As many of the readers and list members have probably attended their fair share of tech group meetings (if not, why not?) I wanted to ask what factors do you feel lend well to highly productive meetups. What do you recommend first time guests bring or do to prepare.

One of the things I’ve noticed is that the meeting place itself is crucial to the ability for people to interact. Having attended a recent meeting where seating arrangements made socializing beyond your immediate neighbors near impossible, without a bit of awkwardness amongst those trying to make first-time acquaintances . Here’s an interesting read from FindArticles.com about the psychology of seating arrangments in business meetings.

Lastly, I think that meeting planning is crucial to help others know what mindset they should be in when arriving in order to both gain the most from and contribute the most to the meeting.

Please share your tips and experiences (good or bad)!