“If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings’.” ― Dave Barry
I look back fondly to the day when I became Copy Chief of a London Ad Agency.
It was 51 years ago as far as I can make out.
Many things have changed since. Nowadays I would be called something utterly absurd like Chief Executive Creative Officer.
And thanks to the efforts of a procession of free-spending politicians my annual salary of £2,200 – which funded countless alcoholic lunches, frolics and failed attempts at extra-marital fornication – wouldn’t last me a fortnight.
But one thing hasn’t changed since then. Even though we only had 80 staff I was always being asked to attend meetings. I attribute much of the little success I have since had to the fact that I quickly learned the importance of turning them down.
My technique, which I pass on at no charge, was to say I was very busy but if anyone wanted my opinion on the subject I would write it. I think this is better than the one Scott Adams suggests, but you can do some split-run tests if you like and see which wins.
I was reminded of all this when one of my colleagues was asked to attend a meeting without being paid about a project which is not yet funded and even when someone does cough up cannot begin until the spring.
For those forced to attend these things, here is a ready-made agenda provided at no charge by my friend Ryan Wallman from the fair city of Melbourne … outside whose Royal Yacht Club I was once attacked by an enraged Chihuahua, ruining a sexy pair of trousers I had just had made in Bangkok.
That is a different story, but for the benefit of the countless legions who like to talk endless ill-informed horse-shit about them, the agenda Ryan has “crafted” (a popular word among the semi-literate) is about brands.
Do not despair, though. This is a multi-purpose agenda and can quickly be adapted to a range of topics favoured by the witless such as Social Media, Content Marketing, Thought Leadership, Native Advertising and Was Jesus Gay or Just Transgendered?
Agenda – Brand planning workshop*
|9.15||Presentation of biased market research results|
|10.00||AWKWARD MORNING TEA|
|10.30||Some bollocks about emotional laddering|
|11.00||Breakout groups: Meaningless diagrams on butcher’s paper that nobody will ever look at again|
|12.00||LUNCH (OPPORTUNITY TO IGNORE EACH OTHER WHILE STARING AT SCREENS)|
|1.00||Hypothetical game based on an inappropriate military metaphor|
|2.00||Three hours discussing the tagline ‘Progress is our passion’ (more time available if needed)|
|5.00||Agreement on next steps that will never happen because everybody will be too busy planning next year’s workshop|
*Subject to change depending on the number of irrelevant digressions by the guy from head office who loves the sound of his own voice.