A Brand Manager has decided that a meeting is required to discuss an important issue. He has asked the Agency to set it up.

The Agency gets the Team that works on the Account together and lets them know that their presence is required. The Head of the Account Management and Creative Departments should be there to show that Management is “involved” in the business.

Word filters out that the Marketing VP will also be there. The General Manager of the Agency decides that he should attend.

The Client is a Multinational. It would be a good idea to fly the Regional Account Director in from Headquarters for the meeting so he plans on being there.

The meeting rolls around. It is scheduled to last one whole day and the Brand Manager thinks it might be a good idea to go offsite so he sets it up in a resort town that is two hours away from the city. This requires that people travel the night before and spend the night in the resort.

Since none of these man hours are billed to the Client he has no qualms about doing this. This meeting is “free”.

And since the Agency does not realize how much money it is being asked to spend it goes ahead with this.

It makes no sense whatsoever but this little drama is repeated thousands of times, mostly to the financial detriment of the Agency

Meetings are not “free”. Whenever you are about to set up a meeting ask yourself:

What’s the objective? Who needs to be there? How can we make it as short as possible? What hidden costs can we take out of it?

While there is not a line in the financials that will reflect it, a whole lot of money, time and resources will be saved!

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