Over the last year we have all seen ‘normal’ face to face meetings change to video meetings, including initial kick off meetings, which can be vital for any new project.
Here is why kick off meetings are important and 5 things as a client, you should take away from a kick off meeting.
Before we start, what exactly is a kick off meeting?
Well, it is usually the first time you, the client, get to meet the team working on your project.
Kick offs take place after contracts have been signed and the initial strategy, budgets and timeline have been discussed. It's essential that objectives and goals are agreed upon in order for your agency to consistently monitor and make tweaks to the strategy as and when required.
The kick off meeting is an opportunity to introduce team members who will be actively working on the account, who might not have been involved in the pitch process. A kick off meeting is a great place to highlight the roles and responsibilities of the team and aims to make sure everyone understands the project and what success looks like.
Things clients should consider/prepare before the kick off meeting with an agency.
- Have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve from the meeting and the project.
- Bring documents with you, if a project/creative brief has been completed, make sure you have it ready, the agency will also have it, but this is something to refer to throughout the meeting.
- Prepare to answer lots of questions, agencies will be asking for all sorts of information and data, depending on the project.
- Take lots of notes, maybe even assign a single team member to take notes.
- Don't be afraid to ask the agency to repeat something or explain something differently (agencies can use a lot of acronyms)
- Allow enough time to cover everything, kick off meetings can veer off on many tangents, you can end up down many different rabbit holes trying to solve simple questions, so make sure you aren’t rushing through the meeting.
These are just some simple items you should think about, but here are five things you should take away from a kick off meeting...
What should you take away from a kick off meeting?
1. Introductions (roles and responsibilities)
First and foremost this is a chance to really get to know the team members working on the project/account. As mentioned above, some may have been involved at the pitch stage, others, you might be meeting for the first time.
The difference here is a kick off meeting, whilst important to focus on the work, can be more informal, a great time to get to know the members of the agency and begin to build a relationship.
This is also a great time to lay out each team member's roles and responsibilities, as well as who to contact on your side, if there are multiple people working on different aspects of the project.
2. Review goals and objectives
While goals and objectives would have been discussed during the pitch, the kick off is a great time to elaborate on them. Reassuring you, the client, that your agency has the knowledge required to understand and achieve the objectives.
It is an opportunity to understand the key objectives but also the secondary metrics that will also make up the overall success of the project.
3. An understanding of the first month of activity & the longer term strategy
Breaking down exactly what will happen in the first month can really help pre-empt any questions that might still be lingering. Depending on the complexity of the project, there may well be multiple channels running simultaneously, with multiple campaigns running in each, it can be overwhelming.
A clear blueprint of what will happen and when, is a great way to make the launch of any project easier.
4. Lines of communication
As mentioned above there can be a lot of plates spinning at any one time, and different agency members will be working on different aspects of the project. Knowing who to contact and how to contact them is vital. This is where an Account Manager, like myself, comes into their own; they are responsible for the day to day contact, to provide updates on the work being done and keeping you informed of exactly where you are on that work blueprint.
5. Confidence in the project
Above all, the aim of any kick off meeting is to inspire confidence in you that the project is in safe hands, allaying any questions that might have been in the back of your mind. As an agency we aim to demonstrate knowledge and expertise as well as a passion for what we do.