The 10 Types of Business Meetings

Every enterprise, whether it has 5 employees or 5 thousand, holds business meetings as an everyday part of the working process. While employees are able to communicate with each other in many different ways, including online meetings, such communication can be extremely effective, provided that adequate arrangements are made in advance. Today, we’ll dive deeper into various types of business meetings in a company and discover some of their peculiarities.

The 10 Types of Business Meetings

Discovering the basics: what is a business meeting?

In simple words, business meetings are formal or informal gatherings of two or more people concerning making decisions, setting goals, stronger relationship building, or discussing the company’s current and future plans. 

When some urgent working issues can’t be solved via email or a phone call, it’s necessary to hold a face-to-face conference. However, with the growth in popularity of video conferencing technologies and the appearance of robust online services, like Zoom, Whoosh, or Slack, interactions with many people can be organized from anywhere.

 

10 types of meetings in a company for better communication and problem-solving

No one can say for sure what types of business meetings are the most common today. But everyone knows: without proper communication within a team, there will be no workflow improvements, progress, and company development.

That's why our team has conducted a comprehensive analysis and research and has compiled a list of the top 10 types of meetings spread across two groups - formal and informal business meetings. Each of them can be arranged online, thanks to a wide range of conference call software on the Internet.

Let's dive right in!

Formal Meetings

Formal business meetings traditionally take place between a team leader, project manager, or another superior and the employees. Such a meeting usually concerns the organization’s constitution, rules, standing orders, or articles of association.

Moreover, this type of business meeting usually involves formal records - in writing, audio, or video form to be referred upon during a post-meeting recap or any upcoming event.

To make sure the meeting goes well, you can undertake the following steps:

  • Lead the discussion sequentially, without jumping from one point to another.
  • Keep the attention of other interlocutors on the main topic, constantly mentioning its importance and not allowing other people to wander off the agenda.
  • Ask periodically if everything is clear and there are no questions.
  • After completing a certain part of the discussion, draw a conclusion, emphasizing the main points.
  • Set a time and place for the next meeting.
  • Thank everyone for their contributions and for coming.

 

Now, let's discover the most popular types of formal business meetings.

 

1) Governance cadence meetings

Governance cadence meetings are usually arranged according to corporate meetings planning and frequently use a predictable agenda. A meeting leader, usually it's an official company representative - a business executive, or a company CEO - gathers subordinates to discuss the company's current and future development, strategies, ongoing challenges, and workforce productivity. No significant changes are expected to be approved during these sessions. They serve as an avenue to review and update basic plans with new information.

The best practices for conducting such meetings are:

  • Send a meeting invite with the meeting agenda in advance to everyone who's going to be present
  • Hold a quick check-in to make sure everyone has arrived and is ready to speak
  • Don't forget to mention the approximate duration of the meeting
  • Use a decision-making process to discuss each point of the meeting agenda
  • End the meeting with a brief conclusion and a quick question session

Examples:

  • Shift-change meeting
  • Monthly/weekly/daily briefing
  • Board meetings
  • Quarterly strategic reviews

 

2) Progress check and planning meetings

You will hardly find a company unfamiliar with these recurring team meetings. Progress checks and planning meetings are made to share updates on current projects and ensure that each team member is working efficiently, contributing to the company’s success. The primary goal of a progress check and planning meeting is to fix any issues that may hamper working processes and lead to wasting huge amounts of time on the same things.

As for the leader of such meetings, a project manager, project owner, or account manager is in charge. Other participants are required to actively take part in the discussion.

To put it briefly, this meeting type is organized to “make sure everything is working well”.

The best practices for conducting progress checks and planning meetings are:

  • Begin the meeting with a brief explanation of the major goals of the gathering
  • Ask all the participants about their contribution to a product/project development
  • Discuss future plans and set goals you want your team to accomplish before the set deadline/next similar meeting

Examples:

  • Client check-in
  • Quick sync-up with other members of a project team
  • Project status check

 

3) One-on-ones

One-on-ones are gatherings of no more than two people. The format of the meeting depends on the interlocutors, their relationships, and their status. The conversation topics vary but usually concern specific information, which is better to share personally than in front of a group. One-on-one meetups are usually scheduled, so people have time to familiarize themselves with the points for discussion.

