get a time extension, if the room is booked by another party, you may have to cut your meeting short or move it to another place, such as a coffee shop.

Even if the meeting gets started on time, thorny issues, concerns, or other things can result in the meeting running over. We recommend booking your meeting room at least a half hour longer than the scheduled “end” time, and you might want to consider an hour or more if your meeting with someone who is regularly late.

Even just a half hour of extra time helps. Most of the time, once a meeting reaches its scheduled end point, it’ll start to wrap up naturally on its own. Having an extra half hour, however, will help you ensure that all of the loose ends and important challenges can be addressed.

Make sure you have the right equipment

You should put together a short check list of needed equipment, and then make sure everything is in order before the meeting starts. Few things are more aggravating than trying to get a meeting started only to realize that you don’t have the VGA cord needed for the presentation or your laptop is running out of battery power and you forgot your power cord.

Precious minutes are wasted trying to come up with a work around or to dig up the necessary equipment. At the Carlsbad co-op space, we may be able to provide you with a dongle, hdmi cord, or other piece of equipment, but it’s always best to get everything sorted out beforehand.

So figure out everything you’ll need for your meeting to be a go, and make sure you have it all together before the meeting even starts!

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