Hold Better, Less Stressful Meetings with the Web

meeting_tablesWe all know how painful it is to coordinate a meeting involving more than a couple of people. Everyone has to check their calendar of events to find a date and time that will work for everyone’s schedule. The more people involved with the meeting, the more difficult it all becomes. If the meeting involves ordering food for everyone, then the plot only thickens. Here are some free tools and services that can help tremendously with coordinating and even conducting meetings, as well as getting everyone fed.

First, Lock ‘Em In

Tungle makes scheduling a convenient time and place so much easier by sharing your available times to anyone via the web. Microsoft (s msft) Outlook users within the same organization don’t need it, but it comes in handy for those outside of the corporate firewall. Tungle’s interface is great, and there’s also a Tungle.me widget that you can embed on your web site to give people quick access to your calendar and events.

A Picture (Map) is Worth a Thousand Words (Directions)

Giving directions to attendees is another pain for meetings. Everyone knows and loves online mapping services like Google (s goog) Maps, so it makes sense to provide a map of the meeting location along with customizable directions that each attendee can adjust depending on their starting location. Your best best is to embed the map on your web site, and share the link in your meeting invitation.

The Next Best Thing

If your meeting involves people who can’t make it to your office, then there are boatloads of presentation services available today that will allow you to conduct your meeting online. Present.io delivers a quick and easy way to share your presentations via the web. You can also share large files for distributing handouts and even use a conference call feature to talk over the web. For more about Present.io, check out our previous coverage.

Feeding Their Faces

CrazyMenu makes the process of ordering food for your group much easier. It allows you to create a group instantly and find establishments that deliver in your area. It then lets you share menu items with each attendee so they can make their own selections. Using this type of solution reduces many headaches for whoever is responsible for handling event catering.

Final Thoughts

These were just a few examples of the tools out there that can assist you when it comes to organizing a meeting or presentation, whether it’s in?house, on?location, involves employees only or includes people from outside your organization. There are many other web apps that can add value to the experience and make your life easier. Take the time to look around and which ones suit your needs best. You’ll end up saving yourself a lot of unnecessary stress.

Which web apps do you find invaluable when it comes to preparing for a meeting?

Image by flickr user ramson