The best practices for one-on-one meetings:

  • Notify the other party in advance that the meetings will be one-on-one
  • Be honest, open, and friendly (even when the topic you want to discuss is not really positive)
  • Take every opportunity to build rapport and trust
  • Choose words wisely and don't forget about feedback

Examples:

  • Mentorship session
  • Manager-worker conversation
  • Sync with an important stakeholder

 

4) Problem-solving meetings

A typical problem-solving meeting is aimed to connect the team members who offer solutions with those who can implement them. Depending on the problem’s urgency, a conference may be led by the responsible manager or anyone familiar with the task. 

Each attendee is required to participate in the discussion, offering assistance where possible and answering questions. The process goes better and more effectively if people with rich knowledge and expertise are involved. 

The best practices to conduct a problem-solving meeting are:

  • Clearly define the meeting goals and problems that are required to be solved
  • Prepare several possible solutions to discuss with other team members
  • Build an atmosphere of trust where everyone is allowed to share their thoughts and ideas
  • Actively participate in the discussion, ask and answer questions, brainstorm the best solutions, and combine great ideas
  • Give the final word to a project owner

Examples:

  • Incident response
  • Debates over a problem
  • Strategic issue resolution

 

5) Decision-making meetings

After the solution has been found at a problem-solving session, it’s time to hold a decision-making meeting. It usually involves a predefined group of professionals that selects a final option. The senior manager or chair, who has more responsibilities is often in charge. Enterprises arrange decision-making meetings to create a documented version of a decision and work on the commitment to act on it. 

The best practices for holding decision-making meetings are:

  • Carefully prepare a presentation with the decision that needs to be made
  • Involve everyone connected with the issue to participate in the business meeting and share their ideas
  • Weigh the pros and cons before making a final decision

Examples:

  • Final chair approval
  • Yes/No decision
  • New employee decision
  • New product design selection

Informal Meetings

Let’s move on to less stressful events - informal types of meetings. Brainstorming, talks with funny meeting titles, and discussions aren’t limited by strict company rules and conventions, don’t always require scheduling, and are more common between co-workers bringing a more engaging meeting experience.

 

1) Idea-generation and idea-sharing meetings

These types of team meetings are intended to brainstorm various ideas for further work. It includes people from different teams with diverse identities and perspectives, because established relationships between members may hamper productive work. Attendees of idea-generation meetings are free to express their thoughts that would either improve a section or solve a problem. 

Examples:

  • Logo brainstorming sessions
  • Ad campaign ideas discussion
  • New Instagram story brainstorming

 

2) Workshops

Workshops are special events aimed at shared work product creation and team formation. A typical event may include elements from different types of meetings, like problem-solving, brainstorming, or ideas sharing.

Such types of business meetings typically take place somewhere out of the plain work environment. But in the circumstances of the COVID restrictions, business video conferencing is becoming more popular and much safer for health, due to the possibility to set up free conference calls for large groups. 

Examples:

  • Design workshop
  • Team building exercises
  • New product kickoff
  • Equipment innovation meetings

 

3) Introductions

Usually, the organization of this kind of business meeting lies with the person who asked for it. It looks more like a presentation for a group of people, who are free to participate in the discussion. There are no strict limitations or special formats, everything goes as the leader wants to. People attend these events in order to get to know each other better, meet coworkers and discuss common topics.

Examples:

  • Sales department first meeting
  • Investor pitch
  • Job interview

 

4) Community of practice gatherings

This kind involves people interested in particular topics for sharing knowledge and discussing during team meetings. Participants are expected to engage in all the activities, talks, and presentations. Practice gatherings are partly content, partly social, good for team building and making connections with supporters.

Examples:

  • Lunch-n-Learn
  • Project Manager’s Meetup
  • The Sales team meetup

 

5) Training

Training sessions are specific meetings, where a coach is in charge of a participants group. Its primary purpose is to transfer knowledge and skills. 

The training formats are different. Members may engage in a plain lecture with a QA session after it. Or it may be a more engaging and interactive event carefully prepared with the help of instructional designers and training professionals. 

Examples:

  • New hire onboarding
  • Seminar/webinar
  • Client training on a new product

Why are meetings important?

Business meetings play a crucial role in the development of any organization. They help to stay informed about all processes happening in the company, discussing company objectives and making goals easier to reach. It helps to grow a close-knit team of dedicated staff allowing employees to brainstorm ideas, work together on products, improve personal relationships, make collective decisions and solve working issues.

These days while we all are living through the global pandemic, face-to-face meetings happen less often than those held online. But we shouldn't forget that communication at work is a driving power of the whole company's success. So make sure you have a convenient and reliable service for holding any kind of virtual event (like Whoosh, RingCentral, or Zoom) and get ready for your next business meeting.

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