An informal meeting agenda is a meeting agenda that is far less regulated and planned than a formal business meeting, and hence lacks many of the defining features of a formal business meeting agenda. Informal meetings usually take place in casual settings, such as a coffee shop, at once of the participant’s desk, or a restaurant rather than take place in a boardroom.
An informal meeting is like a coach having a quick and opportune chat with their team during the non-playing period about diverse issues that may or may not directly relate to the sport but is well relevant to the team or the coach.
Purpose of an Informal Meeting
The main goal of informal meetings is to discuss issues that would not have an appropriate place in a formal meeting. Such meetings may be designed to make the participants feel free and more at ease to speak out their mind than they would in a formal setting. They allow participants to meet with a great degree of flexibility and spontaneity.
Types of Informal Meetings
Normally, there are no formal requirements for informal meetings, hence the reason why they are much easier to arrange compared to formal ones. New things can be discussed in informal meetings as there are no set regulations or requirements to stick to. However, some discussions may only be limited to some members or be discussed at formal meetings due to legal restrictions.
There are several types of informal meetings that one can organize to discuss several issues or seek to get information on some issues:
- One-on-one: This is a form of an informal meeting where just two people meet. This can be an off the record discussion between two people or a meeting to discuss business ideas or a meeting between a staff member and a manager to discuss their experiences in the workplace or any challenges that they may have faced which could be affecting their performance.
- Team Meeting: This is a type of informal meeting where a project team comes together to discuss their project and any issues and any other related issues. Such meetings are usually unplanned and are usually called suddenly if any issue arises during the project’s progression.
- Informational Meeting: In this type of informal meeting, a large group of people comes together to receive instruction or obtain information from their manager.
Free Informal Meeting Agenda Templates
If you are looking to create an informal meeting agenda, our templates can really come in handy. Make sure that you browse the different informal meeting agenda templates provided and download one that best suits what you want, then customize it based on the ideas you may have in mind.
Our meeting agenda templates are designed to make things simple for you and offer several ways for you to organize your meeting’s agenda items. They also provide you with enough space to note down important information and action items that pertain to them.
Formatting the Agenda
An informal meeting agenda can take many forms, but at its essence, it is simply a list of items to be discussed. At the top of the agenda, list all the invited participants and the time the meeting is set to start. Add a time limit to all agenda items you are looking to discuss and stick to make sure that you cover all of them.
- Review minutes from previous meetings
If you have been meeting with your team occasionally, you ought to have the minutes for your previous meetings. Minutes are a summary of who was at the meeting, who was absent, what was discussed in the meeting, and the outcome of any votes and decision you made. Look for any action items that participants were assigned to follow up on. The first agenda item on your list should be a review of those action items that are still pending with updates on their statuses.
- Housekeeping items
Meeting with your team members in a room creates a great opportunity to share company news, important bulletins, and other important information that needs to be passed along. Housekeeping can be a separate item on your list if you have separate notes. However, including them on the agenda of the meeting prevents the participants from forgetting to make a note of them.
- New Business
This section is the core of the agenda. Each item of new business that needs to be discussed should be included as a new agenda item. List down the key areas of discussion along with the expected outcomes, which are the results of the meeting. They represent what you expect to accomplish by the end of the discussion. This could be a vote, an agreement on an issue, or a report from a subcommittee. Setting these expectations informs all the participants as to what is required of them by the end of the meeting.
- Open Session
All informal meetings should set aside time for meeting participants to raise their issues. This is your opportunity to hear about the successes, challenges, and other issues that may be affecting them. Many times, obstacles can be overcome by discussing potential solutions.
At the very end of the meeting, make it is important that you make a quick review of any new outstanding items. This will help all the participants remember such items easily. Remember to also announce the schedule for upcoming meetings and/or deadlines. Informal meeting agenda templates are handy highlights that one can use when the occasion calls for it. They can help keep an informal meeting on track and avoid scenarios when participants ramble off the point, and the meeting is derailed. Even though minutes aren’t legally required at informal meetings, it is always a great idea to take notes, even if it is just the case of writing down action points for distribution among the participants so they can be followed up at the next meeting.