Considering an average professional has 25.6 meetings a week, your work calendar probably reads title after title of meetings that you’ve been invited to.
While a quick scroll through these meeting names can give you a lot of information about what your week looks like, you’re also likely to run into many lifeless titles like ‘Meeting at 10:00’ or “Chat with the Team.”
While these meeting names aren’t exactly wrong — they’re also definitely not right.
Meeting names should be helpful, giving context to the attendees about what will happen during it. It doesn’t need to be a long, catchy name, but a few words that give an idea of the purpose or goal will radically improve your meetings in the future.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the following topics:
- Why are meeting names important?
- How do you create a meeting title?
- Additional meeting title ideas
Let’s get started.
Why do meeting names matter?
Just like a meeting agenda, a meeting title is a way of letting attendees know why you’ve called it.
Instead of making the entire team read through the agenda, the title should give your team members enough of an idea to ensure that they know why they’re attending.
Whether it be a team meeting, weekly meeting, conference meeting, or even a board meeting, you should ensure the meeting’s purpose is suggested by the title. Considering this is something that people often completely skip over when creating a meeting, making sure to name your meeting is a fast way to increase their effectiveness and success.
Additionally, a meeting’s title could be enough to sway a team member that’s on the fence about going to the meeting to do some more digging. If your title is specific and direct, then you’ll be able to give your workers that little extra push to then open the invite and take a look at the meeting agenda that you’ve attached.
Saying that also assumes that you’re writing an agenda for all of the company meetings that you’re hosting, even cross-functional ones with team members from other departments.. These short documents outline the main purpose and goals of a meeting, which helps to overcome the meeting problem of people feeling that they’re unnecessary.
Whether you’re hosting virtual meetings or in-person ones, you should always include an agenda attached to your invite.
How do you create a business meeting heading?
When organizations are trying to suggest that their meeting is important, especially when it is an event that invites external figures, they often use pretentious word choice to imply importance.
Have you ever received an invite to one of the following?
- A teleconference
- An eForum
- A keynote seminar
- An exclusive breakfast briefing
- A focus network
While it’s true that meeting might not be the most exciting word, there is no need to turn to grandiose language.
In fact, the examples listed above are all just pretentious ways to say ‘meeting’. Especially when you’re running team meetings with people that you see everyday, there is no need to roll out the red carpet.
When you create your meeting names, be sure to keep it simple. This straightforward fact will help a lot of team members grasp exactly what you’re offering. Instead of looking for grand titles that suggest a level of significance to your discussion, your title should include information about the content.
If, when thinking of the content of the discussion, you don’t think you could create an interesting title or one that defines why you’re hosting your discussion, it might be time to reconsider if it’s absolutely necessary.
Tips for titling business meetings
When you send out a meeting invite, the title is the very first thing someone is going to read. Because of this, it makes sense to try and put yourself in their shoes when you’re crafting the title.
You’ll want to create a title that accurately describes why the meeting is going to take place. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an interesting name, but it should do its job — which is to explain the meeting’s purpose in one line.
That being said, here are some general tips that you should follow during the process of titling your business meetings:
- Keep them succinct
- Include concrete goals if possible
- Grasp the group’s attention
- Think about the other person’s perspective
- Creativity has its place
Let’s break these down further.
Keep them succinct
A meeting invite is not the title of your undergraduate dissertation. Yes, it’s important to give a core detail about what the meeting is going to cover, but you don’t need to write absolutely everything that will come up.
Especially if you create a meeting agenda, then a shorter, direct meeting title will be the perfect hook to entice each person to read more about what will be discussed in the meeting.
Include meeting goals
When getting invited to a team meeting, many of your company employees might wonder how necessary this discussion actually is. If you have a very general title, like “Team Meeting”, many people might think that this will be a complete waste of time.
To get around this problem, you should always write one key sentence that explains what goals you expect to hit in the title. This doesn’t have to be complicated, for example:
- Department meeting to discuss finance on project X
- 1-1 performance review of the last three months
- HR: Discussing the recent incident on the 10th of June
Okay, that last one is perhaps a little dramatic. But, it does just enough in one short phrase, letting the reader know exactly what topics you will talk about.
Grasp their attention
One of the easiest ways to gain genuine interest for an important meeting is to use tags like ‘URGENT’, but only when they are absolutely necessary.
