Garbage in… Attendees

Ever went to a meeting and wondered “why am I here?”or “what is (s)he doing here?” Meetings are about getting the task done; ideally attendees should be interested in achieving the deliverable. Attendees should contribute their opinions, backed up by their knowledge and experience to the content of the meeting. Garbage in, garbage out, the meeting with the best agenda with the incorrect attendees may not return the best decisions.
When hosting the meeting to decide the menu for the family day, invitations may include:
Human resources – knows the composition of the attendees, male / female, religions, number of children.
Sports club rep – the family day is one of the Sports Club’s annual events, therefore the Club, as the owner of the event, has a vested interest in the meeting outcome.
Employees – the target audience may have experienced these events in the past and may want to express certain desires or concerns. As parents they have a vested interest in the food served to their precious babies
Caterer – the food expert, with knowledge on how to safely store and prepare food. May be able to advise on venue limitations and how to work around these, or what foods can or cannot be prepared at the venue.
Event planner – ensures that the layout will provide easy and safe access to the food.

When inviting persons to a meeting, think about the constituents who have to live with the deliverable and draw from these. Some attendees may wear more than one hat, the sports club rep may also be a parent and can wear both hats at the meeting. Do not be afraid to invite dissenting voices, these also provide meeting content. It’s the facilitator’s job to keep the attendees focussed and to ensure that they contribute to achieving the stated deliverable.


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