12 Meeting Room Etiquette Guidelines

Meeting Room Etiquette Guidelines
Book meeting room in advance and stick to the agenda. Avoid off-topic discussions and maintain professional behavior. Make sure the room is well-lit and close meeting with an action plan.

1. Book the Meeting Room

One of the first rules is to book conference rooms in advance. This ensures an organized meeting experience — not just for the attendees but also for other meeting room users. 

When you book in advance, you avoid the inconvenience of last-minute arrangements. Additionally, you can prevent conflicting schedules and meeting delays, which can cause unnecessary stress for you and your colleagues. 

Reserving the space early will also give you enough time to notify the meeting attendees about the time slot and venue. More importantly, it enables everyone to plan their daily tasks accordingly.

2. Always be Punctual

Respect the meeting time, whether attending/hosting an in-person or virtual meeting. Sticking with the schedule and being on time (and even arriving a few minutes early) helps set a positive tone for the rest of the activity. It also gives you adequate time to discuss your agenda, engage, and reach a resolution.

When every attendee follows this crucial meeting room etiquette, it also fosters a sense of professionalism. It helps usher in a more productive work environment.

On the other hand, be psychologically ready and prepare supplies (e.g., projector screen and meeting notes) before you arrive at the meeting.

3. Keep the Meeting Space Clean

clean meeting room
Clean meeting room

The cleanliness of a meeting or office space can create a productive mood. Everyone will be at ease and better concentrated on discussing the agenda when clutter or trash isn’t floating around.

It creates an environment where the host and participants can converse, plan, and make decisions more effectively. 

After the meeting, clean up the room and dispose of any rubbish — including paper waste, leftover food, and coffee cups. Doing so shows respect for the team or department that has a meeting room booking schedule after you. 

4. Be Mindful of Others’ Time

Consider other people’s time, just like you would on Zoom or physical gatherings, especially if you work in a dynamic work environment. To preserve productivity and efficiency, meetings must start and end on schedule. 

Respect boundaries in a busy office where back-to-back meetings are common. Remember that, like you, your colleagues have other daily commitments.

So, concentrate on the agenda and steer clear of off-topic conversations. Keep track of your time and set aside some time for discussion and question-and-answer.

5. Avoid the Unnecessary Use of Technology

It’s common for business meetings to rely on several tools (e.g., room booking system, laptop, and audio-video gear). However, remember that unnecessary technology can hinder a productive and respectful meeting. 

Ensure you mute your cell phone or put it on silent mode. Notifications and alerts may only distract you and the other meeting participants. Don’t use your device for personal things, like checking social media. This will help you stay focused and remain engaged.

6. Maintain Professional Behavior

Ongoing meeting with expat
Ongoing meeting with expat

Whether meetings are held in a more formal or light-hearted manner, practice good behavior anyway. Everyone needs to adhere to etiquette rules to contribute to the smooth conduct of the meeting.

Avoid interrupting others and practice active listening to maintain effective communication. Maintain eye contact, give the nod to show understanding, and ask only relevant questions. 

Whether you’re in a start-up or a more established organization, remember that a collaborative environment welcomes constructive participation. But you must do so while maintaining a respectful tone. 

7. Remember: The Meeting Room is a Shared Space

Everyone in an organization has the right to use the meeting room. Treating it as a shared space is vital in sustaining a harmonious and efficient work setting. 

First, you must avoid double booking and use the system to coordinate any room reservation. Be proactive but remain considerate of other colleagues using the room. 

When you’re in the conference room, maximize your use and be mindful of the allocated time for each meeting. Consider the number of people who are taking part in the discussion.

As stated, you must respect time and stay focused on your main agenda. And, before you leave, keep it clean so that the succeeding team can easily set up the place for their own meeting. 

8. Check the Temperature and Lighting

Ensure the temperature is set at a comfortable level for most attendees. Keep in consideration what others might prefer and make any reasonable temperature adjustments.

If you’re an attendee and are sensitive to temperature, you must do your own part as well (e.g., consider bringing a blazer or a jacket or seating in a spot where you’ll feel less cold).

Also, ensure the lighting is sufficiently bright for everyone to properly see the presentation, the whiteboard, and other documents.

Attending to these particulars can help maintain a collaborative, relaxing, and effective meeting setting. 

9. Serve and Consume Refreshments Appropriately

Club sandwich
Club sandwich

Business meeting organizers can serve food and drinks to help facilitate a more productive gathering. However, you must be responsible and serve or consume refreshments appropriately

If you’re the one preparing the refreshment, consider the setting and the time of the meeting. Also, factor in the attendees’ preferences and dietary restrictions. It’s also best to serve easy-to-consume menu items like sandwiches to avoid distractions and potential mess.

If you’re there only as a participant, one vital meeting etiquette is avoiding noisy or messy eating. It can disrupt the activity and distract anyone discussing their own points.

Practice proper table manners and do your part in tidying up to keep the workspace clean and organized. 

10. Ensure that the Meeting Addresses What Must be Addressed

The last thing you want in a meeting is to leave things hanging. Meetings are there to discuss and address certain agendas. So, it’s important to complete action items and follow up on whatever was discussed during the meeting.

Every attendee has to be accountable for the roles and tasks delegated to them. This is especially critical if the meeting involves work for important clients. Completing tasks will leave a positive impression on all stakeholders.

11. Close Meetings Effectively

How a meeting ends is just as important as how it starts. Ending it professionally and thoughtfully helps set the tone for the succeeding meetings.

Summarize the main points, identify the key takeaways, and round up the decisions. This is also the part where you mention the action items assigned. 

Ensure everyone is on the same page before you end the meeting. Recap dates, deliverables, and any further steps that need to be taken. Then, give ample time for participants to raise questions and clarify concerns. 

As you bring the meeting to a close, express your thanks for the attendee’s time and efforts, acknowledging them for their contributions, ideas, and suggestions. 

12. Observe Proper Cancellation Etiquette

Observe proper cancellation etiquette to protect the efficiency and fairness of using such spaces. 

Once you learn, the room is no longer needed, immediately cancel your reservation and inform every attendee. Prolonging your cancelation can lead to conflicts and delays. Additionally, it can rob the attendees of sufficient time to adjust their schedules. 

The key is to take responsibility early on and minimize disruptions. If the meeting is postponed, make the necessary arrangements to adjust the booking and notify all concerned. 

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