How to Set Effective Meeting Goals for Any Type of Meeting
Project Management

How to Set Effective Meeting Goals for Any Type of Meeting

Feb 1, 2024

If you’ve ever been to a poorly run meeting, then you know how important it is to have clear meeting goals. Is the primary purpose of the meeting to make decisions, solve problems, or come up with new ideas? Your meeting objectives will vary depending on the type of meeting you’re holding and who’s planning to attend.

Here’s how to set clear goals for different types of meetings, and how to use project management collaboration tools to streamline meetings and get more done.

What Are the Most Common Meeting Goals?

Meeting goals: man saying, let's schedule a meeting

Meetings vary widely in terms of length, format, and number of participants. A formal board meeting that happens once a year will have a very different set of goals than a recurring team meeting that happens once a week.

Although it’s important to be as specific as possible when setting meeting objectives, start by deciding what type of meeting you want to have. This will help set the tone of your meeting so you can achieve your desired outcome. Here are some of the most common goals used to plan and structure a meeting.


Brainstorming meetings are used to come up with ideas — not necessarily to identify actionable items or get things done. Often, brainstorming meetings are more loosely structured than other types of meetings and lack specific goals or an agenda.

Project planning

Project planning or kickoff meetings usually take place early on in a project, and are used to introduce team members to each other. Planning meetings can be used to create an action plan for the project, or assign roles and responsibilities.


Decision-making meetings are used to reach agreement on important decisions. For example, the purpose of a business meeting may be to decide whether to approve a particular project. This type of meeting often involves discussion and input from any stakeholders, followed by a voting or consensus process.


Team-building meetings are all about developing company culture and finding ways to keep your team engaged. You can use team-building meetings to welcome new team members in-person, or foster teamwork and collaboration on a remote team.


Problem-solving meetings are used to focus on a specific problem and find a solution. For example, scrum meetings can be used to identify “blockers” getting in the way of project progress. Sometimes, problem-solving meetings take place after a project is over — such as a retrospective meeting, in which you find things that you could do differently next time.


Informational meetings are used to convey information, often in a one-way direction. For example, a town hall or all-hands meeting may be used to share long-term goals with your entire organization. Or, you could schedule a one-on-one meeting with a team member or direct report to provide constructive feedback.

Why Meeting Goals Matter

Meeting goals: woman saying, what was the point of that?

In today’s world of Zoom fatigue and meeting burnout, meetings are — or should be — a finite resource. Having too many back-to-back meetings will try your team’s patience, so it’s important to get the most out of every meeting with clear meeting goals.

Here are three reasons why setting meeting objectives is worth the effort.

They help keep meetings on track

When everyone in attendance knows the purpose of the meeting, it’s easier to stay on track. Your facilitator can make sure that all of your agenda items are on topic, and let people know if a particular discussion topic is taking up too much time. Agenda items that aren’t a top priority can be pushed to the next meeting.

They increase productivity and team accountability

By setting clear team goals and project milestones, you can improve accountability and ensure that project goals are completed in a realistic time frame. High-performing teams check in frequently, but they set measurable goals and use meeting templates to keep recurring meetings short and to-the-point.

You can use an action item tracker to monitor the progress of individual tasks and track overall metrics like their complete rate and time-to-completion.

They foster a strong company culture

Having clear meeting goals ensures that there’s an alignment between individual team goals and your overall company objectives. For example, the organizational goals that you set out in your board meeting minutes should inform the goals of your marketing team and other individual departments.

By providing clear goal examples to everyone involved in a project, employees have more leeway to take the initiative while staying true to company values.

How to Set Goals and Have More Productive Meetings

Meeting goals: woman talking to an old man

Meeting goals change from one week to the next, so you can’t just recycle last week’s meeting goals and expect to run a successful meeting. Follow these five steps to set attainable meeting goals and streamline meeting management for your team.

1. Seek input from stakeholders

Every meeting has to start somewhere. Even planning and brainstorming meetings are informed by company goals, stakeholder expectations, and the skills and preferences of your team members. Seek input from everyone who will be attending the meeting and ask them what they would like to get out of the meeting.

2. Set specific goals

Once you have a general sense of your meeting objectives, set more specific goals for the meeting. One option is to set SMART goals that meet the following criteria:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Now is the time to get as specific as possible. “Brainstorming” or “decision-making” may describe the purpose of your meeting, but it isn’t a clear enough meeting goal. Here are a few more specific goal examples that meet the SMART goal criteria:

  • Come up with five name ideas for our new product line
  • Review resumes and narrow down shortlist to five candidates
  • Choose a team project management tool before the next meeting

3. Create a meeting agenda

Next, create a meeting agenda that takes your meeting goals into account. Be sure to leave enough time for discussion, decision-making, and problem-solving if that’s what your meeting requires. Send out your meeting agenda in advance so participants can review it and know what to expect from the meeting.

If you don’t have time to create a meeting agenda, use Anchor AI’s Quick Prep tool to do it for you. Max, our built-in project management AI, will create a meeting agenda based on your project goals and what you’ve discussed in the previous meeting.

4. Take effective notes

Meeting notes are the stepping stone between your meeting goals and your desired outcome. Whether you’ve been brainstorming new ideas or making major decisions, take effective meeting notes to record them for future reference.

You can use an automated note-taking tool like Anchor AI to capture action items and add them to your to-do list automatically. Max will use context clues from the meeting itself to assign each item to a team member and add a due date.

5. Track progress and follow up

Achieving your goals doesn’t stop when the meeting is over: In most cases, that’s only the beginning. The best team leaders use task delegation, priority management, and project management techniques to see tasks through to completion.

Keep stakeholders in the loop by using Anchor AI to write follow-up emails, generate meeting summaries with action items, or even create complete transcripts. That way, everyone will be on the same page and you can get the most out of your meeting.

Run Better Meetings With Anchor AI

Woman saying, best meeting ever

Setting clear meeting goals can turn your meeting from a routine discussion into a fun and engaging experience that generates forward momentum. Start by determining the purpose of your meeting, such as team building or project planning. Then, set specific goals that you can highlight in your meeting agenda and turn into actionable items.

Anchor AI streamlines every part of your meeting, from coming up with an agenda to capturing action items and sending out follow-up emails. You can even ask Max, our AI-powered project manager, questions about your meeting, such as “How did the meeting go?” or “What should we work on next?”

Sign up now to try it out for yourself!

Ready to shed the busy work?

Let Max 10x your grind so you can focus on the gold.

Get started for free

No credit card required. Free forever.