Advertising and Marketing Executives Surveyed Attend Average of 11 Meetings Weekly

May 16, 2002

MENLO PARK, CA -- Where does the day go? For many advertising and marketing executives it's spent in meetings. Managers polled recently said they attend an average of 11 meetings per week. Nearly half (45 percent) of respondents said the average discussion lasts 31-60 minutes; more than one-third (39 percent) said these sessions last one to two hours.

The survey was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service providing marketing, advertising, creative and web professionals on a project basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes 250 responses -- 125 from advertising executives with the nation's 1,000 largest advertising agencies and 125 from senior marketing executives with the nation's 1,000 largest companies.

Advertising and marketing executives were asked, "On average, how many meetings would you say you attend each week?" The mean response was 11.

These executives were also asked, "How long does the average meeting last?" Their responses:

More than two hours
One to two hours
31 to 60 minutes
15 to 30 minutes
Other/don't know

"Meetings are essential for developing effective marketing and advertising strategies and brainstorming new ideas," said Tracey Turner, executive director of The Creative Group. "But a face-to-face discussion may not be necessary if the issue can be more quickly resolved via e-mail or a phone call."

Turner offers five tips for more effective meetings:

  • Make sure there's a reason to meet. People can get in the habit of attending regularly scheduled meetings when the original purpose of these sessions is no longer relevant. When invited to a gathering, evaluate whether your presence is required - will you be affected by the discussion or able to add value? If not, decline.
  • Start and end on time. Begin the meeting on time with the most important item first - if people can arrive 15 minutes late without missing anything, they have no incentive for being punctual.
  • Create a written agenda. Meetings without an agenda can easily become marathon sessions. Ask invitees to submit topics for discussion, and list the most important items first. While the conversation may stray from these subjects, you can use the agenda as a tool for redirecting the group's attention.
  • Collect ideas at the door. If the purpose of the meeting is to brainstorm, ask individuals to develop several ideas in advance. This can get things off to a faster start.
  • Have fun. While you don't want to spend too much time off topic, pad your meeting schedule to allow for small talk. Morale boosting is one benefit of personal meetings, so use them to build camaraderie.

The Creative Group has offices in major markets across the United States and Canada and offers online job search services at www.creativegroup.com.

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