9 min read

A Guide to Setting Up and Managing Different Meeting Types

Different meeting types

  • Status Meetings
  • Brainstorming Sessions
  • Team Building Meetings
  • Training and Development Sessions
  • One-on-One Meetings
  • Client or Customer Meetings
  • Sales Meetings
  • Departmental Meetings
  • Staff Meetings
  • Town Hall Meetings
  • Advisory or Consultation Meetings

Different meeting types and why no two meetings are the same

As diverse and multi-faceted our daily tasks are, so are the meetings we need to conduct in order to accomplish those tasks. Projects, commitments and obligations that pop up on our to-do lists rarely require a one-size-fits-all approach, so it stands to reason that the way we communicate how to accomplish them won’t either. 

Thus, we need to find ways to maintain consistency and quality while still allowing for variety and specificity when setting up time with others to discuss what needs to be done. In today’s day and age, where the working world has morphed into a dizzyingly complex array of tasks and requirements, it can become difficult to adequately accommodate different scenarios with the aptitude and insight expected of the contemporary professional. 

Multiple meeting types

Just think about the kinds of meetings you must attend and contribute to on a daily basis. Chances are that the morning start meeting will diverge wildly in both tone and format to the client-facing slot you have booked later in the day. These interactions are not cut from the same cloth, and require different approaches in order to be seen as successful. 

There are a myriad of ways that meetings can manifest in your calendar, and just as many techniques and approaches you can employ in order to make them productive and relevant. 

Let’s take a look at just how diverse the meeting has become as a concept, and how you can expertly conduct and navigate your impending engagements.

Different ways to prepare for meetings

Effective meeting preparation is essential to ensure that meetings are productive and successful, and there are various ways to do so. To start, it's crucial to clearly define the objectives of the meeting and communicate them to all participants, so that everyone is informed of the contents and able to decide if it is relevant to them. Develop a detailed agenda that outlines the topics you plan to discuss and the time it should take you to do so. Invite only participants you deem necessary to avoid overcrowding the meeting and making it look like a shot fired in the dark. 

Make use of digital calendars in your meetings 

Additionally, digital calendars allow you to easily gauge and schedule a meeting at a time that suits the availability of key participants. Sending out pre-meeting materials, such as documents and reports, well in advance allows participants to prepare adequately and speaks volumes to your own ability to preempt and prepare.

Make sure your technology is working properly

Technical aspects should never be overlooked or relegated to the last minute. Ensure that the required technology and equipment, like video conferencing software or presentation tools, are functioning correctly and to your specifications, and try to test audio and video equipment in advance. 

Stimulate audience participation and capture attention

For extra productivity and participation, you can also assign specific roles to participants, such as a facilitator or note-taker, to ensure a smooth flow during the meeting. It's also essential to gather and organize relevant data and research findings, as well as create visual aids like slides or charts, and ensuring your technology is working as intended is a great way to get ahead of any potential pitfalls and ensure the entire process runs smoothly.

Respect time limits of meetings

Setting a time limit for the meeting and adhering to it is crucial to respect participants' time. Anticipate questions and concerns that might arise during the meeting and prepare responses in advance. If you are presenting, practice your presentation or talking points to convey information clearly and confidently. Additionally, review any previous action items or decisions to ensure they have been addressed.

Create a comfortable meeting environment for both you and participants

For virtual meeting environments, optimize your workspace and be prepared for potential technical issues by having contingency plans in place. Consider participants' cultural backgrounds and communication styles, and approach your meetings with a positive and open mindset, ready to listen and contribute constructively. Then, after the meeting has commenced, reflect on what worked well and what could be improved to enhance future meetings. This comprehensive approach to meeting preparation not only saves time but also fosters better decision-making and collaboration. Tailor your preparation to meet the specific needs and goals of each meeting to ensure its success.

Different meeting types explained

Meetings are a common form of communication and collaboration in both professional and personal settings. The most common types of meetings include:

Status meetings

These meetings are held regularly to provide updates on ongoing projects, tasks, or activities. Team members discuss progress, challenges, and future plans. They are common in business and project management.

Brainstorming sessions meetings

Brainstorming meetings are creative sessions where participants generate ideas, solutions, or concepts for specific issues or projects. These meetings encourage open and free-flowing discussions.

