Maximize your Meetings

by Jill Hopster

Have you ever found yourself in that position? The "big meeting" is over. You invested in the venue, the food, and the speakers. You were so busy making sure that everything ran smoothly, you don't know what questions were asked, what decisions were made, or what commitments were offered.

Perhaps a few of your people took their own notes and you can attempt to recreate at least a partial set of notes so you'll have an idea of what is important to your customers and what follow-up is required.

Good luck.

You know you could have recorded the session, but we all know that the end product isn't easily searchable, isn't summarized, and doesn't have action items called out in one location for your follow-up. Instead, you'll need to fast forward and rewind over and over again just to find that one little bit of information you recall hearing. Was it near the beginning of the session or just before the lunch break? Hmmm.... You finally find the spot, only to discover that the equipment didn't pick up what your customer said, that the speaker moved away from the podium area, or that the audio was a bit distorted or simply dropped off altogether. Before the event, you might be confident that you are capturing all the details but a review of the recording after the event reveals something entirely different.

Too often, a single best idea or resolution to a problem comes from an accidental slip of the tongue; something critical that could get lost if not documented properly.

How can you avoid this problem and get the most business value from the time and expense of your meetings?

There is an option that premier event planners realize is a vital investment for ensuring success at their customer's events and key meetings. To get the most business value out of their cost and time investments they utilize trained, professional Note Takers.

If you've ever tried to take comprehensive notes during a meeting where you are an active member, you can appreciate the many advantages of being able to dedicate yourself to solely participating. Consider that a Note Taker can be assigned to the room for the entire meeting with the dedicated responsibility of capturing the content of the session so you can do what you're supposed to do - join in and/or run the meeting.

A trained Note Taker captures the details of your session including

  • key points and messaging,

  • participant responses and feedback,

  • action items,

  • and more.


Comments are attributed to the meeting participant and hand written notes or lists from a whiteboard or flipchart, website links, slides, spreadsheets, or other visuals referenced in the presentation are captured as well.

Note Takers are a lot like court reporters, but they don't require the fancy equipment. Rather, these professionals bring their own laptop into your meeting and take detailed "thought-batim" notes. They are trained to capture key points in concise sentences and phrases, without common audio distractions like ahh, umm, and you know. They note and highlight action items, which is particularly helpful for identifying comments that require follow-up by your team.

Thought-batim notes are quicker and more efficient to read than a video is to watch. The deliverable is a Microsoft Word file, optimally formatted and easily searchable by main points and keywords. Topic areas can be summarized to further reinforce key messaging. Crucial portions and action items can be easily highlighted in a distinct color. Whether the reader prefers to review a hard copy printout or an online version that offers the added benefits of digital search options, the transcript can be read practically anytime or anywhere.

For your employees, clients, and customers, this format provides details for those who want to examine the session transcript word by word or for those who want to scan through the document to review a summary of the proceedings. Plus, it's ideal for those who could not be in attendance but want to easily search through an electronic file to find key topics and review action items.


Maximize Value at Your Business Meetings & Events: 

Ensure Follow-up, Action Items & Feedback are Captured 

"The business meeting is over.... Hmmm, what did we decide?"


Quality Notes Promote the Quality Follow-Up Your Customer Deserves

Following your event, the transcript of the proceedings is fully edited by the Note Taker as well as reviewed by a dedicated Editor before it is handed off to you.


The transcript you receive includes action items that are captured within the transcript, when they occurred, as well as called out at the end of the document to help ensure efficient tracking and prompt follow-up.

This way, when a speaker promises something to a session participant, it isn't lost or forgotten. Other resources referenced in the presentation, including notes, graphics, or other electronic files, can be inserted in the document in the correct spot.

The final version of the document belongs to you so before it is provided to your customers or partners, your team can evaluate how the topic and presentation was received. As needed, the transcript can be tweaked by your group to ensure that key messaging and learnings are conveyed fully and precisely -just as you intended.

Make Sure Your Vital Messaging Reaches Your Event & Meeting Participants

There are many benefits for using a live, professional Note Taker compared to recording the session. Transcripts can be modified to update information, redirect, or emphasize key points. You can be sure that what was said was what the speaker meant to convey. Sensitive information can be modified or removed if you don't want it taken from the meeting, and Note Takers are covered by an NDA to make sure your valuable intellectual property isn't compromised. The transcript can be refocused to address the needs of a specific group of participants. And if one of your executives wants the full discussion from one session but only a summary from another, the request can be easily accommodated.

With a professional Note Taker in attendance, key communication is not at risk of being lost due to a recording equipment malfunction. Additionally, capturing a session on videotape can be distracting for the speakers and participants, especially in smaller rooms where the equipment can dominate floor space. A Note Taker, observed as just another participant in the room, is inconspicuous but nonetheless fully engaged in the proceedings.

If your meeting is with a roomful of customers, you can be certain that their crucial concerns are captured for discussion and follow-up. Plus, imagine how valuable and respected your customers will feel knowing that your organization cares enough about their input to hire a professional Note Taker. And if an executive steps in to engage in a question and answer session, the value of his or her time is fully realized when a professional Note Taker accurately captures the full conversation.

Utilizing a professional Note Taker for internal-only meetings is beneficial as well. Team meetings remain just that, a Team meeting. All colleagues can participate fully and actively in the discussion, sure that their thoughts and feedback are being captured for follow-up. Plus, milestones and action items can be captured so your team can compare its progress against goals easily and efficiently.

Whether a conference, summit, breakout, planning session, or any other type of external or internal meeting, you achieve the most value from your investment by ensuring all the feedback, ideas, and action items coming out of your session are captured by a professional Note Taker.

Jill Hopster is owner of Emerging Trends, a professional Note Taking company. (425) 894-8430 -

For your employees, clients, and customers, this format provides details for those who want to examine the session transcript word by word or for those who want to scan through the document to review a summary of the proceedings. Plus, it's ideal for those who could not be in attendance but want to easily search through an electronic file to find key topics and review action items.

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