How to Set Meeting Objectives and Determine the Purpose of the Meeting

By Kyla Mintz

Ever found yourself in a meeting wondering why you were even there? A well-organized and effective meeting starts with a clear purpose and objectives. In this blog post, we will dive into the importance of setting meeting objectives and determining the purpose of the meeting, as well as tips and best practices to help you achieve more productive and engaging meetings.

Short Summary

  • Understanding the purpose of meetings is essential to ensure effective communication, collaboration and decision-making.
  • Meeting objectives provide structure and focus while meeting purposes allow for identification of relevant discussions and participants.
  • Setting clear, concise measurable objectives is necessary for productivity, time management & encouraging team members to understand their role in the meeting.

Understanding the purpose of meetings

Meetings are a crucial aspect of any organization, as they facilitate communication, collaboration, and decision-making among team members. However, not all meetings are created equal. A clear meeting purpose statement not only helps guide the meeting agenda, but also focuses discussions and ensures productive outcomes. For instance, the purpose of a one-on-one meeting with a direct report might be to discuss their performance and set goals for the next quarter.

On the other hand, a planning meeting could aim to clarify tasks and timelines for a new project. Defining the purpose of a meeting is essential for team members to be on the same page and to ensure that everyone’s time is used effectively. Additionally, a well-defined meeting purpose provides direction for the meeting’s agenda, allowing participants to better prepare and contribute to the discussion.

Meeting objectives vs. meeting purposes

While the terms “meeting objectives” and “meeting purposes” may seem interchangeable, it’s important to understand the key differences between the two. Meeting objectives are specific, measurable goals to be achieved during a meeting, such as reducing the number of applicants to the top three candidates and scheduling interviews for the following week. In contrast, meeting purposes are the general reasons for holding the meeting itself, such as discussing a new project or brainstorming ideas for next quarter’s marketing initiatives.

Having both a meeting purpose and objectives is vital for effective meetings, as they provide a clear roadmap for the meeting’s agenda and help participants understand what is expected of them. For example, in a problem-solving meeting, objectives might include generating multiple solutions and ensuring commitment to implement the chosen solution. By defining both the purpose and objectives, you can ensure that your meeting stays on track and achieves its desired outcome.

Meeting objectives

Meeting objectives serve as the foundation for guiding meeting agendas and help drive discussions toward achieving the desired outcomes. They range from specific goals, such as arriving at a consensus in decision-making meetings, to broader objectives like fostering collaboration among sales representatives during a team meeting.

Establishing meeting objectives is crucial in ensuring that the meeting is focused, productive, and achieves its desired results, including meeting goals, for all meeting participants.

Meeting purposes

Meeting purposes, on the other hand, provide a broader context for why a meeting is being held and help to identify relevant discussions and participants. For instance, a planning meeting might have the purpose of devising strategies for a new project, while a brainstorming session could aim to generate creative approaches to tackle a particular issue.

Understanding the various meeting purposes allows you to select the right type of meeting and ensure that all participants are on the same page and working towards the same goal.


The importance of setting meeting objectives

Setting clear meeting objectives is vital for increasing productivity, focusing discussions, encouraging teamwork, and managing meeting time effectively. Clear objectives help keep participants engaged, allowing them to understand their role and contribution to the meeting. Moreover, measurable objectives enable the team to assess the meeting’s success based on whether the goals were met.

In addition to fostering collaboration and streamlining communication, setting meeting objectives bolsters team members’ confidence and aids in managing time efficiently. By reviewing the meeting agenda prior to the meeting, organizers can ensure that every point contributes to the meeting goal and eliminate any elements that could lead to the team losing focus.


Crafting effective meeting objectives

To craft effective meeting objectives, there are three key steps to follow: identify desired outcomes, use clear and concise language, and establish measurable metrics.

In the following subsections, we will delve deeper into each of these steps to help you create clear and achievable meeting objectives that lead to more productive and engaging meetings.

Identify desired outcomes

The first step in formulating effective meeting objectives is recognizing your expected result. Desired outcomes are statements that outline the change or effect you wish to achieve from a meeting or program. For example, a desired outcome for a brainstorming session might be to generate at least five new marketing ideas for the upcoming quarter.

By determining the desired outcomes, you can ensure that your meeting objectives are aligned with your overall goals and expectations.

Use clear and concise language

When writing meeting objectives, it’s crucial to use clear and concise language to ensure that all participants understand the objectives and can easily retain them. By summarizing the meeting objective in one sentence using simple language and action verbs, you make it easier for participants to grasp the goal.

