Keeping Vendor Meetings Productive

I spent a good amount of my professional life in meetings. Tons of meetings. When I worked for a Fortune 500 company, I started to think they were paying me just to fill a chair in a conference room. I started jotting down notes on meetings and how to best run them. I recently came across those notes and figured I would just throw them up here in the event they happen to be useful to someone else. Full disclosure, I am a well documented anti-meeting guy. I am not a fan of them and feel that more times than not, they are a waste of time and money. However they are a necessary evil, especially when working for a large organization or with large teams, and if handled correctly can actually become productive. One area where meetings can't be avoided and have a high requirement to be well organized is when meeting with new vendors.

Meeting with a new, or potential new, vendor can be like having to talk to someone you don't know at a friends party. You know you have the friend in common but really don't know much more about one another and yet you need to try and have a conversation with them. I've found following a couple of rules make meetings with vendors a lot more efficient and productive.
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