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12 Common Types of Meetings [+ Free Agenda]

Familiarize yourself with the most common meeting types so you can fulfill a unique purpose each time you get together with your team.

By Kate Dagher  •   August 30, 2022  •   8 min read

Meetings are essential to the proper functioning of any business. They are a way of collaborating, sharing information, brainstorming solutions, and innovating as a team. There are many different meeting types, each serving unique purposes when they’re well planned and conducted properly—there’s a meeting type to suit most situations, projects, goals, and objectives. To help you identify which meeting may be right for you, this article will take you through the 12 most common types of meetings as well as their purposes. We are also providing you with some of Fellow’s best meeting agenda templates so you can try them out with your team to see just how effective they are. 

12 common types of meetings

1One-on-one meetings

Most people are familiar with one-on-one meetings. These are meetings between a manager and an employee on their team. Sometimes one-on-one meetings have a specific focus or purpose, and other times they’re simply used as an opportunity to catch up, provide updates, discuss progress and challenges, and go over any questions that either party may have. 

This one-on-one meeting template can be used to host effective meetings with your direct reports so you feel prepared to discuss goals, obstacles, opportunities, and decisions. 

2Team-building meetings

Team-building meetings serve the purpose of strengthening collaboration, trust, and teamwork, and improving company culture. When individuals feel more comfortable working together, productivity, efficiency, and job satisfaction amongst employees increase. A team-building meeting aims to foster a light-hearted, interactive, and fun environment typically by using games or challenges that must be tackled by a group of people. The participation of managers or leaders in the team-building meeting is essential to show the team that getting to know each other is important and that collaboration is key. 

This team-building brainstorm meeting template is great for checking in with each of your direct reports to understand how they think it may be best to approach team building. This template will show you how to have an open conversation and receive great suggestions. 

3Decision-making meetings

Decision-making meetings are collaborative efforts led by the leader of a team when a decision needs to be made. Participants are typically key decision makers or subject matter experts. For the most ideal outcome, be sure you have all the necessary information you need to make the decision before conducting this meeting. 

This decision-making meeting template is perfect for when you have an important decision to make. It helps you and your team consider the benefits and risks of making a certain decision, as well as alternative decisions. 

4Problem-solving meetings

Problem-solving meetings are conducted with the purpose of finding the optimal solution to a problem within the team. This meeting’s outcome is ideally to identify the best course of action, which is always more easily established in a group setting where multiple ideas, opinions, and suggestions are brought forward. Key components of this meeting include selecting who will implement the solution and uncovering the root cause of the issue to prevent it from arising in the future. 

This problem-solving meeting template is useful for teams looking to study an issue and its causes so they can build an effective action plan to mitigate the problem at hand. 

5Check-in meetings

Check-in meetings are great for monitoring the progression of tasks and ensuring that they are aligned and on track. This meeting type is commonly held because it’s essential to regularly check the kinds of progress being made in projects. Some of the reasons organizations hold this type of meeting are to share project updates, get feedback, discuss challenges or explore ideas, ensure people are on top of their roles and responsibilities, and identify next steps. 

This check-in meeting template is perfect for when you conduct Kanban one-on-one meetings because it outlines how to effectively check in and review tasks at each stage of a project’s workflow to provide a holistic review. Afterward, blockers can be addressed and tasks can be recategorized based on their status.

6Brainstorming meetings

Brainstorming meetings are made to explore and innovate. It’s important to foster a collaborative environment where participants feel safe and inspired to share their new and creative ideas. In this kind of meeting, participants work as equal contributors in a loose structure so there is space to tap into each person’s creative potential. A variety of techniques (like mind mapping, where employees use their creative thinking skills to generate fresh ideas or new products) can be used to bring out ideas.

This brainstorming session agenda will help you run productive, inclusive brainstorming sessions with your team and was curated by Courtney Symons, Shopify’s Editor in Chief.

7Status update meetings

Status update meetings or progress checks serve the purpose of bringing all individuals involved in a particular project up to date with important information and happenings. Typical areas of discussion tend to include progress made, challenges, issues, next steps, and action items to be achieved before the next meeting. In your status update meeting, consider what has been achieved since the last meeting, what still needs to be done, and what you and the team should focus on next. 

This project status meeting agenda template is perfect for sharing project updates, identifying roadblocks, and assigning action items during your project status meetings.

8Onboarding meetings

Onboarding meetings are essential every time you hire a new employee. Typically a new employee will have a recurring onboarding meeting until they’re feeling comfortable in their new position. During this meeting, a manager tends to go over instructions and provide tips and tricks to help individuals understand how to be successful in their day-to-day tasks and how their work contributes to the overarching business goals. 

This onboarding checklist for new employees is great for any manager who’s looking to refer to a guide that includes all the necessary steps to set up any new hire successfully.

9Kickoff meetings

Kickoff meetings are used with the objective of getting the entire project team on the same page. Project managers explain the main goals of the project so the rest of the team can keep the goals in mind as they complete their responsibilities. Typically, the project manager discusses the objectives, the scope, the budget, and other important information associated with the project. When everyone is aligned on and aware of the moving parts of the project, the team is set up for success. 

This marketing weekly kickoff meeting template is perfect to monitor and track each marketing project to get a temperature check for the week ahead.

10Budget meetings

Budget meetings allow leaders in the business to discuss and determine the organization’s financial goals, spending patterns, and upcoming expenses, as well as potential opportunities that will impact each team’s budget moving forward. Typically, budget meetings follow a monthly review meeting format so the team is sure to have a thorough conversation during which all the necessary decision-making information is gathered—this allows a successful meeting to take place.

This monthly budget review meeting template is useful to run your upcoming monthly budget review meetings during which the team gets visibility on financial goals, spending, and upcoming expenses. 

11Retrospective meetings

Retrospective meetings are effective for discussing what happened during the product development and release process, after the product ships. During this meeting, the team typically discusses how to make improvements in the future based on the learnings and conversations surrounding the most recent product development and release. 

This start stop continue retrospective meeting template is great for helping the team to focus on concrete actions they can take to improve collaboration, processes, and results. This template was curated by Anna Iurchenko, UX Designer at Google Health.

12Quarterly planning meetings

A strategic way of moving towards important organizational goals is through quarterly planning. Effective planning is typically done by breaking down your annual business plans into four manageable increments so you and the team can learn from the previous quarter’s performance. Next, you can set realistic goals and establish objectives and key results (OKRs) and key performance indicators (KPIs) that will be used to measure your achievements.

This quarterly planning agenda template is effective for guiding your quarterly planning sessions. This meeting agenda will support you in structuring an effective planning meeting and help you ensure that the whole team feels aligned. 

Meeting best practices

Always use a meeting agenda. Fellow allows you to run efficient and delightful meetings that are focused and on track, and that produce optimal results. Also, your meetings are costing you more than you think! Use Fellow’s meeting cost calculator to evaluate how much your meetings cost you to understand the value of using a meeting management tool like Fellow to make your meetings more worthwhile. 

Parting advice 

There are so many meeting types for you and your team to select, based on your current focus. It’s especially important to plan ahead and be organized when you’re conducting remote meetings so you don’t waste any of your valuable time. Take some time to go over these meeting types and explore the free templates. Choose the ones that are the most relevant to you and your team before you test them out! If you found this article to be helpful, be sure to pass it on to fellow managers and leaders who could use some guidance with meeting agenda templates.

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