When a meeting invite arrives in your inbox with ‘URGENT’, ‘IMPORTANT’, or ‘CRITICAL’, the gossip inside most people will push them into at least taking a look at what’s going on in the meeting.
Most of the time, no one is going to miss a meeting that’s marked with a tag like this. That being said, be sure to only use an urgent tag if it is actually a critical meeting. If people turn up in droves only to find out that it isn’t actually particularly important, people will start to lose focus and faith in their leaders.
To avoid being the manager that cried wolf, only use these tags when you need all board members to attend.
Think about your team’s perspective
As a manager, if you title a meeting “Chat with Jenny,” you’ll probably already know what topic matter you want to talk about. When you open your own calendar and skim through what you’ve got prepared for the day, you’ll instantly know based on your own personal context why you’ve called that meeting.
On the other hand, when a meeting invite arrives in Jenny’s inbox with no information other than ‘chat’, they might be incredibly worried. Will this meeting call for problem solving? Has Jenny caused issues as a team leader? Or, did Jenny miss a critical due date? It only makes sense that she has these initial concerns.
The lack of context leaves her completely in the dark, making this an unnerving situation for your team member to be in. Even if they know it's nothing bad, the lack of context from their side of the equation can cause them to feel out of place.
Additionally, if the topic you want to ‘chat’ about is important or requires some pre-thinking (planning a stage of a project, jotting down key points, or arranging key metrics for example), then making that clear early on will help the team member prepare beforehand.
You want to ensure that your business meeting is a safe space for your employees to talk about their work progress, problem solving challenges, and concerns. Preparation will make the discussion run a lot smoother, so providing extra context and putting yourself in the employee’s shoes are essential.
Creativity has its place
When figuring out how to enliven your meetings, it’s easy to turn to the most creative names you can possibly think of. But catchy names are tricky, as they have the potential to hold significance only because they are catchy.
Some people in the company might enjoy a funny name, or a more off-the-cuff meeting title. If you are confident that your department is the type of place where funny meeting names will go down well, then go for it.
However, remember that humorous meeting names don’t always come across as the most professional, so keep this in mind depending on who you’re sending out the meeting request to.
Common meeting names for team meetings and beyond
Now, we’ll be diving into some rapid-fire meeting names, giving you more ideas of what sort of titles might work well for your meeting type.
Keep in mind the topics you want to talk about, how often the meeting occurs, and which department you will be working with in the process.
Ideas for one-on-ones:
- Performance Review for the Month of X
- Catch Up of Recent Processes
- Workload Check-In - Are we feeling stressed out?
- Employee Growth Plan - Fostering Future Growth
- Goal Setting For Next Quarter
- Salary Increase Based On Hard Work and Recent Performance
- Weekly Strategy Planning for X Project
- Weekly Catch-Up and Project Updates
- Team Goal Focus Meeting - Planning the Next Month’s Progress
- Restructuring Project Goals
- Preparing for Budget Changes Coming to X Project
- Finance Department x Creative Department - Reviewing proposed content plan
- One Week Check-In - How has the project come along?
- Addressing Client’s Review of Project
- Strategy Meeting Moving into Final Sprint
- Introduction to Project X: Context and Goals
- Assigning Project Roles
- Onboarding Strategy Changing for Future Candidates
Use the examples discussed above, or review them to inspire new ideas for your own meeting names. Whether you’re conducting board meetings, virtual meetings, a one on one, or even a decision making meeting, mastering the art of the meeting title will lead to future success.
As you practice crafting titles for your different meetings, keep track of the progress of your team members. When incorporating certain word choices, do your employees show up more excited? Or, is the team more open to tackling challenges? By analyzing the success of your title experiments, you’ll be more likely to improve future meetings too.
Make your next business meeting one to remember
The process of titling your meetings can seem like a great challenge. But no matter what meeting type it is, a memorable title is key to its success.
To inspire your team members and boost engagement, try not to be vague for your next meeting. You want to be simple, but you also need to demonstrate the reasons you’re calling this meeting in the first place. Don’t be afraid to add some more detail into the heading to be clear about your action plan.
While a catchy name could be an option for your department, make sure to assess the topics of the meeting agenda first. Once you’ve decided on a title, practice crafting new meeting names as they come. What once posed a huge challenge will start to come to you like second nature.
Not only will this practice help to make your next meeting more effective, but it will also create more genuine human connection within your company. By keeping your title to the point, creative, and informative, your employees will be able to glance at their work week and be enthusiastic about their meeting agenda again.