Top Pointers For A Killer Kickoff Meeting
Client kickoff meetings are critical in creating a solid foundation for a project, as well as your future business relationship. A well-structured, energised kickoff establishes confidence in your company’s ability to deliver and complete a successful project.
There’s so much more to kickoffs than project outlines. When planning your next kickoff meeting, consider the following elements:
1. Prepare a clear concise agenda before the meeting
It sounds like an obvious one, but you can’t begin a kick off meeting without a thought out, well-structured document to work from. With this you can guarantee that you cover all necessary points and you can refer to it when you need to.
2. Outline the project objectives and aims
What does the client want from the project? As project manager, you should outline and describe the objectives and aims from both parties, so everyone understands them clearly. Invite all relevant team members who will be working on the project, to ensure there are no grey areas throughout the project.
It’s also beneficial to encourage the client to explain the importance and reason behind the project, allowing them to summarise what they want from this.
3. Communication is key
Communication is absolutely critical throughout a project and touching upon this during the kickoff meeting will reassure them. Even if you don’t have any specific plans as of yet, use this opportunity to discuss future communication plans. These could be weekly status meetings/calls, project updates and deadlines.
4. Duration of the meeting
Make time allowances for discussions, but make sure your meeting isn’t too long or too short. Attention levels in meetings often drop considerably after two hours, so we advise you to take a break and offer drinks or refreshments.
However, your meeting being cut too short can be just as detrimental. Make sure that you’ve covered all relevant points and your client has had the opportunity to voice any opinions, concerns or requirements.
5. Be confident and inspiring
Demonstrate your enthusiasm for the project and energise the client and your team! There’s nothing worse than a boring kickoff meeting; the initial excitement of a collaborative project should resonate through the team, showing the client exactly why they chose to work with your agency.
Be different and use unique methods to interact with your client, for example, we bounce ideas off of each other in our brainstorming area.
6. Get clarification
To ensure that everyone is totally on the same page from the meeting, reiterate all timelines and allocation of tasks at the end of the meeting. We advise to send a detailed email confirming aims, deadlines and other agreements to clients too. In doing so everything has been communicated and agreed in writing.
Conclude the meeting with a Q&A to give everyone the opportunity to ask any questions and clarify any aspects of the project. It’s better to allow time for this part, so everyone is on the same level, rather than having to ask or take any questions separately through email or phone.
Of course, express to the client to get in touch if there’s anything else they wish to add, but by encouraging a Q&A you’re laying everything down on the table there and then.
We hope by implementing these tips to your next kickoff meeting, it will set you up for a successful project! If you like our approach to meetings and you’re interested in our services, get in touch!