Using Templates for Repeating Meetings

Repetitive customer and prospect calls

Erin has calls with new clients regularly every week. The collaborative accountability of AlignMeeting helps her along the meeting routine and provides an environment for the customer to be apart of the process. The customer responses are documented for all parties to see and move on with the next steps.

However, Erin doesn’t want to build the meeting content over for every call and would like to refer to a template.

Process overview

  • Define a base meeting (template)
  • Prepare template content
  • Schedule a client meeting
  • Modify the client meeting to use the template
  • Run the meeting

While AlignMeeting is in process of developing a formal template system, this document will walk you through the process to refer to a base meeting at you use for each customer meeting instance.

You will create a meeting ahead like any other scheduled meeting that becomes a template. Then when you setup and schedule customer meetings you’ll reset that meeting to refer to the content from the template. For the following process, you’ll need to be logged into your AlignMeeting account. You’ll be working from your meeting list

AlignMeeting dashboard where you'll manage you're meetings.

Define a base meeting (template)

From you’re AlignMeeting dashboard (once you’re logging into your account), create a meeting ‘Schedule a Meeting’. This meeting will become you’re template for other meetings to use as the base for topics and content.

Some key points for this meeting:

  • Suggest you end meeting name with ‘Template’
  • Date & time isn’t needed
  • Do not add attendees

When complete, click ‘Schedule Meeting’.

Setup a template as you would to schedule a meeting

Prepare template content

In this step you’ll modify the template meeting to contain the topics and material you’ll want to cover in your customer calls.

From the meeting list, single-click the template meeting. The options will dropdown for the meeting. Click ‘Prepare Content’

Prepare meeting content from the drop down options.

The meeting will open in preparation mode. Please notice the middle top header.

As you begin all the agenda topics you first defined will show on the meeting board with no content. Please click into each topic and add relevant talking points and questions.

Suggestion. Use leading questions for the customers to respond and answer. In the actual meetings encourage them to participate in the meeting board with their responses. As their contributions will show at the time will appear in their attendee color.

Create your template content from the meeting preparation mode.
Complete your template meeting content as needed. Colors are only for prep mode. Will appear black in meeting.

Adjust the content as needed adding images if appropriate. You may come back this multiple times to revise.

If you do revise the template, it will impact any meeting that have yet to be run (even if it’s defined and scheduled).

The color designations during preparation just helps you see each person’s changes if you’re editing simultaneously. Once saved it will be revealed in black when you run the meeting.

Click ‘Save & exit’ to finish this step.

Schedule a client meeting

When you’re going to have a meeting with a new customer, set up a new meeting as normal. Use ‘Schedule a Meeting’ on top of your meeting list. There are two options to schedule a meeting depending on how you’re sharing the AlignMeeting with the customer.

Schedule meeting, send email and add to calendar

This example assumes you’re using AlignMeeting to schedule the meeting, sending the customer the meeting email along with the calendar invite.

Within the New Meeting window enter all the information as usual including the agenda topics. It’s these topics that will be sent in the email. However, the template will actually be used as the real agenda.

Define meeting, invite customer onto meeting board during the call

In this option, the scheduling ahead and putting it on each other’s calendar is handled outside of AlignMeeting. This option assumes you’ll bring the customers into the AlignMeeting session during your conversation.

As there is nothing you need to send the customer ahead you can enter minimal information within the New Meeting window. Name and date the meeting. You don’t need an agenda, as you’ll refer to the template.

Modify the client meeting to use the template

Before you run the customer meeting you must change the base content to that of the template.

While not glamorous, this is where the magic happens.

From the meeting list, single click the template meeting. The options will dropdown for the meeting. Select ‘Edit Setup’.

Change the dropdown field ‘Story’, select the template to use for your customer call.

Click ‘Save’ at the bottom.

The magic happens when you assign the template to your meeting.

Run the meeting

From the meeting list dropdown, select ‘Start Meeting’. An intermediate ‘kick-off’ window is displayed. This provides a holding area where you can see if other attendees have joined before kicking off the meeting. This is optional for your needs. To kick-off the meeting simply click the green arrow play button.

Revealing agenda topics

The main difference when running a scheduled meeting is your ability to place topics on the meeting board as needed (not overwhelming with all the content at once).

Now on the menu bar you can:

  • Click the double arrow button to reveal the next topic, or;
  • Select the topic to reveal from the pull-down,

You can only place a topic once on the meeting board. It shows gray in the list once it’s placed.

Important notes

Once the template has been assigned to your meeting you cannot do any additional prep to the meeting. Doing so will modify the base template for that and any future meeting.