3 Essential Topics to Cover in Your Kick-Off Meeting Agenda
Want to create a kick-off agenda that kicks butt? Here are three things that every meeting should include to make sure it’s impactful and effective for your group.
No two meetings will ever be exactly the same. Factors such as attendees, presenters, and overall priorities can all play a part in making each one unique. Especially large-scale meetings like company kick-offs.
So, how could there be three essential discussion items that you need to cover in every one?
Whether your team is kicking off a new product, project, or fiscal year, the following topics can help your group develop a crystal-clear understanding of the purpose of the meeting and their roles both during and after it.
- Goals & Vision – What is everyone doing here, and why?
- Plan of Action – How do you intend to achieve the goals and vision of the meeting?
- Attendee Q&A – Does anyone have any questions or feedback?
The 3 Things Your Kick-Off Agenda Needs to Include
While there are plenty of other sessions that you may want to incorporate into your kick-offs, you should make these discussion items the core of your agenda.
1. Goals & Vision
Every meeting should have a goal, and kick-offs are no different! Our team recommends starting out with a session that reviews what you hope to achieve and why.
For example, some common goals at kick-offs include:
- Presenting Your Project or New Ideas – If this is a project kick-off meeting, then you’ll want to go over the specifics. If this is a sales or annual kick-off, then the goal might be to share new ideas, strategies, or products with your team.
- Creating Enthusiasm for Your Vision – You want to start things off on the right foot by getting employees pumped up! Kick-off meetings are meant to be exciting, and they can help set the right tone for what is ahead.
- Building Alignment & Teamwork – You can also use this meeting as an opportunity to align your colleagues and get them working more effectively together.
Once you’ve outlined what your goals are, you’ll want to discuss the underlying motivations behind them.
Here are few ways to communicate your vision, depending on the which type of kick-off you’re planning:
- Project Kick-Off Meetings – What will accomplishing this project mean for your team, and for the business as a whole? By connecting the work employees are doing to a greater purpose, you are more likely to engage them, says Inc.com.
- Sales Kick-Off Meetings – Share how you organized this sales meeting in order to celebrate past successes, help your group improve their skills, or to motivate them for the year to come.
- Company Annual Kick-Off Meetings – Often, the reason that leaders bring employees together for an annual kick-off is to help get everyone aligned and focused on the right things for the upcoming year.
2. Plan of Action
Now that your attendees understand why they’re at the meeting, it’s time to put their brainpower to work.
In this session, you and your colleagues can go over your strategy. You can even begin taking action immediately during the kick-off.
Depending on your goals, however, your group will likely tackle your plan in two stages:
- During Your Kick-Off – What are you going to accomplish while you’re all here together? At your kick-off, you may want to include time for teams to collaborate, work on areas of development, and become aligned on important ideas.
- After Your Kick-Off – Once the meeting is over, you’ll want to make sure that your group has the proper instructions and support to follow through on what you covered. This may include scheduling follow-up meetings, setting milestone dates, establishing lines of communication, and sending out a recap of accountabilities.
Our team suggests that this session shouldn’t immediately follow your goals discussion. Instead, try breaking up these two “heavier” topics with something energizing and fun, such as a team building activity.
3. Feedback, Questions & Answers
Don’t forget to solicit feedback from your group! Providing an entire session just for questions and answers can help everyone come away from the meeting feeling confident in what needs to get done afterwards.
Here is a list of the most common kick-off questions you may want to prepare for:
- How will this affect our customers?
- How can we scale up this idea?
- Do you think this will be sustainable long-term?
- Have you considered these potential problems or challenges?
- How did we decide on this idea?
- How are we going to measure success?
- What are we going to do if something goes wrong?
- Who will be responsible for this moving forward?
Learn More About Planning Epic Kick-Offs
Check out An Event Planner’s Guide to Epic Company Kick-Off Meetings for sample agendas and more expert advice. Simply click the button below for access to your free copy of this all-in-one PDF document.