Team meetings are some of the most important meetings your company or organization can have. Sure, board meetings and town hall meetings may get all the attention because they’re special occasions that only happen once or twice a year.
Since team meetings tend to happen on a regular basis, it can feel like you’re just going through the motions and doing the same thing week after week. That’s why it’s so important to spice things up with icebreakers, team-building activities, and other exercises to keep team members on their toes.
Whether you’re hosting virtual meetings for a remote team or gathering in the office every week, here are 12 great team meeting ideas to keep things interesting.
Why team meetings are important
Team meetings can happen for all sorts of reasons. You might have a formal check in or stand-up meeting each week to go over a specific project or meeting topic. Or maybe your team meetings are more casual, and take the form of fun team building exercises and brainstorming sessions.
Team meetings are great for employee engagement and workplace camaraderie, and are a fun way to foster company culture. They differ from all-hands meetings and staff meetings in that everyone who attends is from the same department rather than a bunch of different teams.
It’s a good idea to have a team meeting agenda to make sure that everything runs smoothly and the meeting wraps up on time.
12 team meeting ideas
These team meeting ideas can add some life to your meetings, but they don’t have to take up the entire meeting time.
You can always start off with a fun team bonding exercise, and then move on to more specific action items to have a productive meeting.
1. Start with ice breakers
The best team leaders know to kick off every meeting with icebreaker questions – even if everyone on your team already knows each other. These can be fun and playful, such as would-you-rather questions, or questions about your favorite foods, celebrities, or superpowers.
Or, you can ask everyone to share a “rose,” “thorn,” and “bud” (a success, a challenge, and a new idea or upcoming event) from their workday. The important thing is to get people interacting and opening up a bit!
When you do icebreakers over a large Zoom call, you can use the breakout room feature to make things more personable.
2. Plan a scavenger hunt
Everyone loves a scavenger hunt, and they’re a great opportunity for new employees to learn their way around the office or the neighborhood.
Hybrid and remote work teams can do virtual scavenger hunts in which the clues lead to common household items like a plant or a mug. Or, you can come up with clues that lead to a dropped pin on GoogleMaps or a cryptic social media post.
3. Bring in a guest speaker
If you have a small team, it can get tiring to hear from the same people every week. A guest speaker can be a great way to bring some new energy to your next meeting.
Your guest speaker could be a public figure, a staff member from another department, or someone inspiring who works in your industry.
If your team meeting is happening in person, simply invite them to your meeting room or conference room to kick things off. For remote meetings, they can hop on a video call or send a pre-recorded message tailored to your team.
4. Give out awards or prizes
This team meeting idea is a good way to engage team members. You can give out awards to recognize performance or productivity in the workplace, or have team members compete for prizes during the meeting.
These prizes don’t have to be anything major: Think movie tickets, a Netflix subscription, or a gift card to a local restaurant.
You don’t want to give off the impression that you have to bribe your team members to get together every week. But a few incentives here and there can make a difference if you want to keep everyone looking forward to the next team meeting.
5. Play a game
Team meetings don’t have to be work-related. Sometimes it’s more important to keep your meetings fun and light-hearted to encourage teamwork, trust, and communication.
This team meeting idea is pretty open-ended, because there are so many different types of games you can play. Why not an improv game in which everyone takes a turn telling the next sentence of a story? Or, try and count to 20 without anyone saying the same number at the same time. And of course, there are always old classics like team trivia, charades, or guess-the-tune.
For remote meetings, have team members select an image for their Zoom backdrop and see if anyone can guess the location within a specific time limit.
6. Have an unconference or open mic
An unconference is basically a conference in which participants run the show. Instead of inviting a guest speaker or facilitator to speak, anyone can put their hand up to deliver a short presentation, TED-talk style.
This is a great way to get to know what team members like to do outside of the office. Maybe one of your employees is a secret polyglot or trainspotting aficionado.
If your team members are on the creative side, you can host an open mic in which participants can sing, do stand-up, or read a poem.
7. Host an offers and needs market
No matter how expert we are in one field, there will always be skills that are just outside of our wheelhouse.
Maybe your software developers don’t know how to take a great photo, or your content writer is having trouble backing up their hard drive.
An Offers and Needs Market is a great activity that pairs team members who need support with other team members willing to share those skills.
For in-person meetings, use sticky notes or a whiteboard. For remote meetings, set up a dedicated Slack channel.
8. Have a mini hackathon
There’s no better way to foster teamwork than with hands-on problem-solving. For this team meeting idea, put aside the agenda and break out a project that you can work on in real-time.
This can be a work-related project, a social impact initiative, or an unrelated activity. See how much progress you can make during your regularly-scheduled meeting time.
9. Share meeting memes
If some of these team meeting ideas feel overwhelming, don’t overthink it. One virtual team building idea you can easily introduce at your next meeting is a meeting meme contest. Simply drop work-related memes into your Slack channel. Everyone gets to vote on their favorite meme, and whoever finds the best one gets a prize.
10. Have a costume contest
Lighten the mood by picking a theme and asking everyone to show up to the meeting wearing something from a specific time period or TV show.
We’re not talking Halloween costumes here. After all, you’ll probably need to get back to work after the meeting is over.
But a silly hat contest or most ridiculous sweater contest are easy to do without making shy employees feel uncomfortable.
11. Have an informal Q&A session
If a Q&A session sounds dull, don’t worry: We’re going to put a fun spin on this! In this version, one member of the team asks a question and everyone in the meeting takes a turn answering it.
This is similar to an icebreaker round, but is meant to go a little deeper, such as: Where would you move if you could retire anywhere? Once again, if your team is too large, use breakout rooms – either in-person or on Zoom – to make it more engaging.
Since everyone has to answer the same questions, it puts everyone on equal footing so they feel comfortable sharing a bit more about themselves.
12. Take a group photo
Finally, don’t forget to take a group photo to capture the scene! You don’t have to do this at every single meeting, but it’s worth doing at least a few times a year to have a record of how your team has changed over time.
If you’re hosting a remote meeting, ask everyone if they’re comfortable turning on their cameras so you can take a screenshot.
Use Anchor AI to take meeting notes
Team meetings don’t all have to follow the same template. Whether you want to kick things off with icebreakers or dedicate the whole meeting to team building activities, these 12 team meeting ideas can help boost team spirit and engagement.
If you do decide to tackle more in-depth meeting topics, don’t forget to create a team meeting agenda and take great notes.
With Anchor AI, you can use our automated notetaking tool to take notes for you so you don’t have to. Simply invite Anchor AI to your next virtual meeting, or upload a recording afterwards. You’ll get a searchable, time-stamped transcript complete with speaker tags and action items that you can easily share with everyone on your team.