There are multiple different meeting types that range from the bizarre to the creative. We cover 5 common ones today and help you determine which are right for you and your team.

In-office meeting

This is the most common type of meeting. You have your team seated at a table in the office, perhaps in a special meeting or conference room, and you get through the agenda quickly and efficiently.

The pros of this meeting are convenience and familiarity. Most employees are already comfortable having this type of meeting, and if someone forgets an important document it shouldn’t be too far away.

The cons of this type of meeting are that it’s dull and can be less productive than you think. People could be zoning out, on their phones, or distracted. Plus, since the meeting is so accessible you may be tempted to ask more people to join than necessary, which wastes time and money.

Breakfast meeting

A breakfast meeting is, like it sounds, a meeting held over breakfast. Typically, you’ll meet up with your team at the office and go somewhere to eat first thing in the morning, of a few minutes earlier than the start of the day.

Breakfast meetings are convenient because you can start a fresh day with them, and then take the remainder of the day to execute on what was discussed. They are good opportunities to start your day right, since they help set the tone for the rest of the day.

A downside to breakfast meetings could appear if people are on different schedules, or you have a few night owls on your team. Not everyone is at their most productive in the morning, so check with your team and attendees before calling a mandatory early-morning meeting.

Lunch meeting

Lunch meetings are held around lunchtime, and can be either catered in-office or at a restaurant.

Lunch meetings are a nice change of pace, and everyone in your company should get a lunch break anyway (breakfast breaks are less common). These are great when you want a more relaxed meeting scenario, and are great for camaraderie building. Typically, lunch meetings don’t last too long, and when the food comes out you’ll have the chance to learn more about your teammates.

The downside to lunch meetings are that they can be cumbersome. If you don’t choose your place carefully, you could end up somewhere that doesn’t have enough seating, or that’s too loud to hear each other.

Virtual meeting

Virtual meetings are held online, and participants can attend from their own homes, private offices, or even the beach as long as they have a stable Internet connection. Some common tools for virtual meetings include Skype, Zoom, and Gotomeeting.

A virtual meeting is extremely convenient when you have a team member who’s out sick, on a different schedule, or if you work with virtual employees. These are easy to attend, eliminate the commute completely, and allow you to jump back into work immediately after.

One downside to virtual meetings could surface if your attendees don’t have strong, stable connections. Having meetings interrupted is never good for productivity or efficiency.

Outdoor meeting

An outdoor meeting is also sometimes known as a walking meeting. They’re held outdoors, sometimes at a public park or during a walk. If you don’t want to go far, you can find a patch of grass and sunshine near your building and bring your own blanket and snacks.

Taking your meeting attendees for a walk is great for creativity, helps to equalize the workplace hierarchies, and could improve communication and happiness. Aside from all the great health benefits, you also get a nice change of scenery and keep things exciting.

The cons for outdoor meetings include bad weather, unreliable seating areas, and, in the tropics at least, mosquitoes. If you get caught outside during a rainstorm, there goes your team’s comfort levels for the day. Be sure to check the weather beforehand, don’t go too far at first, and have plans in place for what could go wrong.

About the Author: Jocelyn Pick