Meetings are a big part of day-to-day operations in a huge number of workplaces, but there is a major difference between meetings worth having and those that add little value. Therefore, it is important for organizations to identify the best meeting types to focus on and make these the priority.
Read on to learn more about how to upgrade to better meetings, with a focus on five main types. You can also explore ViewSonic’s range of collaboration solutions to suit your meeting needs.
For most businesses, meetings are a necessary part of daily communications. They help create plans of action, provide clarity on the path forward, generate new ideas, review completed projects, and bring new members into the team. But while many are meetings worth having, others are inefficient drains on company resources.
To optimize business outcomes, companies need to focus on the types of meetings that deliver real value. At the same time, it is also important to cut out the types of meetings that waste time or do not produce the desired results. In this article, we explore meeting types in more depth and explain the best types to focus on.
Meetings Worth Having: Sizes and Methods
Before looking at the five meeting types to focus on, it is worth taking the time to think about different meeting sizes, as well as methods for carrying them out. According to the Harvard Business Review, most business meetings can be separated into three main size categories, which can be broadly described as follows:
- Assembly – Featuring up to 100 people or more, an assembly will typically consist of a small number of chosen speakers, with most participants simply listening to what is said.
- Council – Featuring up to around 50 people, participants in a council size meeting will typically listen to main speakers but potentially make their own contributions through questions or comments.
- Committee – The most common type, with a group, project team, or board of somewhere in the region of 10 people. All participants make contributions and ideally will do so on a leveled playing field.
One-to-one meetings and small daily huddles can also play a valuable role in certain situations.
Additionally, there are now two basic ways to conduct meetings. The first is the traditional in-person meeting, where all of those taking part gather in the same physical space. However, modern technology also allows for another approach, which is remote meetings, carried out using video conferencing technology like Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
Five Meeting Types to Priortize
The main thing to focus on when trying to create meetings worth having is the type of meeting you arrange. There are certain meeting types, such as progress report-style meetings, which should be kept to an absolute minimum in most circumstances, as they can end up wasting time and reducing productivity.
In many cases, these meetings could be just as easily replaced by a progress report sent via email.
By contrast, certain meeting types can be extremely valuable, helping businesses to innovate, learn valuable lessons, or improve operations. In the sections below, we offer information about five of the most important meeting types to focus on, complete with explanations for why they are so useful or important.
Kick-Off or Launch Meetings
The purpose of a kick-off or launch meeting is to mark the start of a new project or initiative or to kickstart a new plan of action. This can be especially important for projects where many people are needed to carry out the work, with each of them requiring key details and background information.
Nevertheless, it is important to understand that not all projects or initiatives require a kick-off meeting. Instead, these meetings should be reserved for instances where clarity is needed before work can be carried out, or where there is an obvious need to obtain buy-in from the team who will be carrying out the work.
Kick-off or launch meetings are often designed to provide critical information, but they should also aim to build enthusiasm for the work that lies ahead and explain why the project is needed. It is also usually a good idea to convey the long-term goals of the initiative so that everyone pulls in the same direction
Innovation or Idea-Sharing Meetings
All businesses need good ideas, and many are reliant on innovation to remain competitive. While inspiration can strike at any time and ideas can be shared in a huge number of ways, there can be real value in bringing a team together to be creative, bounce ideas off of one another, or come up with a new product or service together.
Ideas can be formulated in several ways, with brainstorming being one popular example. A growing number of businesses are also embracing the concept of design thinking, where people are encouraged to think outside the box, share ideas without judgment, develop working prototypes, test them, and make changes based on the results.
Regardless of the exact approach adopted for idea generation, innovation meetings can be crucial for avoiding stagnation. These discussions can solve problems or form the basis for entirely new approaches and offerings. People should feel free to share their thoughts, but leadership will be needed to identify the best ideas.
There will be crucial times throughout your business operations where decisions need to be made, and a decision-making meeting can be one of the best ways to agree on a planned course of action or a solution to a problem. The decisions could be anything from financial goals, to deciding on a new marketing strategy, to agreeing on a new logo.
These meetings are about arriving at a formal agreement with regards to whatever decision needs to be made. They will typically include leaders or senior staff, but they may sometimes be broader and involve whole teams. To get the most from a meeting of this kind, there needs to be a clear structure and a focus on arriving at a decision.
First, the situation needs to be sufficiently explained. Next, the available options need to be presented, and a discussion needs to be had about the pros and cons of each option. This will allow decision-makers to voice their own opinions and hear the opinions of others while also understanding why the final decision was eventually taken.
Analysis or Follow-Up Meetings
Another meeting type that can be extremely useful for businesses involves analysis or follow-up after a project has been completed. A meeting of this kind may involve a core presentation, where key findings are discussed, but there could also be more of a committee approach, where people can make their own contributions.
In cases where a project failed or did not live up to expectations, there may be a need for a post-mortem of sorts, where the meeting analyzes what went wrong, why it went wrong, and what lessons need to be learned. In cases where a project went well, the successes need to be identified, and the reasons for that success need to be understood.
The crucial reason why analysis or follow-up meetings are so valuable is that they provide an opportunity to draw a line under the project, giving the project team an element of closure. The lessons learned can then be carried forward into new projects, and the key contributors can be thanked for their efforts too.
Team-Building or Onboarding Meetings
Finally, team building and onboarding meetings can also be essential for the successful management of a business. In the case of team building, the idea is usually to allow team members to get to know each other better and develop the kind of healthy working relationship that can be so important in delivering high-quality work.
On the other hand, onboarding meetings are focused on helping new recruits get to know their new colleagues and bed-in with the company culture. If a team of new hires is all starting at the same time, an onboarding meeting may also place a strong emphasis on training and induction-type activities.
With these meeting types, there can be a greater amount of experimentation involved. For example, why limit your meeting to the usual boardroom setting when you could go out for a meal or meet in a more unusual location? The focus of these meetings should be facilitating communication between staff and boosting team morale.
Meetings are a vital part of work-life in many businesses, but it is important to separate the meetings worth having from the meetings that waste time, hinder productivity and cause unnecessary disruption. The five meeting types outlined all have value, but it is still important to identify the right moments for each meeting type.
In hand with establishing these meeting types for better productivity, technology can also help support better meetings. Discover ViewSonic’s range of meeting solutions for the workplace or learn about how to set your meeting spaces up for success.