What you bring to a business meeting is as important as the things you say or do in a business meeting. Getting to a business meeting to discover that you do not have the things you need is not only embarrassing, it is often a business-meeting killer. I recommend that you buy a portfolio case or a briefcase that you use just for meetings. Keep the case stocked with the materials that you will take to every meeting.
When organizing your meeting case, make sure you bring the following items.
- Bring several copies of presentations. You should have a copy for your own use and a copy for each person on the meeting schedule. Take extra copies for people who are not on the schedule but who might come into the meeting unannounced. Sometimes having unexpected people join the meeting is a sign that the people are interested in what you have to say or show.
- Bring a list of the attendees. Having this list will help you organize your notes about questions people have. The list can also help you remember people’s names and the role of the people in the meeting.
- Bring a list of recommendations. Having a list of recommendations adds power to your professional credibility and creates excitement about the quality of your work.
- Bring a brag book or portfolio. This book contains samples of your work so that people can see the range of your success.
- Bring your laptop. If you have powerhouse presentations that you can show more examples of your work, you can use your laptop as a dynamic tool.
- Bring business cards. Some people see business cards as a way to verify your employment and verify your job title. They show people that you are who you say you are.
- Bring a notepad. You need to keep track of contact and company information that you learn during your meetings. A notepad is an effective way to make notes without distracting people the way using a smartphone or laptop might distract people when you are taking notes.
- Bring three or four pens. The extra pens help you relax that you have a pen that works. In addition, it is wise to make sure you can help an attendee who does not have a pen for taking notes.