1.1 Describe the features of different types of meetings

This guide will help you answers 1.1 Describe the features of different types of meetings.

Meetings are a fundamental part of business administration. They support collaboration, decision-making, and the sharing of information. Different types of meetings serve varied purposes. Hence, each type has unique features. This guide will walk you through the different types of meetings, explaining their key characteristics in detail.

Types of Meetings

Formal Meetings

Formal meetings are structured and follow specific protocols. They are often scheduled in advance and have a set agenda.

Features of Formal Meetings:

  • Structured Agendas: These meetings have a clear and detailed agenda that outlines what will be discussed. Agendas ensure the meeting stays on track.
  • Minutes: Minutes are taken during the meeting. They record the discussion points, decisions made, and action items. Minutes are formal records.
  • Chairperson: A chairperson usually leads. The role includes guiding the meeting according to the agenda and ensuring everyone has the chance to contribute.
  • Pre-set Rules: There are usually strict rules on how the meeting will be conducted. These rules might include speaking order and voting mechanisms.
  • Attendance: Often, participants are formally invited, and their attendance is usually required.

Informal Meetings

Informal meetings are less structured and more casual than formal meetings. They can be spontaneous and do not always follow a strict agenda.

Features of Informal Meetings:

  • Flexibility: There is more flexibility in terms of topics and structure. Agendas, if used, are generally loose.
  • Casual Environment: These meetings are often held in a less formal setting, like a break room or a café.
  • Minutes: Taking minutes is not always necessary. Notes may be taken instead for reference.
  • Open Communication: Participants can speak freely without the constraints of formal rules.
  • Short Notice: They can be arranged on short notice to address immediate issues.

Team Meetings

Team meetings are internal and involve team members discussing projects, goals, and progress. They foster team coordination and collaboration.

Features of Team Meetings:

  • Regular Schedule: These meetings are usually held regularly, such as weekly or biweekly.
  • Project Focused: The agenda often revolves around specific projects or tasks the team is working on.
  • Collaborative: Team members are encouraged to share updates, provide feedback, and offer solutions.
  • Duration: These meetings can range from 30 minutes to a few hours, depending on the topics covered.
  • Action Items: Clear action items are typically assigned at the end of the meeting to ensure progress.

Board Meetings

Board meetings are formal meetings involving the board of directors of an organisation. These meetings are critical for strategic decision-making.

Features of Board Meetings:

  • High Importance: These meetings have a significant impact on the direction of the organisation.
  • Formal Structure: They follow a strict protocol with a detailed agenda.
  • In-depth Discussion: Topics are discussed in depth, covering finances, strategy, and performance.
  • Decision-Making: Major business decisions are made, often involving voting.
  • Documentation: Detailed minutes are taken and archived for legal and historical reference.

Client Meetings

Client meetings are held between business representatives and their clients. The purpose can range from sales pitches to project updates.

Features of Client Meetings:

  • Professional: They maintain a professional tone and setting.
  • Preparation: Detailed preparation is necessary to address the client’s needs and concerns.
  • Presentation: Often include presentations or product demonstrations.
  • Follow-Ups: Action points and follow-up meetings are typically arranged to maintain the relationship.
  • Customised: The content is tailored to the specific client to add value and address client-specific issues.

Virtual Meetings

Virtual meetings are conducted over the internet using platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. They eliminate the need for physical presence.

Features of Virtual Meetings:

  • Technology-Driven: Require reliable internet and relevant software.
  • Geographically Inclusive: Enable participants from different locations to join.
  • Visual Aids: Often use screen sharing and other digital aids to facilitate the discussion.
  • Recording: Can be easily recorded for future reference.
  • Etiquette: Require specific etiquette, like muting microphones when not speaking.

Ad-Hoc Meetings

Ad-hoc meetings are unscheduled and called to address urgent or immediate issues.

Features of Ad-Hoc Meetings:

  • Spontaneous: These meetings are called at short notice.
  • Issue-Specific: They focus on addressing specific urgent issues.
  • Short Duration: Typically, they are short and to the point.
  • Minimal Documentation: Extensive documentation is often not necessary, though key decisions and actions might be noted.
  • Flexible Participation: Attendance is usually limited to those directly involved in the issue.


Workshops are interactive meetings where participants focus on a specific topic or skill development.

Features of Workshops:

  • Interactive: Include activities, discussions, and exercises.
  • Educational: Aim to educate or train participants on specific topics.
  • Facilitator: A facilitator guides the activities and ensures objectives are met.
  • Hands-On: Often involve practical, hands-on components.
  • Duration: Can last several hours to a few days, depending on the depth of the topic.


Understanding the features of different types of meetings is essential for effective business administration. Each type has unique characteristics tailored to suit specific purposes. By recognising these features, you can better organise, conduct, and participate in meetings, ensuring they are productive and achieve their intended goals.

Example answers for unit 1.1 Describe the features of different types of meetings

Example Answer 1

During a formal meeting, there was a structured agenda that laid out everything we needed to discuss. The chairperson guided us through each point systematically. We also had a secretary taking minutes, documenting every decision and action item. The atmosphere was very professional, and everyone adhered to the meeting rules, like speaking in turn and voting on key issues.

Example Answer 2

In an informal team meeting last week, we gathered in the break room to brainstorm ideas for an upcoming project. There wasn’t a strict agenda, which allowed us to discuss various topics freely. I found it easier to contribute ideas in this relaxed setting. We didn’t take formal minutes, but one team member noted down the key points and assigned tasks for follow-up.

Example Answer 3

Our monthly team meetings help us stay on track with ongoing projects. These meetings are usually an hour long and are held in the conference room. Everyone provides updates on their tasks. At the end, our team leader assigns new action items to ensure we’re progressing towards our goals. We also use these meetings to solve any issues collaboratively.

Example Answer 4

I attended a board meeting where the directors discussed the company’s future strategies. It was a very formal event with a detailed agenda. Each topic was thoroughly examined, especially finances and long-term plans. The chairperson ensured that everyone had an opportunity to speak, and decisions were made through a voting process. Detailed minutes were recorded for future reference.

Example Answer 5

Last month, I had a client meeting to present our new product line. We prepared a detailed presentation addressing the client’s specific needs. The meeting was held in a professional setting, and we focused on how our products could solve their problems. We agreed on the next steps and scheduled a follow-up meeting. It was important to tailor our content to their particular issues.

Example Answer 6

We often hold virtual meetings to coordinate with our remote team members. Using Zoom, we can share screens to present data and updates. The biggest advantage is that it includes employees from various locations, making it easier to collaborate. However, it’s crucial to have reliable internet connections and follow virtual meeting etiquette, like muting microphones when not speaking to avoid background noise.