5 W’s and an H For Meeting Invitations

Looking for a way to improve meetings? Then, start with pre-planning to make sure the meeting is the best possible. Once it has been determined a meeting should be held it is important to invite the right people in the correct way. This is done with a meeting invitation. The best invitations will provide attendees with the answers to their questions of who, what, when, where, why, and how related to the meeting.

  • Why is this meeting needed? The purpose of the session should be listed prominently in the invitation. This lets potential attendees know the big picture and what the goal for holding a meeting is.
  • When is the meeting? A good meeting invitation will show the date of the session and times when the session will start and end. This helps attendees with making plans around the meeting, as well as preparing what they need for the meeting.
  • Where is the meeting? The invitation will direct attendees to where session will be held. If any special travel arrangements may be needed, the invitation should provide data for the travelers.
  • Who will be attending? The invitation will be addressed to all the expected attendees and copy any presenters as well. If known at the time of the invitation, include the name of the facilitator and recorder as well.
  • What steps will be done in the meeting? Steps to accomplish the meeting purpose in the allotted time are provided in an agenda. A well thought-out agenda will list what actions need to be done, how much time is allotted for each action, and who is primarily responsible for each agenda item.
  • How the meeting steps are to be accomplished is done by writing an agenda using actions words and describing any special techniques that may be used, such as brainstorming, process analysis, voting or consensus decision making.

When planning a meeting, remember to prepare a meeting invitation that lets people know all they need before planning to attend. Be sure the invitation answers the questions of who, what, when, where, why, and how so an attendee does not need to make a phone call to find out.