How to organise an efficient business meeting

A group of five women having a meeting

In the fast-paced world of business, all too often one finds oneself participating in ineffective meetings that consume valuable time without bringing concrete results. In this article, we will explore how to organise an efficient business meeting where you can be sure that every minute is spent productively and every participant can feel involved and valued. From goal setting to time management to creating a collaborative environment, we will discover together the best practices to ensure that business meetings become moments of success and growth for all team members.


What is a business meeting?

A business meeting is a time when team members come together to discuss work- and business-relevant issues. It is an opportunity to share ideas, discuss information, make decisions and plan future actions. Business meetings can be of various types, characterised by varying objectives depending on the needs of the company and the team involved. Regardless of the type of meeting, it is still important to ensure that it is well structured, efficiently managed and actively involves all participants.


A well-organised business meeting can contribute to:

  • Improving communication
  • Increasing productivity
  • Fostering collaboration within the team


Why is it important to make a business meeting efficient?

Making a business meeting efficient is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, time is a precious resource in any business context and an inefficient meeting can be a waste of time for both the participants and the company.

Furthermore, it may result in the failure to achieve the set objectives. If the participants are not well prepared, if the agenda is unclear or if the discussion lingers too long on irrelevant topics, the meeting is not likely to produce the desired results.

Another reason why it is important to make it efficient is cost. Every hour spent in meetings represents a cost to the company in terms of time spent on an activity that could be spent more productively elsewhere.


Types of business meetings

As mentioned in previous sections, not all meetings are the same: there are different types, each with specific objectives and characteristics. In this section, we will explore together the main types of business meetings, highlighting the differences between them and the most appropriate use according to the company’s needs.


Status update meetings

Status update meetings, or periodic update meetings, are one of the most common types of company meetings. The purpose of these meetings is to keep all team members abreast of the status and progress of ongoing projects. They are usually held regularly, e.g. weekly or monthly, depending on the needs and complexity of the projects.

During these meetings, participants share updates on activities carried out, progress made and any challenges encountered. It is an opportunity for all team members to stay aligned with objectives and deadlines, as well as to identify possible obstacles and find collective solutions.

Status update meetings can be structured in different ways, depending on the preferences of the company and the needs of the team. They can be conducted in virtual or face-to-face mode and the duration depends on the complexity of the projects and the amount of information to be shared.

These meetings are essential to maintain a constant flow of communication within the team, ensuring that everyone is informed and involved in every single business activity.


Decision-making meetings

Decision-making meetings are another essential type of company meeting, crucial for making important decisions that will influence the course of business. These meetings usually involve key team members or company executives.

During decision-making meetings, the various options and alternatives are examined, weighing the pros and cons of each. It is important that these meetings are well prepared in advance, with accurate and detailed information provided to the participants so as to allow for informed discussions and considered decisions.

A key element of decision-making meetings is the presence of a leader or facilitator to guide the discussion and ensure that informed decisions are made. It is important that all decisions made during these meetings are properly documented and that specific tasks are assigned to those responsible for implementation.

Regardless of the topic, it is crucial that these meetings are conducted effectively, with a focus on the participation of all interested members and on finding solutions that serve the company’s interest.


Problem-solving meetings

These meetings are designed to identify problems, analyse the causes and develop effective and quickly implemented solutions. 

During problem-solving meetings, participants may be involved in brainstorming sessions to generate ideas and suggestions on how to address the problem(s) under discussion. It is important that all voices are heard and taken into account during these discussions, encouraging the active participation of all team members. 

Once potential solutions have been identified, they must be carefully evaluated, assessing the benefits, associated risks and feasibility. During this decision-making process, the focus must be on finding the most effective and feasible solution to solve the problem.


Team building meetings

These meetings are designed to strengthen bonds between team members, improve collaboration and communication and promote a positive and cohesive working environment.

During team building meetings, participants can be involved in a range of interactive and fun activities designed to encourage collaboration, problem solving and relationship development. These activities may include team games, activities aimed at building and solidifying mutual trust, leadership exercises and more.

In addition to fun activities, team building meetings also provide an opportunity to discuss issues important to the team, such as common goals, work strategies, challenges and opportunities for improvement. These discussions can help strengthen team cohesion and create a sense of shared ownership and commitment.


