A business memorandum, or memo, is one of the simplest ways to inform colleagues and staff members of an upcoming meeting. An effective notice will provide the basic meeting information in a clear, concise and professional manner.
- Follow a general four-point format for the heading, which should include To, From, Date and Subject. The “To” field should include everyone who is invited to the meeting. “From” will list your name and job title. Date the notice on the day it is distributed. Write what the memo is about in the “Subject” field, such as, "Managers' Meeting on Aug. 15, 2015."
- State the purpose of the meeting in the opening paragraph along with all basic relevant information, including the time and location. For example, “The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the revised employee incentive plan. The meeting will begin at 3 p.m. in the main conference room and last for one hour. All managers and supervisors are required to attend."
- Provide a summary of what will be covered during the meeting in the body of the memo. Keep the information brief, if possible; leave the details to be discussed at the actual meeting. For example, “As a result of your feedback, the company will be rolling out the revised employee incentive plan on Sept. 1, 2015. The new plan will reward sales teams, rather than just individuals, when they meet their monthly and quarterly goals. We recognize the benefit of our sales staff working in teams and hope to foster this trend with financial incentives.”
All information in the notice should be relevant to the meeting. Avoid including information that relates to any company-related issues that will not be discussed at the meeting.
Before the Meeting
- Inform the notice recipients if they need to prepare in any way or read materials before attending the meeting. An example might be: “You will each be emailed the revised incentive plan format and policies by the end of the day. Please review the documents ahead of time so you will be prepared to discuss the contents and ask for clarification where it is needed.”
- Tell invitees when the meeting agenda will be distributed. For example: "I will distribute the agenda through email at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. Please review the agenda upon receipt."
- Ask invitees to inform you right away if they can't attend the meeting, so you can schedule a time to review the information with them. Even if a meeting is mandatory, some employees or invitees may be on vacation or out of town on a work-related trip.
Let invitees know if you are willing to answer questions about the meeting topic ahead of time or if all clarifications should be addressed at the actual meeting. Provide a contact telephone number or email address if you will field questions in advance.