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Dreading the Network Meeting?

better tourism networks & collaborations


To be high performing, tourism networks need to have effective ways for people to collaborate with each other.  This makes meetings an essential feature of tourism networks.

Meetings can either serve the network in achieving its objectives or it can sabotage the network in achieving its objectives.  How is this?

Do any of these sound familiar to you?

“We were there for hours and nothing got decided”

“The usual people took over and nobody else got a word in edgeways”

“yes, we had good discussions but I don’t know what was decided in the end”

Worse of all “Any Other Business was the longest item on the agenda.  I thought we’d never get home!”

You know the type of meeting – many of us have suffered through them.   So while the meeting is meant to be a vehicle for progress and joint action and it ends up being a barrier, a turn-off, a reason not to participate in the Network.

Yet, it really doesn’t have to be that way.  Put time into getting a meeting template and culture going and it will result in a much stronger and much more effective network.

Here are three critical elements to look after in your meetings: 

  1. Stick to the time
  2. Give people certainty about how long they will be at the meeting for.
  3. Set a finish time as well as a start time.
  4. Stick to the agenda
  5. Assumes you have an agenda.
  6. No meeting should proceed without an agenda
  7. Members need to know why they’re there and what they want to walk away with
  8. Record actions
  9. After a topic is discussed, the Chairperson can ask ‘what’s the action arising from that?’
  10. Write down what is to be done, by when and who’s going to do it. 
  11. Share these with everyone after the meeting.

Try not to let your network become a victim of poor meetings.  I feel this is so important and so ‘fixable’ that I’ve put together a practical, step-by-step guide for all networks to help them ensure productive and effective meetings, and ones members may even look forward to.  You can download it on the link here.

Please share your experiences of Network meetings below this post, particularly any other ideas for how to make them more effective and enjoyable.


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The newsletter, Public Sector Tourism Monthly, contains curated insights and inspiration from here in Ireland and from around the world, with a particular emphasis on sustainable, regenerative and collaborative themes.   

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