A Billion Dollar Meeting

Today we are going to do a quick exercise. Open up your appointment book and start adding up all the meetings you have scheduled for today, for this week and for this month. They are a lot, right? Now you are wondering if all of them have a meaningful purpose and you will start thinking that maybe you could eliminate some of them. You are on the right path.

According to the Better Business Meetings report from the University of Wharton, “a medium-sized company, with around 100 employees, can waste 750.000 annually”. And this is a problem spreading through companies all around the world.

Read more: 10 situations when a meeting is not necessary

That is confirmed by this research done by Attentiv: “America meets a lot. From their analysis it can be seen that the average cost of a meeting in America is $338, not including the salary of CEOs and senior officers, which could raise this amount up to $20.000.

What is the cost of lack of planning?

One of the biggest problems is the lack of planning. Many of the meetings we attend daily are focused towards planning future meetings or doing simple “brainstorming” exercises, where there is nothing prepared in advance. And that makes meetings stretch on unnecessarily. Unfortunately, this type of meeting happens more and more often. According to the research America meets a lot, these represent 11 million meetings in a day, 55 million in a week and more than 220 million in a month.

Surprised? Let’s keep playing around with figures. If we calculate the cost these unplanned meetings represent, based on the average cost per meeting as presented by Attentiv’s research, we find the following result: the cost of just one single daily meeting for an American company, at the end of the year, goes up to $90.000.

Wasted time?

To this revealing data we must add a key indicator; the time spent by our employees. The average number of participants in American meetings is 9 workers. And these meetings last between 31 and 60 minutes.
We will do the math for you: employees of a US company spend, on average, over 66,000 hours annually on meetings.

Are your meetings productive?

Once the cost and time spent in meetings over a year has been calculated, there comes the key question: are all meetings really productive? 33.4% of those participating in them think they are not. And they argue that some of the main reasons are the absence of decision-making, the lack of preparation or just plain disorganization.
This all makes the following data provided by the University of Wharton more understandable: “The overall cost of meetings can skyrocket to 800,000 million euros a year.” Come in and have a seat. Welcome to the billion euros meeting.

Maybe you are also interested in: When a conversation is more important than a meeting

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