Tips & Resources

The 6 Most Common Types of Meetings (and the Best Way to Handle Them)

Freya Laskowski
By Freya Laskowski
08 March, 2024

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the six most common types of meetings, their key characteristics, and strategies for maximizing your meeting time to the fullest

an image showing a one-to-one meeting as well as a group meeting

Meetings are part of our daily lives—and they’re not going anywhere.

They bring teams together, clarify the path toward achieving goals, celebrate progress, and more.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the six most common types of meetings, their key characteristics, and strategies for maximizing your meeting time to the fullest.

1. The Classic Boardroom Meeting

Classic boardroom meetings are formal gatherings typically held in a boardroom or conference room. They involve key executives, senior management, and relevant stakeholders.

These meetings play a crucial role in strategic decision-making, policy formulation, and overall governance within an organization.

Key Characteristics

  • Structured Agenda. These meetings have a structured agenda that outlines specific topics to be addressed. The agenda is distributed in advance to allow participants to prepare for the discussions.
  • Financial Review. They often include a financial review, where executives examine financial reports, budgets, and performance metrics. Financial discussions are crucial for assessing the organization's health and making informed decisions.
  • Policy Discussions. They involve discussions related to organizational policies, governance, and compliance. Decisions made in these meetings may impact the overall direction and culture of the organization.
  • Decision Resolutions. The meetings may end with the passing of formal resolutions or decisions that guide the organization's future actions. Resolutions are often recorded and may require follow-up actions.

Best Practices for Classic Boardroom Meetings

  • Clear Objectives. Clearly define the objectives of each boardroom meeting. Ensure that the agenda aligns with the organization's strategic goals.
  • Preparation. Participants should come prepared by reviewing relevant documents and reports. Adequate preparation ensures meaningful contributions and informed decision-making. As the organizer of the meeting, it is paramount to share any materials beforehand and even schedule meeting reminders for attendees to receive. This ensures everyone comes to the meeting prepared. TIMIFY offers a collaborative calendar that can be a helpful way to keep everyone on the same page while also allowing organizers to automate communications.
screenshot of the timify website homepage
Source: timify
  • Time Management. Adhere to a predefined schedule to manage time effectively. Boardroom meetings should be efficient while allowing for thorough discussions. Having an assistant who can focus on keeping the meeting going as planned is a great way to make sure everyone is following the schedule. The assistant could help take notes and record minutes as well so there are notes to look back on when discussing the meeting in the future. This also means that everyone else can focus on discussing the problem at hand without being side tracked by time slots and schedules. 
  • Inclusive Discussions. Encourage inclusive discussions where all relevant perspectives are considered. Foster an environment where executives feel comfortable expressing their opinions.
  • Follow-Up Mechanism. Implement a follow-up mechanism to track decisions made during boardroom meetings. Assign responsibilities for executing decisions and monitor progress.
  • Confidentiality. Recognize the confidential nature of certain discussions and information shared in boardroom meetings. Foster an environment of trust and discretion among participants. This is especially important in specific industries. For example, a law firm like Zehl & Associates would need to take serious confidentiality measures if discussing case details in a meeting.
  • Documentation. Ensure accurate and thorough documentation of meeting minutes. Meeting minutes should capture key decisions, discussions, and action items.

2. Team Brainstorming Sessions

gift taken from South Park
Alt text: GIF of a cartoon city council meeting

Team brainstorming sessions are collaborative gatherings where individuals come together to generate creative ideas, solve problems, or explore new possibilities.

These sessions leverage the collective intelligence and diverse perspectives of team members to foster innovation and creative thinking. Brainstorming is often used in various contexts, including project planning, problem-solving, and product development.

Key Characteristics

  • Collaborative Environment. Team brainstorming sessions create a collaborative and open environment where team members feel comfortable expressing their thoughts without judgment.
  • Diverse Participation. Encourage participation from individuals with diverse backgrounds, expertise, and perspectives. The goal is to harness a wide range of ideas and insights.
  • Free Thinking. Participants are encouraged to think freely and generate as many ideas as possible. The focus is on quantity over quality during the initial idea generation phase. To encourage this from participants, separating the session into specific questions or challenges helps encourage participation from more introverted participants who might have a lot to contribute if given the chance. Breakout groups (breaking participants into smaller groups) could also achieve a similar purpose.
  • Facilitator Role. A facilitator guides the session to ensure it stays focused, on track, and adheres to established ground rules. The facilitator helps manage time and encourages active participation.
  • Structured or Unstructured Format. Brainstorming sessions can follow a structured format with predefined questions or be more open-ended and unstructured. The format depends on the goals and nature of the brainstorming session. However, unstructured sessions would still need some amount of information to be shared beforehand so that attendees can take some time to think about what they would like to contribute. While this information does not have to be set questions, it could be a general overview of what is going to be discussed during the meeting.

