What is an effective meeting?

Effective meetings achieve their objectives. Participants leave with a sense of achievement and know what will happen next as a result of the meeting. Characteristics of effective meetings are outlined below.

  • The objectives of the meeting are clear. An agenda is provided and the purpose of the meeting is shared at the beginning of the meeting.
  • Participants actively contribute to the meeting. Participants understand why they have been invited and actively contribute to the meeting.
  • Good preparation means that participants are well briefed and can contribute appropriately. Agendas and relevant information have been circulated before the meeting. Participants have read this and are therefore well prepared for the meeting.
  • Actions are followed up and progress is made. Actions are minuted and followed up at the next meeting. There is a clear allocation of responsibility for undertaking actions and accountability for achieving these.
  • Discussions and agreements are recorded in agreed minutes. Accurate minutes are taken and issued soon after meetings. Procedures are in place to ensure that participants check minutes and vouch for their accuracy.
  • Meetings are tightly scheduled and are productive. An agenda with a schedule is provided. The chairperson keeps to the agenda and the schedule.

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