With the frenetic pace of modern business, today’s meetings can take place in a variety of settings. Business leaders are often away from the office, but need to catch up with clients and co-workers in a professional and business-like setting.
For the PA, this increasingly mobile way of doing business poses some additional logistical problems. Of course, the ability to remain organised while managing busy diaries has always been a vital aspect of the PA’s role, but the need to ensure busy executives can hold worthwhile meetings while constantly on the move means this is truer than ever.
The large number of potential settings where a meeting might take place is almost matched by the number of reasons for staging meetings – from a quick catch-up with an old client, to a lengthy business pitch to a potential client, meetings will vary in their nature and therefore, require a tailored approach on the part of the PA arranging them in order to ensure they as productive as possible.
Clearly, in the instance of a new business pitch, a meeting on-the-move will prove more difficult to arrange – a café or bar simply won’t project the sort of professional image required at a time when first impressions are so important, nor will it offer the facilities that might be required for presenting a pitch, such as a big screen and projector.
This means that arranging the perfect meeting involves more than just being ‘on top of the diary’ and instead requires real insight into the purpose of the meeting.
In some instances, PAs will need to recognise that a physical meeting won’t be practical and that, as long as it is unlikely to harm the meeting objectives, a video conference might be more appropriate.
On the other hand, in the instance of a new business pitch, it might be that a video conference would be a poor substitute for a more personal face-to-face conversation in a well-equipped meeting room.
PAs making these considerations, and overcoming various logistical challenges, are doing more than simply arranging meetings – they’re making sure pitches are successful and clients are kept happy, which is what a businesses’ success depends upon.