​​​​​​​Best Practices for Team Brainstorming Sessions

  • Set a Time Limit. Time-box the brainstorming session to maintain focus and urgency. Short sessions (15-30 minutes) are often more effective in preventing mental fatigue.
  • Use Diverse Techniques. Employ various brainstorming techniques—such as mind mapping, word association, or role-playing—to stimulate different types of thinking.
  • Create a Comfortable Environment. Choose a comfortable and conducive environment for the session. Consider factors like seating arrangements, lighting, and accessibility to foster creativity.
  • Capture Ideas. Document all ideas generated during the session. Use visual aids, whiteboards, or collaborative digital tools to capture and organize ideas in real time.
  • Encourage Silence and Reflection. Allow moments of silence for participants to reflect and generate ideas individually. This can help introverted team members contribute their thoughts.
  • Combine and Refine Ideas. After the initial idea generation, facilitate a discussion to combine and refine the most promising concepts. Evaluate ideas based on criteria defined at the beginning of the session.

3. Project Update Meetings

Project update meetings discuss the progress, status, and key developments related to a project.

These meetings are essential for maintaining alignment, transparency, and effective communication throughout the project lifecycle.

Project update meetings serve as a platform to share information, address challenges, and ensure that everyone involved is aware of the project's current status.

Key Characteristics

  • Regular Frequency. Project update meetings occur at regular intervals, such as weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, depending on the project's complexity and timeline. Regularity ensures that stakeholders stay informed about ongoing activities.
  • Key Stakeholder Participation. These meetings involve key project stakeholders, including project managers, team members, clients, and relevant decision-makers. All relevant parties contribute to the discussion and receive updates.
  • Status and Progress Reporting. The primary focus is on providing updates regarding the project's status and progress. Team members share accomplishments, milestones achieved, and any challenges or roadblocks encountered.
  • Discussion of Key Metrics. Key performance indicators (KPIs) and project metrics are discussed to evaluate the project's health. Metrics may include budget tracking, timeline adherence, and quality assurance measures. For example, a meeting to discuss updates on a new SEO (search engine optimization) project would discuss vital metrics like monthly search traffic, page views, and bounce rate.
  • Issue Resolution. The meeting addresses any issues, risks, or challenges that may be hindering progress. The team collaboratively discusses potential solutions and mitigation strategies.
  • Timeline and Milestone Review. The project timeline and upcoming milestones are reviewed to ensure that the project is on track. Adjustments to timelines or milestone expectations may be discussed if necessary.
  • Resource Allocation. Updates on resource allocation—including team members' availability and any required adjustments—are covered.

Best Practices for Project Update Meetings:

  • Preparation. Participants should come prepared with relevant information and updates. Preparation ensures a more efficient and productive meeting.
  • Focused Updates. Keep updates focused on the most critical information. Avoid unnecessary details and prioritize key highlights and challenges.
  • Action Items. Document and communicate action items arising from the meeting. Assign responsibilities for addressing challenges or implementing decisions made during the meeting.
  • Visual Aids. Utilize visual aids such as charts, graphs, or project dashboards to illustrate key metrics and progress. Visual aids enhance understanding and engagement.
  • Consistent Format. Maintain a consistent format for project update meetings to establish a routine. Consistency helps participants know what to expect and prepares them for effective participation.
  • Time Management. Respect the allocated time for the meeting to avoid overruns. Efficient time management ensures that updates are covered without causing disruptions to work schedules.

4. One-on-One Meetings

a image of a company meeting form marketoonist
Image Source

One-on-one meetings are private and personalized discussions between two individuals within a professional setting.

These meetings provide an opportunity for direct communication, feedback, mentorship, and collaboration.

One-on-one meetings are commonly used in various organizational contexts, including employee-manager interactions, mentorship sessions, and project check-ins.

Key Characteristics:

  • Frequency. One-on-one meetings can occur regularly, such as weekly or bi-weekly, depending on the context and purpose. The regularity ensures consistent communication and allows for ongoing support and feedback.
  • Private and Confidential. These meetings are typically private and confidential, creating a safe space for open and honest communication. Participants are encouraged to discuss sensitive topics without fear of judgment or reprisal.
  • Agenda or Open Discussion. Meetings may have a predefined agenda or follow an open discussion format, depending on the goals and preferences of the participants. An agenda helps structure the conversation, ensuring key topics are covered.
  • Feedback and Coaching. One-on-one meetings often include feedback on performance, career development, and skill improvement. Managers may provide coaching, guidance, and support to help individuals grow in their roles. For example, a head lawyer at Shaked Law might coach an intern or newly hired lawyer on case procedures, company policies, and their goal to handle more cases in the future.
  • Goal Setting and Progress Review. Participants discuss goals—both short-term and long-term—and review progress toward those goals. It's an opportunity to align individual objectives with broader organizational objectives.

