A recent article in MIT Sloan argues that “Today’s knowledge workers typically spend more than 85% of their time in meetings. Over two-thirds of remote teams feel increased burnout from digital communication tools. Many report incessant meetings cut into focused and productive time, making them work longer hours.
Let’s face it: Not everyone loves meetings. Yet, they enable collaboration, creativity, and trust among corporate teams.
As a team leader, you are responsible for facilitating engaging and productive meetings that enable your team members to communicate and collaborate.
In this blog post, we’ll give you some team meeting ideas that work. But first, why do you need team meetings at all?
- Importance of Engaging Team Meetings
- 10 Collaborative and Fun Team Meeting Ideas
Importance of Engaging Team Meetings
For a team to work together, they must exchange information clearly, contextually, and completely. Let’s take the example of a marketing campaign.
- Business team needs to communicate its strategy
- Marketing team needs to plan the campaign
- Design team needs to create visuals in line with the strategy/plan
- Copywriters need to write the campaign stories
- Distribution team needs to buy ad space across channels
- Digital team needs to integrate the campaign into the online assets, such as websites, apps, etc.
- Finance team needs to review and update budgets
While each can document their ideas on a Google Doc or frantically email each other, the real value comes from cross-functional collaboration. This is the primary reason meetings are essential. But there’s more.
Clarity of mission: Meetings allow teams to clarify their understanding of the information received. This helps get everyone on the same page and traveling in the same direction.
Decision-making: Meetings help everyone on the team gain context. This way, they can make decisions that serve the larger purpose of the project.
Continuous improvement: When teams discuss the progress of their project, they can share ideas that improve overall outcomes.
Interpersonal relationships: It is tough to build relationships through emails. Meetings help people understand each other and come together as individuals.
Feel belonging: Team meetings help members feel like they’re part of something larger than just the task they complete daily.
Despite their many benefits, most meetings today cause team members to exclaim, “Oh no, not another one!” Here are ten virtual team meeting ideas to avoid that and make your meetings productive and engaging.
10 Collaborative and Fun Team Meeting Ideas
1. Write a fun meeting agenda
For a meeting to be effective, it needs an agenda. So, most team leaders write bullet points of things they want to discuss.
To make your meetings more collaborative and fun, you must do better. For your next meeting, here are team meeting ideas you can try.
Tell a story with your meeting agenda. Treat your teammates like heroes in that story. If someone has done great work, write about it, like the hero’s character arc.
Include riddles: Put the important information as a riddle to make the team curious to join the meeting.
Make it visual: Add charts, drawings, or diagrams to make your agenda quick and easy to grasp.
Make a joke or two: Don’t keep your team meeting agenda drab. Infuse it with some personality. Make a (bad/dad) joke to give your team a chuckle.
2. Break the ice
The first few minutes of the meeting—especially when you’re waiting for people to join—can be awkward. As a team leader, take the responsibility to break the ice. You could ask about people’s weekend or their hobbies. Asking a common question is one of the best team meeting ideas to break the ice.
Use a prompt like “What would you do if you found a million dollars?”
Play some games to learn more about each member of your remote team. Some popular examples are:
- What do we have in common? Start with something you’re interested in, like a sport, TV show, film, etc. Anyone who likes the same thing picks up from there to talk about it
- What am I drawing? Draw something and invite people to guess what. A good whiteboard software like ClickUp’s Whiteboard is a great place to do this
- Rock, paper, scissors: Play this game to decide who gives their update first in your daily standup
- Jigsaw puzzle: Set up the primary agenda of the meeting as an image; break it into a jigsaw and encourage employees to solve it
3. Use breakout rooms for fun brainstorming
Time-consuming virtual meetings, such as strategy meetings or all-day workshops, can be boring. But they don’t have to be. Include some laughs with creative brainstorming in breakout rooms that you’ll find in any online meeting tools available today.
For example, if you’re facilitating a 4-hour marketing campaign strategy meeting, move smaller groups into breakout rooms to come up with slogan ideas.
Announce prizes for the whackiest or most funny idea. You may or may not choose it for the campaign, but celebrate ideas that bring fun to the conversation.
4. Conduct quick workshops
The best way to ensure people don’t feel like a meeting is a waste of time is to help them learn something. Based on the needs and profiles of your teams, include 15-minute workshops.
This could be anything, even if tangentially related.
- Email writing
- Resume writing
- Color theory
- The golden ratio
These workshops can be even more engaging if you encourage team members to teach each other. The copywriter can teach email writing, the designer can teach color theory, etc.
