Planning a meeting on a date where everyone that needs to attend can show up is often very time-consuming. It can mean making lots of phone calls or sending multiple emails back and forth. That seems like such a hassle, so the meeting must be important to go to this much trouble. Plus time is money, and wasted time scheduling can be costly to the business. If there was an easier and cheaper way to plan a meeting, shouldn’t most professionals take advantage of that way? That way is easily available through the on-line tool called MeetingWizard (one word).
MeetingWizard is designed to make meeting planning related to meeting times and attendance easier. The basic tool is free on the internet and only requires that the meeting organizer and meeting invitees have email accounts. So that means it is readily available to everyone doing business that might require meetings! To use the tool, find MeetingWizard (no spaces) on-line.
When checking out the tool, review the on-line tour, which is a slide show on how simple the process is to follow. The tour indicates three primary steps in using the tool. These are:
- Meeting organizer creates a meeting request by proposing dates and times to potential invitees (as few as one and as many as fifty).
- Invitees respond online showing availability after they receive email.
- Meeting organizer reviews availability and confirms the best meeting time to invitees.
There is a little more to it than the three-step process above indicates. This is due to some of the process steps involving multiple screens to read or complete as a sub process of the main step. However, the screens are easy-to-use and not overcrowded with information so there is no getting lost in technology for the novice user. To start the process, the meeting organizer needs to sign up as a new user. Signing up for a free user account means entering some personal information including their email address, and selecting a password for their account. Future logins will require the email and password to get into the tool. Once logged in, the user merely follows the screens to do the necessary steps.
If this is not enough to stimulate interest, visitors can go to the frequently asked questions (FAQ) page of the website. This is where visitors and current users find answers to common questions about using the MeetingWizard tool. After reviewing the on-line help features of tour and FAQ, this tool should require very little additional training for most computer users. If desired, simple step-by-step instructions for beginners may be found by searching the web for “How to Use the MeetingWizard Tool to Plan a Meeting Date.” This additional set of how-to instructions is for the meeting planner only. Referencing this step-by-step information may be helpful as part of demonstration how to utilize the tool. Following the demo with general guidelines for planning meetings would also be a good idea for training meeting organizers. Instructions for invited meeting attendees is also available. If the instructions are helpful, it might be a good idea to include the link to these instructions in the meeting invitation until people get comfortable with the tool.
Besides sending emails, the tool also allows the creation of an address book for storing the minimum of email addresses and names. Other standard address book fields such as title, company, and phone numbers are optional. Using this can save a user time since they would not have to re-enter commonly used email addresses each time they need to send meeting requests or notifications. The user can create an address book or import data from an existing address book, which saves even more time. Current options for import include Microsoft applications of Outlook, Excel, and Word; plus Netscape Messenger; Yahoo; and text or comma-separated files. The address book also has sort and group creation options that may be used if it contains a large number of addresses. Groups can be used to create teams of people so the user does not have to select meeting attendees individually.
Remember there are easier and cheaper ways to plan a meeting by taking advantage of the internet, email, and MeetingWizard. Next time when planning a meeting where multiple dates and times need to be verified with potential invitees, consider utilizing this on-line alternative. It may save meeting organizers and invitees some time. Plus the Meeting Wizard tool may eliminate all those repetitive phone calls and emails back and forth just trying to find a good time for meeting. Saved time and resources may translate to dollars saved for the business.