The Difference Between Formal and Informal Meetings

A formal meeting is an organized discussion on prior-determined topics and goals typically conducted by the chairperson. The minutes are recorded in this document. The meetings are highly organized and require the most planning. They also assign roles to certain people to keep the meeting on track.

The majority of day-to-day business meetings fall into the informal category such as staff meetings and brainstorming sessions. However more strategic discussions on high-risk issues such as company strategy budget cuts, and project boardrooms management are usually held at formal meetings. The main distinction between informal and formal meetings is that informal meetings tend to be more informal with a more fluid and open discussion.

Formal meetings are also more likely to follow strict procedures, like an agenda, a particular structure for notes taken by the notetaker who is an official and formal language in these notes. The notes can be accessed by those who aren’t present at the meeting.

To ensure an effective meeting, it is essential that attendees arrive with the required information and reports required to run the meeting. Meeting software and a meeting task manager can be used to send reminders to attendees or to assign tasks. This can help them prepare for the next phase of the process. After the meeting has ended, it’s important to follow up with participants to review the discussion, identify the main actions taken and solicit feedback so that the next meeting are more successful.

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