​​​​​​​Best Practices for One-on-One Meetings

  • Regular Scheduling. Establish a regular schedule for one-on-one meetings to ensure consistency. Consistent meetings build trust and provide a structured platform for communication.
  • Active Listening. Both participants should practice active listening to understand each other's perspectives. Encourage open dialogue and make space for the individual to express their thoughts.
  • Recognition and Appreciation. Acknowledge achievements and express appreciation for the individual's contributions. Positive reinforcement fosters a positive work environment.
  • Development Opportunities. Discuss opportunities for professional development and growth. Identify areas where the individual can enhance their skills and contribute more effectively.

5. Daily Stand-ups

Daily stand-up meetings are also known as daily scrum meetings. They’re a fundamental component of Agile methodologies, particularly Scrum.

These brief and focused gatherings aim to keep team members informed about each other's progress, discuss any challenges faced, and ensure everyone is aligned toward achieving project goals. 

The term "stand-up" emphasizes the intention to keep the meeting short and to the point, as participants are encouraged to stand to maintain a sense of urgency and avoid unnecessary prolongation. 

These can be done virtually or in person. For example, a digital marketing agency with remote employees might use a chat platform like Slack, whereas a law firm like Winters & Yonker meets for 10-15 minutes in their main conference room.

Key Characteristics

  • Time Limit. Each stand-up meeting is time-boxed, typically lasting 15 minutes or less. The time constraint encourages brevity and focuses on key updates.
  • Physical Stand-Up. Participants are encouraged to stand during the meeting. Standing helps keep the meeting short and ensures participants stay engaged.
  • Ask Three Key Questions. Team members answer three standard questions: What did you do yesterday? What are you planning to do today? Are there any impediments or challenges in your way?

Best Practices for Daily Stand-Up Meetings

  • Location and Format. Use a physical or virtual space where the team can gather easily. If the team is geographically distributed, utilize video conferencing tools.
  • Focus on Updates, Not Problem Solving. The stand-up is not a problem-solving session. It's about sharing updates. Identify issues and plan separate discussions to address them outside the stand-up.
  • Engage Everyone. Ensure that every team member provides an update. Encourage active listening to maintain awareness of each team member's progress.
  • Follow Up on Action Items. If any tasks or issues arise during the stand-up, follow up on them after the meeting. Keep the focus during the stand-up on sharing updates rather than detailed discussions.
  • Celebrate Achievements. Acknowledge and celebrate small victories or accomplishments mentioned during the stand-up.

6. Team Building Meetings

Team building meetings are gatherings designed to enhance collaboration, foster positive relationships, and improve communication among team members.

These meetings go beyond the typical work discussions. They aim to build a sense of unity, trust, and shared purpose within a team.

Team building is a crucial aspect of organizational success, as it contributes to improved morale, increased productivity, and a positive work culture.

Types of Team Building Meetings

  • Icebreaker Sessions. These are held at the beginning of a project or when new members join the team. They’re aimed at breaking down initial barriers and creating a comfortable atmosphere. Sticking to our law firm examples, Curiel & Runion—a personal injury law firm—might lead a session with new hires by having everyone state why they decided to go into legal work and what their favorite (or least favorite) case was.
  • Retreats and Offsite Meetings. These are conducted away from the regular work environment. It allows for focused team building without the distractions of daily work.
  • Problem-Solving Workshops. These involve collaborative problem-solving exercises to enhance teamwork and communication. They address specific challenges the team may be facing.
  • Team Bonding Activities. These include informal activities like team lunches, happy hours, or sports events. They’re designed to strengthen social bonds and improve team dynamics.
  • Skill-Building Sessions. These workshops are focused on developing specific skills relevant to the team's objectives. They can include leadership training, communication workshops, or conflict resolution sessions.


You might not use all six of these types of meetings. But I guarantee at least one or two will bring your team miles closer to achieving their goals.

With these strategies, you’ll have everything you need to maximize meeting time, time management, and productivity.

And if you need a virtual meeting platform or scheduling tool, try TIMIFY. TIMIFY is a collaborative calendar tool that lets your team quickly and conveniently book appointments or schedule meetings according to your availability. You can sign up for a free trial here.

Freya Laskowski

About the author

Freya Laskowski

Freya is an SEO consultant who helps brands scale their organic traffic with content creation and distribution. She is a quoted contributor in several online publications, including Business Insider, Fox Business, Yahoo Finance, and the Huffington Post. She also owns CollectingCents- a personal finance blog that she grew from the ground up. 

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