The business meeting is as old as business itself. In fact, you can't run a business without at least the occasional business meeting. Often business meetings consist of co-workers within the same company or department, but sometimes the meetings require the attendance of individuals outside your company. When this case presents itself, it is especially important that you know how to write an invitation to a business meeting. There are several key pieces of information you do not want to leave out such as meeting logistics and agenda.
Develop your meeting agenda before attempting to write an invitation to a business meeting. It is important to know what will be discussed at the meeting to ensure the proper people are invited. Additionally, the invitees will be interested to know the meeting's purpose before they commit to attending.
Create an invitation list. Only invite those people whose presence is required for a productive business meeting to take place. Ensure a member of your support staff is available to take notes or meeting minutes, if required.
Select a meeting time. If you are inviting individuals from outside your company, keep your meeting invitees in the forefront of your mind. Chose a time that is convenient for everyone. For example, do not schedule a meeting to begin first thing in the morning if your meeting attendees have to travel more than a half-hour to arrive at the location.
Select a meeting location. Choose a location conducive to a meeting. Unless the meeting is a lunch or dinner meeting, select a location, such as a conference room, where you have climate and noise control.
Address the individuals you are inviting to your business meeting according to your familiarity with each individual. If you work with a person routinely, use the individual's first name in your written invitation. If you are less familiar with someone you are inviting, a more formal approach should be taken.
Include the meeting logistics, such as the date, time and location of the meeting. This information should stand out and be easy to find. Use a bold font or list logistical data separately in the body of the invitation.
Include a tentative agenda with the invitation to your business meeting. If the agenda is relatively concise, you may include the agenda or a short summary of the agenda in the text of the invitation. However, if the agenda is relatively in-depth or technical, include the agenda as a separate document.
Include RSVP information. Business meetings rely on input from meeting attendees. You need to make sure there will be representatives in the meeting to provide input for each of your agenda items. Managing a successful meeting includes knowing beforehand who is planning to attend and postponing the meeting if there is a shortfall in the expected attendance. Require an RSVP by phone or e-mail, and include your name or the staff member's name responsible for collecting RSVP information.
Use e-mail when sending a business meeting invitation unless your company protocol dictates a written invitation. It is much easier for your meeting invitees to RSVP. Send a reminder notice two business days before the meeting. You can include a finalised agenda with the reminder notice.
Be mindful of the tone you use when writing your invitation to a business meeting. The invitation sets the mood for the entire meeting. You want to convey a sense of inclusion and interest in the ideas of the meeting attendees.
Tips and warnings
- Use e-mail when sending a business meeting invitation unless your company protocol dictates a written invitation. It is much easier for your meeting invitees to RSVP.
- Send a reminder notice two business days before the meeting. You can include a finalised agenda with the reminder notice.
- Be mindful of the tone you use when writing your invitation to a business meeting. The invitation sets the mood for the entire meeting. You want to convey a sense of inclusion and interest in the ideas of the meeting attendees.