30-minutes meetings – a new way to work

Why do we all assume meetings should take an hour? It’s an arbitrary amount of time, no more likely to produce successful results than, say, a 43-minute-meeting will, or one that lasts 72-minutes. Yet, it’s the default amount of time we so often allocate. But what if you cut that time in half? Would you achieve less? In fact, the opposite is true. Welcome to the revolutionary idea of the 30-minute meeting.

Why does it work?


Knowing there’s only 30-minutes to play with means your invitees are more likely to have done their background reading, come up with ideas to put forward and formulated arguments they want to offer.

Straight to it

No one’s going to be hanging around at the tea and coffee station at the beginning of a 30-minute meeting, there simply won’t be time. Removing the pre-amble of a meeting saves everyone time that they – more than likely – don’t have to waste. With the warm up out of the way, you can get straight down to business.

Moving the conversation on

Being more conscious of the time means that attendees aren’t going to let themselves, or others, get side tracked. Conversations are more likely to stay ‘on topic’ and colleagues going off on a tangent will be a thing of the past.


The result of the 30-minute meeting is a much more energised discussion. People are more fired up as the pace is a lot faster, and therefore, results are more likely to be reached. People will also leave the room buoyed up, feeling as though they have achieved something which will have a positive, knock-on effect throughout the rest of the day.


Putting a little time pressure on your invitees is a good thing, they will become more outspoken with their opinions (there’s no time for anything else!) and bold with their ideas. As well as getting things done, it will also empower team members who might sometimes fade into the background.


Start at exactly the scheduled time, no matter who is late. Although, people are less likely to be dragging their heels when time is of the essence.

30-minute meeting tips

Make your intentions clear

Point out to everyone invited to the meeting that it’s only going to last 30-minutes and what you expect to achieve in that time. You need your colleagues on board to make the idea work.

Set an agenda

Your agenda should be tightly scheduled and you need to stick to it. Make sure you allocate five minutes at the end of the meeting to summarise what you’ve gone through, what has been decided and what needs to be done now.

No phones

Warn your invitees before the event that all phones must be left elsewhere or turned off. The 30-minute meeting requires focus and commitment.

No chairs

Consider making the meeting a chair-free affair. Keeping people on their feet can sharpen their focus and deters procrastination.

Meetings at W12 Conferences

We have 11 fully-equipped rooms where you can hold a meeting, training session, seminar or lecture. As a purpose-built conference facility, we have everything you could need for your next event. Get in touch with our experienced events team to talk through your dates and requirements.