Ghosts and zombies are running amok lately – but we’re not talking about the ones roaming your streets during Trick or Treat or lighting up the movie screens. Let’s talk about what ghost meetings and zombie meetings are and, more importantly, how to avoid them.
What Are Ghost & Zombie Meetings?
You’ve probably already been a part of a ghost meeting or zombie meeting in the past, but not known what they were. A ghost meeting is a singular occurrence where a meeting is scheduled, but it goes unattended. A zombie meeting is very similar – it is a recurring meeting that goes unattended.
According to Teem, “A booked, but empty, conference room may seem like no big deal but it can have a big impact on the overall operations of a successful company.”
This is obviously more impactful when it comes to physical meetings – wasting or misusing physical resources often has a higher cost than say, wasting a digital resource. But waste is waste, and part of any good business plan includes the reduction of waste – whether it’s resources, time, or materials.
Here are some great tips for avoiding and eliminating ghost and zombie meetings.
Take Advantage of Scheduling Technology
If your workforce has shifted to a more hybrid model, implementing new scheduling technology is a great way to cut down on ghost and zombie meetings.
Scheduling technology can give you a real-time status of any physical rooms that are booked(and what they’re booked for), as well as helping keep people in the loop when it comes to virtual meetings being cancelled or postponed.
Evaluate on a Case-By-Case Basis
Just like hybrid work is a spectrum, your teams are going to need conference rooms and virtual meeting spaces in different amounts, based on the roles and tasks involved in each meeting.
Allowing each team or department the freedom to create meeting and collaboration expectations that are tailored to their specific team needs can also help eliminate ghost and zombie meetings. If your marketing or design teams prefer to meet in person, but your IT and advertising departments would rather collaborate virtually, let them!
Making meeting expectations more fluid can make teams more effective, while also allowing your business to use its resources more wisely.
Research Why Meetings Are Going Unattended
Is it a meeting that could’ve been an email? Was there a scheduling or communication error? Are the invitees unsure why they need to be present? There are a million reasons people don’t show up to meetings. If you find your company is having a lot of ghost or zombie meetings, as yourself why.
And then ask your teams why. This doesn’t have to be straightforward or accusatory: You can start meetings by giving everyone a chance to share why they think this meeting is or isn’t helpful for them to attend. Define clear goals for meetings and allow your participants to give you feedback on ways to improve the meeting or ideas for pivoting the sharing of specific information away from virtual or in-person meetings.
Create and Define Different Meeting Types
Without a strategy, nothing gets done very fast. And monotony is one of the biggest reasons people don’t want to attend a meeting. If the meeting isn’t well-planned, your employees will be thinking about all the things they’d rather be doing.
Create different meeting types to help mix it up a bit, especially for recurring meetings. Make sure you can manage your attendees’ expectations (think of this as having printed programs or online itineraries for events). If your employees aren’t sure what’s happening or why they’re present, many will decide simply not to attend.
And don’t forget to throw in some engaging or creative elements and meetings into the schedule. Innovation isn’t borne from a strict routine – it comes from the existence of collaboration and opportunities for creative expression.
Keep the Zombies Out of Your Meetings and Events
Running an effective meeting or virtual event is a tough job. Meet Me In The Cloud can help you execute flawless online forums to engage and inspire users. Our Event Assist Services come with a team of producers who are skilled and dedicated to creating a professional, enjoyable event for all.
Contact us today for more information.