How to write a recap

If you’re holding a virtual meeting over the phone to discuss sales-related information with clients or prospects, you can send them a recap email summarizing your conversation and any next steps. This can help you remind clients or prospects of what was discussed. You can also CC your manager on the email to inform them of your conversation with the client or prospect.

How to Send an Effective Meeting Recap or Follow Up Email (With Template and Example)

After a meeting, it’s important for employees to be reminded of what was discussed so they can remember significant action items or announcements. Sending a meeting recap can summarize discussions and important details for attendees or employees who were unable to attend a meeting. The recap should contain information that is valuable and simple for readers to understand.

A meeting recap is a message, often in email format, that is sent to employees or clients after a meeting. The meeting recap gives a basic overview of the meeting and reminds recipients of what action items need to be completed, deadlines for assigned projects and any other important information that was covered.

Meeting recaps are often sent to help attendees remember important details and are available for them to reference later on. These recaps can also benefit any employees or clients who were unable to attend the meeting and need updates on important details that were missed.

Why do you need a summary email?

A summary email establishes accountability for action items that come out of the meeting. By having the ability to see what your team members responsibilities are, you also gain a stronger understanding of what is required to make the project successful.

An effective meeting recap also acts as a historical record of meetings to reference at any point. This is going to highlight progress and areas for improvement so that you and your team can continue to learn and grow together.

“I love the practice of repeating decisions or actions after a meeting with a recap email,” says Hogan. “This communication method harnesses all of email’s power for good: it helps set the record straight, disseminates information to lots of people at once, and opens up conversation internally.

How to write an effective meeting recap

What we’re saying is, if you want to send an effective meeting recap, you need to also have had an effective meeting beforehand. In another interesting article by the Harvard Business Review, they discuss the importance of being organized in order to conduct a successful meeting:

“Before you hold a meeting, force yourself to make deliberate choices. First, know exactly why you’re convening and define your goals to set the stage for achieving them. This process may include asking others to suggest agenda items, which not only promotes relevance but also increases ownership and engagement. If you don’t have a clear mission or a list of agenda items, you should probably cancel.”

Things to include in your meeting recap:

1 Give a quick thanks

2 List what was discussed during the meeting

You can use your agenda items and meeting notes to do this and organize them into bullet points that are quick to read and straight to the point. Make sure to write them out in chronological order from the opening of them meeting to the decisions made and next steps.

3 List action items and assign them

After you’ve summarized the key points of the meeting, in a separate paragraph or table, list all of the action items with the date it was assigned (the day of the meeting), the deadline and the person who has been assigned to complete it. This is going to foster accountability within the team and also keep everyone up to speed on what their teammates are working on.

4 Include any kinds of reference documentation

It’s a good idea to include any kinds of reference documents from the meeting. These can be anything from project guidelines, project timelines, budgets, etc. This is especially helpful when many projects are progressing simultaneously. Including relevant resources is going to eliminate confusion at the onset and give you and your team more time to work towards your goals, without too many explanations or clarifications required.

5 Include a reminder of the next meeting

Gather extra materials

Perhaps you saw an outstanding network diagram in a particular presenter’s talk or you noticed that a speaker did not plan to publish her slides. It’s best to ask the speaker at the event for these resources, then follow up on your request by email. If you were not able to make the request in person, make sure to send your request by email quickly so you can include the materials in your post and get the post published in a timely fashion.

You will also likely find that other folks have written about the event and may have done write ups on sessions you missed. They also may have an alternate perspective on an aspect of the event you particularly enjoyed. Include links to other write ups and reports in the blog post—even a simple list of links is fine—and consider updating your post if you run across a particularly excellent write up of the event after you’ve published your report. Updating the blog post comments with additional details is a fine way to proceed, but folks are often less likely to read the comments section.

Pro tip: Before publishing your report, take a moment to search and Twitter using the event hashtag. This quick search will likely produce other write ups that you may wish to link to in your own post. The conference news aggregator or press page is also an excellent source of such material.

Writing your post-event report

If you’re having trouble getting started, prepare an outline of your post. Start with the basics as mentioned in the “Take good notes” section in your introductory paragraph, then expand from there. If you just hate writing—and that’s OK, many do—get as many points out onto a page as possible, then ask for help from a friend or colleague to organize your thoughts and content. A blank page is a tough place to start, so don’t expect what you compose to be immediately perfect.

This document largely assumes that you’ll be publishing your event wrap up post on your personal blog, but there are many outlets for such reports. The conference organizers may need help with wrap up reports due to post-event fatigue, so offering to help them with your post-event write up can be a welcome way for your post to get even wider exposure and to do a good deed for the community. The fine folks at also publish post-event reports, so check out their guidelines for submitting content. You may also find that your wrap up report will be useful to other trade press outlets or blogs, so licensing your content so that folks can reuse it increases the value of your creation. You may even find that said trade press outlet or blog would like to simply republish your post, which is a great thing to do if you’re open to it.

Pro tip: Once you have written your post, make sure to share it using whatever social networking services you prefer to use. E.g.,, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. Make sure to also include the event tags when broadcasting via social media. If you’re not a social media user, the event organizers may want to help you share the write up more widely via their social media channels.


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