The High Cost of Meetings

June 1997
by Robert C. Brenner, MSEE, MSSM

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In our zeal to think beyond traditional parameters and maximize our bottom line, one often overlooked activity is the meeting. In large and small organizations, the meeting is typically considered inefficient at best. Organizers often don’t know how to plan and conduct such an interface. And attendees often place meetings at low priority and thus arrive late, step out for “quick” telephone calls, or leave early. These internal meetings are frustrating and costly in that they affect the overhead in your company. And your outside meetings with customers (or potential customers) can have a major direct bearing on the profit made on each job. Learning the Hard Way

I remember a series of meetings that I had with a prospective customer early in my business life. A printer asked me to interface with her to help a prospective customer understand the printing and publishing process. The “customer” was planning to publish a series of articles that had been written by a well-known columnist for the local newspaper.

I was led to believe (by both the printer and the prospective customer) that my company would be doing all of the book design and layout. I was told that we would be providing camera ready art to the printer who would manufacture the book.

I participated in three meetings over a two-week period. Each meeting lasted one to three hours, and required over an hour of travel time on my part. Throughout the experience, the prospective customer expressed his intent to work…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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