Team building meetings

Team building meetings are designed to improve relationships and collaboration among team members. They often involve team-building exercises, games, or activities to enhance trust and cooperation.

Training and development sessions

These meetings are held to provide employees with training, education, or professional development opportunities. They can cover a wide range of topics, from skills training to compliance training.

One-on-one meetings

These meetings involve a one-on-one discussion between a manager or team leader and an individual team member. They are often used for performance reviews, coaching, or discussing specific issues.

Client or customer meetings

These meetings involve interactions with clients or customers to discuss business proposals, project progress, or customer feedback. They are essential for building and maintaining client relationships.

Sales meetings

Sales teams hold meetings to strategize, share sales goals, review performance metrics, and discuss sales strategies and techniques.

Departmental meetings

Within organizations, different departments hold regular meetings to coordinate activities, share updates, and address department-specific concerns.

Staff meetings

These meetings are typically held within a department or team and serve as a forum for discussing general team-related matters, setting goals, and addressing team issues.

Town hall meetings

Organizations hold town hall meetings to communicate important company-wide updates, share financial results, and engage with employees by allowing them to ask questions and provide feedback.

Advisory or consultation meetings

Experts or advisors may convene meetings to provide guidance, advice, or consultation on specific topics or challenges.

Above are some of the more common types of meetings, and as mentioned previously their purpose can vary widely based on the context and goals of the participants. Effective meeting management and facilitation are key to ensuring that meetings achieve their intended outcomes and benefit those in attendance.

How do you decide who attends a meeting

Determining the right attendees for a meeting is a crucial step in ensuring that meetings are both productive and efficient. To begin with, it's essential to have a clear understanding of your meeting's purpose and objectives. This clarity will guide your decisions regarding who should actually be invited.

When deciding on attendees, consider key stakeholders and decision-makers related to the meeting's objectives. Their presence is paramount, as their input and decisions are vital to the meeting's success. While inviting individuals, be mindful of not overloading the meeting with unnecessary participants. Invite only those who have a direct role or contribution to the meeting's objectives to maintain focus and efficiency. 

Expertise is another crucial factor to consider. Ensure that you invite individuals with the relevant knowledge and expertise required for each agenda item. Balancing perspectives by having a diverse representation of roles and viewpoints, when applicable, can prevent groupthink and lead to more well-rounded decisions.

Reviewing past attendance, particularly in recurring meetings, can provide insights into who attended previous sessions and whether their presence was valuable. Adjust the attendee list based on past experiences to optimize future meetings. 

Efficiency is paramount, and shorter, smaller meetings tend to be more effective. If an attendee's presence isn't crucial for meeting the goals, consider whether their attendance can be deferred to a later date or handled through other means like email or one-on-one discussion

What are resource pools and how to use them

A Guide to Setting Up and Managing Different Meeting Types (2)

Resource pools are invaluable when you need to set up and distribute workloads between yourself and team members. If you have an onslaught of meetings headed your way, with no real way to differentiate between importance and relevance, making use of resource pools can ensure that your pending meetings receive the attention they need and get handled accordingly. 

If you work in an organization that sees a variety of meetings and requests flooding your inboxes on a daily basis, chances are that you require a way to cut through the noise without dropping any balls. Creating these pools and allocating resources so that you don’t overwork yourself or others while still attending to potential opportunities is a game changer for all. 

To read up more about resource pools, how they work and what they can do for you and your organization, click here

How to manage and set up different event types

A Guide to Setting Up and Managing Different Meeting Types

Your services are curated and designed to reflect the breadth and depth of your offering, so why should your event types be any different. Creating and controlling different types of events allows you to present people with options that are suited to them and their needs, and give you an indication of the type of meeting you’re in for. 

In a world where meetings can quickly become cluttered noise and context reigns supreme, being able to accommodate different meeting scenarios and schedule accordingly is a boon to your calendar management. 

Make use of different event types and scheduling options that vary in length, allows for the sharing of content and is dependent on availability and location. This way, you can put your best foot forward always, no matter the type of meeting or engagement that is headed your way. 

To learn more about event types and how you can create your own, click here

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