For example, instead of saying “we need to discuss our marketing strategy,” a clear and concise objective would be “define the top three marketing priorities for the next quarter”.

Establish measurable metrics

The final step in crafting effective meeting objectives is to establish measurable metrics to assess the success of the meeting. Measurable metrics are quantifiable measures used to monitor, compare, and evaluate performance or processes. For instance, a measurable objective for a sales meeting could be “increase sales revenue by 10% in the next quarter.”

By setting quantifiable and time-sensitive metrics, you can ensure that the success of the meeting can be easily evaluated and tracked.


Determining the purpose of a meeting

To determine the purpose of a meeting, start by contemplating what has transpired or changed in the workplace that requires a meeting. Reflect on the situation and choose the appropriate type of meeting to address it. For example, if a new government environmental policy has been introduced that may impact your organization, a problem-solving meeting could be necessary to discuss potential implications and devise strategies to address them.

By considering the workplace situation or change, you can select the most appropriate type of meeting and set the right objectives for it. This ensures that all participants actively engage in the discussions and have a clear understanding of the meeting’s purpose and objectives.


Examples of meeting purposes and objectives

Various types of meetings serve different purposes and objectives. For instance, brainstorming meetings aim to generate novel ideas and encourage collaboration, while decision-making meetings focus on arriving at a consensus on important matters. Problem-solving meetings, on the other hand, are designed to address workplace issues and devise potential solutions.

Each of these meeting types requires specific objectives to guide the discussion and achieve the intended outcome. For example, a brainstorming meeting might have the objective of generating at least ten new product ideas, while a decision-making meeting could aim to reach a consensus on the top three marketing priorities for the next quarter.

By understanding the purpose of different meeting types and setting corresponding objectives, you can ensure that your meetings are more focused, productive, and effective.


Tips for communicating meeting objectives and purposes

Effectively communicating meeting objectives and purposes is crucial for the success of any meeting. To do this, use clear and concise language, set measurable metrics, and share the objectives with participants at least 24 hours before the meeting. This allows attendees to prepare accordingly and ensures that everyone enters the meeting with the same goal in mind.

By taking the time to properly communicate the objectives and purposes of the next meeting, you can ensure that the meeting is successful.

Benefits of using a communication tool like Kumospace

Utilizing a communication tool like Kumospace can further enhance meeting organization, streamline communication, and improve participant engagement. With functionalities such as screen sharing, virtual whiteboards, and spatial audio, Kumospace makes meetings more stimulating and effective. It also saves time and costs compared to physical travel.

Kumospace provides a range of features that can help make meetings more efficient and engaging.


Common types of meetings and their objectives

Meetings come in various forms, each with its own purposes and objectives. Planning meetings can be beneficial for team members by enabling them to get a clear understanding of the project goals. This facilitates successful project management. Problem-solving meetings address workplace issues, while culture-building meetings facilitate the strengthening of team relationships and the establishment of trust, goodwill, and empathy.

Understanding the objectives of different types of meetings is essential for selecting the right meeting format and setting the appropriate goals. For example, a planning meeting might have the objective of devising a marketing strategy for a new product, while a problem-solving meeting could aim to resolve a conflict between team members. Incorporating the planning process into these meetings ensures that the objectives are met effectively and efficiently.

By recognizing the various meeting types and their objectives, you can ensure that your meetings are more focused, productive, and effective.


Meeting preparation and follow-up

Preparing for meetings is just as important as the meetings themselves. Sharing meeting objectives and purposes with participants beforehand allows them to better prepare and contribute to the discussion. Moreover, scheduling follow-up meetings can help address any scheduling discrepancies and provide a timeline for the completion of action items.

Proper meeting preparation and follow-up are essential to ensuring that meetings are productive, achieve their objectives, and generate a written record of the meeting that can be consulted in the future. By dedicating time and effort to meeting preparation and follow-up, you can improve the overall effectiveness of your meetings and enhance team collaboration.


In this section, we will address some frequently asked questions about meeting purposes and objectives. These questions will provide further insights and clarification on topics discussed throughout the blog post.

For example, what is the purpose of a meeting? The purpose of a meeting is to bring together people.

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Headshot for Kyla Mintz
Kyla Mintz

Kyla is part of the Marketing team at Kumospace, where she helps run the social media accounts and creates content. Kyla has many different passions outside of work, including volleyball, traveling, and restaurant dining.

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