9 Most Common Types Of Meetings


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Communication is important in any company. Sometimes, situations arise that need a correct communication to solve them. This is why meetings exist. Although they are business meetings, they vary according to their purpose and nature. That is why it is necessary to know how to distinguish the different types and how to conduct them.

A meeting can be an excellent strategy for making decisions, generating new ideas or inspiring a team, as well as a unique opportunity to demonstrate your leadership, organizational, motivational and collaborative skills (1). In this article, we will tell you about the different types of meetings that exist according to their nature and those that are used in companies.

Key Facts

  • Although it is not always possible, a properly organized and planned meeting has better results than a last-minute one. But, in order to have successful emergency meetings, it will also help to know what types exist. When calling a meeting, it is important to know what the objective is and who should participate. Proper organization will ensure that the results are the right ones.
  • It is also important to know how you want the meeting to be. A meeting in an office is not the same as a meeting in a café, or aone-to-one meeting is not the same as a participatory meeting. Careful planning will make the meeting go smoothly and easily.
  • Knowing how you want it to be and what type of meeting you will have, it is important to know what the characteristics are. This way, you will achieve efficient meetings with positive results. Also, you will avoid one of the biggest problems with meetings: that those attending think it could be conducted via e-mail.

9 types of meetings: the definitive list

The following meetings can be thought of according to their nature or purpose. Whatever it is, the execution of the meeting varies: they feature different objectives, rules, planning, among others. Below, we will show you the most common ones according to their nature and types.

(Source: Fiamma Perazzo/ Gitnux)

1. Formal

Meetings are usually formal. Although not all of them, since it is not an indispensable requirement. What characterizes this type of meeting is that, unlike others, they are organized and planned. That is to say, they have a protocol. It is common for these meetings to be planned to make decisions, but their purpose may vary. In any case, whatever the objective, what is discussed or planned is recorded.

Among other characteristics, these meetings have a dress code to be followed. Also, they are called in advance and the people (or, rather, employees) who attend are pre-selected.

The way of calling it is also formal, it is done in advance and, generally (and almost always) in writing, so that a record of the meeting is left.

2. Informal

An informal meeting is any event in which two or more people get together, either for business or social purposes. But, if we are talking about business meetings, they are those that are organized without planning them beforehand. Although this could be detrimental. A meeting is called at the last minute, that is, spontaneously. They are improvised based on the needs of the company.

Informal meetings do not have major objectives such as decision making or problem solving (unless it is unexpected). Their purpose is, for example, to update workers or to inform about different topics.

Their main purpose tends to be to provide information or to promote fellowship.

3. Internal

This is organized among the employees of a company. The fundamental aspect of these meetings is that only employees of the company are present and, in the case of large companies, that people from all areas and/or branches are present.

As they are internal meetings, the format can vary(online, face-to-face, conference, among others). As for the objectives, they may vary.

The circulation of information between superiors and subordinates is the best internal communication channel in an organization (3).

4. External

External meetings involve people from different companies, sometimes even areas. The variety of participation is smaller, only those who hold a high position are invited. Their nature is more reserved.

They may have a work or communication purpose. Also, sometimes, they can have protocol as an objective; that is to say, conventions that have different guests, among them, it could be state agencies, national, among others.

5. Online

In the year 2023, it is also important to talk about online meetings. Online meetings are carried out with different video programs. These offer the possibility, even from a distance, to hear and see each other among all the participants of the meeting. It also facilitates the presentation of slides.

In the relationship between costs and economic benefits, the balance is usually in favor of saving resources in organizations that promote remote work (4).

Online meetings, although they have their advantages, also have their disadvantages. And, in addition, they are not so easy to solve; for example, bad internet network. And what always stands out the most about videoconferencing is that the participants end up talking over each other. Both face-to-face meetings and online meetings vary in advantages and disadvantages.

Face-to-face meetingsOnline meetings
CommunicationEasy to achieve and controlCan have participants talking at the same time
DistractionsUnlikelyParticipant’s environment can be distracting
ParticipationMore flexible and easier to achieveNone or difficult to control
ProblemsMay not be effectiveTechnological
ConvenienceBrings employees together and achieves a sense of inclusionCan involve people who are far away
PlanningCan be more organizedIf not organized, may not be able to bring everyone together

6. Informative

In this type of meeting, participants are called to keep them up to date on different aspects of the company, such as progress, sales, modifications, problems, etc. The information will vary according to the type of company. The information will vary according to the type of company.

The objective of these meetings is to update the employees and/or participants. Afterwards, to ensure their effectiveness, it is important to allow participants to ask questions or make comments. Including a company’s employees makes for a warmer working environment and a sense of belonging.

7. Decision-making

The purpose of these meetings is to choose among several options; it can be to solve a problem, to make a change, among others, but they are always organized in situations for which it is necessary to act, whether positive or negative.

For decision making, it is important that the participants are informed and prepared to present their choice; thus, the problems, the choices and the reasons for them can be presented. Unfortunately, however, it is not always possible to plan these meetings in advance.

If several people are involved in the decision making process, the points of view are diversified, the perspectives are broader, and the pros and cons are analyzed more extensively (5).

8. Participatory

In participatory meetings, the objective is to get each participant to contribute, either by giving ideas or initiatives. Something important to take into account in these meetings is to give each participant his or her space. An active participation with many speakers and ideas and attentive listening can make these meetings highly efficient.

This type of meeting is divided in two:

  • Executive participatory meetings, so that they are expected to leave with some purposes and tasks entrusted to each participant.
  • Non-executive participatory meetings, which only serve for a department or an executive to take ideas or opinions from the participants (6).

9. One-to-One

One-to-one meetings are meetings between two members: an employee and his or her superior. In general, these meetings have more personal topics as their objective; for example, performance, resignations or dismissals, salary increases, among others. These meetings are important for the human resources area.

One-to-one meetings are carried out in the same way as any other meeting; they are planned, the participants are thought of (in this case, with whom to have the meeting), among others. But the difference is that it focuses on one participant at a time.


Communication is fundamental in a company in any situation that may occur. Therefore, it is important to know how to recognize the different types of meetings that may be needed. A properly organized meeting can benefit both the organizers and the participants.

The different types, depending on their nature, will help you plan it, and the types of business meetings will help you set a goal. Now that you know more about them, you will be able to achieve effective meetings with positive results.


1. Rodríguez A, Reverté R, editors. How to conduct business meetings [Internet]. Barcelona: Editorial Reverté, S. A., 2021; Available from:

2. Pérez G, María G. Business meetings [Internet]. Didactic Publications. 2016 [cited 2022Dec8]. Available from:

3. Álvarez J. Internal Communication, the Strategy for Success [Internet]. idUS. Razón y Palabra; 2007 [cited 2022Dec9]. Available from:

4. Muntané MD. The book to conduct successful meetings [Internet]. Google Books. Ediciones Díaz de Santos; 2005 [cited 2022Dec5].

5. López de Blas M, Sarasúa Ortega A. Chapter 2: analysis of the variables that affect decision making. In: Decision making. Organization and management of meetings [Internet]. Madrid, Spain: Subdirección General de Formación del Profesorado, D.L. ; 1993 [cited 2022Dec9]. p. 14

6. Oszlak O. Remote work: making a virtue out of necessity [Internet]. CEDES Repository. CUINAP Argentina; 2020 [cited 2022Dec9]. Available from:


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