Idea-sharing meetings

During these meetings, participants have the opportunity to express their ideas, propose creative solutions to existing problems and collaborate to develop new projects. 

The main objective of an idea-sharing meeting is to generate a free flow of thoughts and proposals, encouraging the active participation of all team members. This open and inclusive environment fosters innovation and can lead to the creation of original and successful solutions. 

During the meeting, it is important to create a climate of mutual respect in which participants feel free to express their opinions without fear of criticism or negative judgement. Ideas can be discussed, examined and evaluated constructively and may or may not be integrated to create more comprehensive and effective solutions.

Idea-sharing meetings can take different forms depending on the needs and objectives of the organisation. They can be structured formally or informally and can involve a variety of creative methodologies, such as brainstorming, mind mapping, role playing and more.


Innovation Meetings

These meetings are specifically designed to promote innovation and encourage creative thinking among team members.

During innovation meetings, participants are usually encouraged to think unconventionally and explore new perspectives in order to generate original and innovative solutions to existing business problems or to identify new business opportunities.

One of the distinctive features of innovation meetings is their collaborative and interdisciplinary nature. They often involve multi-functional teams and representatives from different areas of the company, who can offer different and complementary perspectives.

The aim of innovation meetings is to create an environment conducive to creativity and innovation, where participants feel inspired and encouraged to share their ideas, explore new possibilities and critically examine existing challenges.


When to call and when not to call a business meeting

It is important to carefully consider whether a meeting is necessary or whether there are more efficient alternatives to achieve the desired objectives.

One of the main considerations is whether the topic under discussion requires face-to-face communication or can be handled just as effectively through other means, such as e-mail, group chats or telephone calls. 

Furthermore, it is important to consider whether all participants in the meeting are absolutely necessary or whether it is possible to limit the number of people involved to keep the meeting more focused and productive. Involving only those people who are directly interested or necessary can help reduce the time and resources spent and ensure that topics are dealt with and resolved more efficiently.

Another important consideration is to assess whether there are other commitments or deadlines that could be affected by the convening of the meeting. Should the meeting interfere with other critical activities or if participants are already overloaded with work, it may be appropriate to postpone or reconsider the need for the meeting.

Finally, it is important to consider whether the objectives of the meeting are clear and defined and whether there are concrete plans to achieve them. Convening a meeting without a clear purpose or defined agenda can result in messy and unproductive discussions, wasting everyone’s valuable time.


How to organise a business meeting

Working meetings are one of the most important tools to foster communication and coordination within a company. However, for a meeting to be effective, it is essential to plan and organise it in the best possible way. In this section, we will explore the guidelines and best practices for organising – before, during and after – an efficient business meeting that maximises time and achieves the objectives set.


Things to do before a business meeting 

  1. Define objectives: before scheduling a meeting, it is important to clarify the objectives of the meeting and what you hope to achieve. This helps to establish a focus and ensure that the meeting has a clear and defined purpose.
  2. Planning the agenda: creating a detailed agenda outlining the topics to be covered during the meeting helps to keep the discussion focused and ensures that all important points are addressed in an informed manner.
  3. Selecting participants: identifying the people who should participate in the meeting according to the objectives and topics to be discussed keeps the meeting more focused and productive.
  4. Choose the meeting mode: decide whether the meeting will be face-to-face, online or hybrid, depending on the needs and preferences of the participants.
  5. Plan logistics: make sure to book a meeting room or set up the virtual platform in advance. Check that all necessary materials are available and that the environment is suitable for the meeting.
  6. Communicate with participants: invite participants to the meeting and provide them with the agenda and any other relevant information in advance. Ensure that everyone is aware of the objectives and expectations of the meeting and has had time to evaluate, study the discussion points and arrive prepared for the meeting.
  7. Prepare materials: gather and prepare all materials and resources needed for the meeting, such as presentations, supporting documents or reference data. Make sure everything is organised and ready for the start of the meeting.