With purpose-designed collaboration apps, you can also include activities to be completed within those fifteen minutes, infusing some action and excitement into the workshop.
5. Run a quiz
Invite the team to take wild guesses if they have no background to know the answers. For example, if the engineering team is presenting their updates to the rest of the organization, they can ask questions like:
- How many features did we ship this month? Options: 10, 24, 108
- How many bugs did we quash? Options: 112, 3, 50
- Who is the new client we onboarded this month? Options: Apple, Facebook, Reddit
The purpose of this quiz is not to get the correct answers from anyone. It is to inspire curiosity by presenting information in the form of questions.
If setting up a quiz just for the sake of a team meeting seems like a chore, check out ClickUp forms. This simple yet powerful feature lets you visually set up multiple-choice questions by dragging and dropping elements. It’s customizable, offers numerous options out of the box, and is easy to share!Check out these ClickUp questionnaire templates for inspiration.
6. Have themed team meetings
Next on our list of fun meeting ideas is themed meetings. If events and team outings can have themes, why not meetings? Once every month or fortnight, run themed meetings. You can, of course, make it Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Halloween-themed during the season.
To make the meeting more engaging, invite team members to choose the theme they enjoy most. If you are a Marvel or Ghostbusters fan, you’ll also have a fun meeting with laughs and team bonding.
7. Give each other’s updates
A productive meeting is one in which everyone comes off feeling there is clarity in what they need to do next and when they feel heard during the meeting. In standup and review meetings, people typically give their own updates. This makes them awkward and self-conscious. Often, shake that up by inviting people to give other team members’ updates.
When they do that, team members can:
- Understand each other’s work more deeply
- Know each other’s blockers and challenges
- Empathize with the other’s needs and gaps
- Appreciate one another and champion each other
While this is a great team-building activity, it can become a little confusing, when someone else gives one’s update. For such times, ClickUp Meetings is a fantastic way to bring back clarity. Convert your agenda into a checklist to make sure you have gone over all of them. Using the rich editor allows you to streamline and organize real-time updates.
When comments require effort from any team member, you can assign and tag them. Use recurring tasks to ensure you always have your agenda ready for meetings.
8. Set up no-holds-barred meetings
Team members often have many questions or feedback that they might be uncomfortable sharing. Moreover, when the meeting is time-boxed, they might set aside their questions for later and forget about it.
Set up regular no-holds-barred meetings. Invite team members to ask or share whatever they like. As a team leader, Ask Me Anything (AMAs), demonstrating your openness and accountability.
Use these no-holds-barred meetings to motivate the team to take ownership and participate meaningfully.
9. Host interactive team meetings
Meetings are the most boring when one person does all the talking while others listen. Change that by conducting interactive meetings with the best project collaboration tools.
Let’s say you’re conducting a product team meeting to design the user flow for the new feature you’re planning.
- Fire up a ClickUp Whiteboard and set the starting point
- Encourage team members to add the steps they think need to be part of the user flow
- Prioritize and organize them effortlessly with drag-and-drop capabilities
- Turn ideas into action items directly from your whiteboard into your ClickUp Workspace
10. Write together
The person assigned to write the ‘minutes of the meeting’ most likely hates the task. It is one of those tasks that people dread because it is often passive and uncollaborative.
Change it up with an online collaborative tool like ClickUp Docs. For every meeting, create a document and invite everyone to make notes in real-time. Format the text into headings, checklists, links, and more.
Once you’ve prioritized the action items, convert them into tasks instantly within ClickUp. Add these docs as part of your workflows to ensure they’re always handy.
Not sure where to begin? Choose from any of ClickUp’s meeting notes templates and customize them for your needs.
Make the Most out of Your Team Meetings with ClickUp
Whether we like them or not, meetings are inevitable. They don’t need to be tiresome or unwelcome because they’re unavoidable. Implementing these positive staff meeting ideas makes meetings better for everyone. Meeting time doesn’t have to be boring after all.
Try these fun team meeting topics in your next team meeting. Whether it’s a team-building exercise that involves your entire team or if you’re a team leader who’s experimenting with a meeting idea—making future meetings fun is the ultimate goal.
What’s another fun way to make meetings interesting? Use the right tool to help.
Have fun, engaging, and productive meetings with ClickUp’s purpose-designed features. With ClickUp Meetings, set the agenda, take meeting notes, and discuss ideas. Use ClickUp Whiteboard to brainstorm and innovate together visually. Convert elements on the Whiteboard, Meetings, or Docs into tasks and track them in real-time. Go from ideas to action.