Key Learnings from our 2024 Global Meeting Survey

iBabs’ State of Meeting Management 2024 report provides fascinating and insightful meeting productivity statistics from a survey of more than 2,000 respondents. The participants comprised stakeholders with a range of roles in meetings at organisations including corporate giants, government bodies, non-profits and healthcare providers.

Key findings

  1. Preparation time lacking: Only 60% of respondents felt they had enough time to prepare properly for meetings. This represents a slight improvement from previous years but still indicates that a significant portion of participants are entering meetings without being fully prepared.
  2. Inefficiency with meeting minutes: The report revealed no significant improvement in the taking and distribution of meeting minutes since the last study, with only 65% of respondents confirming that this essential task occurs in their meetings.
  3. Information access issues: Despite many respondents receiving the necessary documents in advance, about a quarter still lack the critical information needed to contribute effectively to meetings. Furthermore, more than a quarter of meeting chairs either disagree or are neutral about whether they receive adequate information to prepare for meetings.
  4. Action points neglected: Less than 50% of participants felt that action points from meetings were adequately followed up on, indicating a gap in turning meeting decisions into actions and tangible outcomes.
  5. Technological disparities: Access to virtual or hybrid meeting environments varies significantly across sectors, with high adoption in large corporations (nearly 90%) but considerably lower in sectors like local government and blue light services. This uneven adoption highlights the ongoing challenge of integrating modern technology into meeting practices across all industries.

The goal was to produce business meeting statistics that offer a complete view of the meeting landscape, focusing on both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of meeting management. We explored every stage of the meeting lifecycle, from preparation to execution and follow-up, ensuring our data was robust and reflective of current trends and challenges. 

This methodology allowed us to gather the insights necessary to understand the current state of meetings across the board and, ultimately, to be able to tailor our advice to enhance the efficacy of meetings in a variety of sectors.

Interested in the full report? Get a copy of the full guide here

Attitudes towards meetings

The research revealed a mixed picture regarding meeting satisfaction across the various sectors and roles. Overall, just over half of the respondents (51%) felt positive about their meetings, rating their satisfaction at seven out of ten or higher. 

However, a significant number of participants (37%) were less favourable in their opinions on the meetings they hold and attend, giving them a score of between five and six out of ten. This result suggests room for improvement in how meetings are managed and conducted within organisations.

Focusing on how people in different roles view their meetings, administrators appear particularly dissatisfied. Of those surveyed in this role, 40% rated their satisfaction at five or below. In stark contrast, 94% of meeting chairs reported higher satisfaction, indicating a significant discrepancy in experience based on respondents’ roles in a meeting.
The non-profit sector stands out for its apparent low meeting satisfaction, with an overwhelming 92% of respondents rating their meetings at five or below out of ten. This highlights a crucial need for targeted improvements to enhance meeting effectiveness and satisfaction within these organisations.

Making the most of new opportunities?

The report highlights an issue that suggests we are not using the opportunities at hand to make meetings more efficient. On one hand, there is a notable shift towards the digitalisation of meetings, with a significant increase in virtual meeting rooms and online collaboration tools.

On the other hand, a staggering 22% of professionals still find themselves trapped in meetings for more than half their working week. However, one of the key benefits of digitisation and online connectivity with colleagues should be that it reduces meeting length and makes the process more streamlined. Many of the smaller details can be dealt with away from the meeting, leaving more lean and productive meetings. 

The survey shows, though, that the medium of meetings has evolved, but the content often has not. This gap highlights an urgent need for organisations to not only embrace new meeting technologies but also to rethink their meeting strategies to make the most of the opportunities they offer and to ensure time is used effectively.

A positive outcome is that technology adoption is on the rise, with board portal usage climbing to 29% among respondents. 

The future of virtual meetings

The virtual meetings statistics in the report show that we have witnessed a permanent shift in the work environment. The survey found that nearly 90% of large corporations now make the most of virtual and hybrid meetings. However, not all sectors are keeping pace – blue light services and local government are less likely to digitise meetings, with less than 70% adoption. 

This isn't just about convenience; it's about ensuring that critical decisions are made efficiently, without the need to be in the same room. The benefits of virtual meetings are manifold, including reduced travel costs and lower environmental impact as well as the efficiency savings organisations can make.

The agility provided by virtual platforms allows decisions to be made swiftly, which is crucial in a fast-paced world.

Preparation for meetings

In order to make the best possible decisions, attendees need to be able to fully prepare. However, this seems to be an issue in many organisations. Only 60% of respondents felt they had sufficient prep time before meetings. This is a slight improvement from previous years, but still far below optimal levels. 

More than a quarter of chairs admitted to entering meetings without adequate preparation, possibly explaining why 37% of all meeting participants were less than satisfied with their meetings. This could be a key driver of the unproductive meetings statistics in the report. 

Meeting follow-up concerns

One result from the survey that will cause some concern is the apparent gap in action point follow-ups. Less than half of the respondents confirmed that their meetings’ action points were adequately tracked and followed up. 

Without a system in place to monitor actions, there is no accountability and the decision-making process can falter.

Meetings Are What You Make Them

The statistics on effective meetings in the State of Meeting Management 2024 report reveals a meeting landscape filled with challenges but also brimming with opportunities. By harnessing the power of technology, improving the meeting preparation process and refining meeting structures, organisations can transform their meetings from time-consuming ordeals into catalysts for meaningful change.

Improving productivity leads to better strategic decisions and, ultimately, success. iBabs can help you achieve the change you need. Our meeting portal helps you create and distribute agendas and documents with ease in advance of the meeting, it records votes and decisions, allows for remote participants to join and allows you to monitor the progress of your action points afterwards. 

Request a demo of iBabs today to find out how it can improve your meetings for better outcomes.

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iBabs is a leader in paperless meetings and enables you to reduce these piles of documents to the thickness of your tablet. Thousands of organizations have been using this system for more than 15 years.

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