What to do during a business meeting

  1. Focus on objectives: keep the discussion focused on the previously established objectives and make sure that each topic addressed is relevant and useful for achieving those objectives.
  2. Promote participation: encourage all participants to contribute to the discussion by asking questions, sharing ideas and offering different perspectives. Create an environment where everyone feels free to express their opinions and actively participate in the meeting.
  3. Active listening: pay attention to what other participants say and show interest in their contributions. Ask for clarification if necessary and respond appropriately to foster effective communication and mutual understanding.
  4. Maintain control of time: manage time effectively and ensure that the agenda set for the meeting is adhered to. Avoid rambling and irrelevant discussions that may overstretch the meeting duration.
  5. Make decisions: if necessary, make decisions during the meeting and ensure that they are clearly recorded and documented. Involve all participants in the decision-making process and ensure that everyone agrees before proceeding.
  6. Problem solving: address any problems that arise during the meeting and work together to find effective solutions. Involve participants in finding alternatives and outlining action plans to address identified challenges.
  7. Promoting collaboration: foster collaboration between participants and foster a climate of trust and mutual respect. Encourage the exchange of ideas and sharing of expertise to address issues effectively and find innovative solutions.
  8. Facilitate decision-making: help the group make decisions, if necessary, by providing relevant information, guiding discussion and facilitating consensus among participants. Ensure that the decisions made are supported by all team members and truly implementable.
  9. Monitor and evaluate: monitor the progress of the meeting and evaluate the effectiveness of the discussion and decisions made. Collect feedback from participants and use it to improve future meetings and the overall decision-making process.


What to do after a business meeting

  1. Summarise discussions and decisions: take note of the highlights of the meeting, including the main topics discussed, decisions made and tasks assigned. This summary can be shared with participants to confirm details and ensure maximum alignment.
  2. Distribute tasks: assign specific tasks and responsibilities to each team member based on the decisions made during the meeting. Clearly define deadlines and expectations to ensure that everyone is aware of their roles and contributes in the best possible way to achieving the set objectives.
  3. Monitor progress: keep track of the progress of assigned tasks and ensure that they are completed within the agreed deadlines. Communicate regularly with team members to provide support and solve any problems that may arise during the implementation of agreed actions.
  4. Gather feedback: ask meeting participants to provide feedback on the effectiveness of the meeting and the decisions made. This can help identify areas for improvement for future meetings and for the overall decision-making process.
  5. Update documentation: reports, project plans or working documents should always be updated to reflect the decisions and actions agreed upon during the meeting.
  6. Planning follow-up: identify any topics or issues that require further discussion or action and plan follow-up meetings or other work activities accordingly.


Useful tools for a business meeting

When organising and conducting an effective business meeting, it is crucial to have the right tools to foster communication, collaboration and team productivity.

Here are some useful tools that can be implemented during a business meeting:

  • Videoconferencing platforms: tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Meet allow virtual meetings to be conducted, facilitating remote participation of team members and allowing screens, presentations and documents to be shared in real time.
  • Virtual whiteboard: applications such as Miro or Mural offer interactive virtual whiteboards that allow participants to collaborate, share ideas and take notes during the meeting. These tools can be useful for visualising concepts, diagrams, schemes and concept maps.
  • Sharing tools: platforms such as Google Drive, Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive allow sharing, editing and collaborating on documents, spreadsheets and presentations in a synchronised manner during the meeting.
  • Agendas and planners: applications such as Trello, Asana or Microsoft Planner allow you to create and manage task lists, assign tasks, set deadlines and monitor work progress. These tools can help keep the meeting focused on objectives and ensure efficient use of time.
  • Online polling and voting: tools such as Mentimeter or Poll Everywhere allow feedback, opinions and votes to be collected in real time during the meeting. These tools can be useful for actively engaging participants, gathering input and making collaborative decisions.
  • Note management apps: apps such as Evernote, OneNote or Google Keep allow you to take notes, jot down documents and not forget any of the ideas that will come up during the meeting.


By using these tools during a working meeting, communication, collaboration and team productivity can be improved, facilitating the sharing of information, the reaching of a calmly shared decision by all, and the implementation of agreed actions.


At Kilpatrick, we offer advice and support to improve the organisation of company meetings. Our experts can help your team develop a strategy for meeting planning. We also offer training to improve meeting moderation and facilitation skills and advice on the use of appropriate tools and technologies. We evaluate and optimise existing processes to ensure more effective and productive meetings. Contact us to organise meetings that make a real contribution to business success.