One dictionary defines a meeting as an act or process of coming together as an assembly for a common purpose.
A meeting is a gathering of two or more people that has been convened for the purpose of achieving a common goal through verbal interaction, such as sharing information or reaching agreement. Meetings may occur face to face or virtually, as mediated by communications technology, such as a telephone conference call, a skyped conference call or a videoconference.
Thus, a meeting may be distinguished from other gatherings, such as a chance encounter (not convened), a sports game or a concert (verbal interaction is incidental), a party or the company of friends (no common goal is to be achieved) and a demonstration (whose common goal is achieved mainly through the number of demonstrators present, not verbal interaction).
Commercially, the term is used by meeting planners and other meeting professionals to denote an event booked at a hotel, convention center or any other venue dedicated to such gatherings. In this sense, the term meeting covers a lecture (one presentation), seminar (typically several presentations, small audience, one day), conference (mid-size, one or more days), congress (large, several days), exhibition or trade show (with manned stands being visited by passers-by), workshop (smaller, with active participants), training course, team-building session and kick-off event.
Types of meetings
Meetings are often held in conference rooms
First staff meeting of a new executive
Training meeting about sustainable design. The photo shows a training meeting with factory workers in a stainless steel ecodesign company from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Common types of meeting include:
Ad hoc meeting, a meeting called for a special purpose
Board meeting, a meeting of the Board of directors of an organization
Investigative Meeting, generally when conducting a pre-interview, exit interview or a meeting among the investigator and representative
Kickoff meeting, the first meeting with the project team and the client of the project to discuss the role of each team member
Management meeting, a meeting among managers
Off-site meeting, also called "offsite retreat" and known as an Awayday meeting in the UK
One-on-one meeting, between two individuals
Pre-Bid Meeting, a meeting of various competitors and or contractors to visually inspect a jobsite for a future project. The meeting is normally hosted by the future customer or engineer who wrote the project specification to ensure all bidders are aware of the details and services expected of them. Attendance at the Pre-Bid Meeting may be mandatory. Failure to attend usually results in a rejected bid
Staff meeting, typically a meeting between a manager and those that report to the manager
Stand-up meeting, a meeting with attendees typically standing. The discomfort of standing for long periods helps to keep the meetings short.
Team meeting, a meeting among colleagues working on various aspects of a team project
Work Meeting, which produces a product or intangible result such as a decision
Meeting frequency options
Since a meeting can be held once or often, the meeting organizer has to determine the repetition and frequency of occurrence of the meeting. Options generally include the following:
A one-time meeting is the most common meeting type and covers events that are self-contained. While they may repeat often, the individual meeting is the entirety of the event. This can include a 2006 conference. The 2007 version of the conference is a stand-alone meeting event.
A recurring meeting is a meeting that recurs periodically, such as an every Monday staff meeting from 9:00AM to 9:30 AM. The meeting organizer wants the participants to be at the meeting on a constant and repetitive basis. A recurring meeting can be ongoing, such as a weekly team meeting, or have an end date, such as a 5-week training meeting, held every Friday afternoon.
A series meeting is like a recurring meeting, but the details differ from meeting to meeting. One example of a series meeting is a monthly "lunch and learn" event at a company, church, club or organization. The placeholder is the same, but the agenda and topics to be covered vary. This is more of a recurring meeting with the details to be determined.