Calculating Meeting ROI

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In an earlier post (Meeting Bane or Benefit?), I noted that having a clear meeting purpose helps limit attendee frustration and conflict. At times, cancelling a meeting may be the best way to do this! Sometimes meetings are unnecessary.

In their book Rework, the authors contend that many meetings are preventable. Before hosting a meeting, consider the following questions:

  • Why am I hosting this meeting? Is it necessary?
  • Does everyone on this list need to attend?
  • Is there a less time-consuming way to achieve the outcomes of this meeting?

Another interesting way to view meetings is by considering ‘Meeting ROI’.[i] To calculate a meeting-return-on-investment, total the participant hours spent in a meeting and then multiply it by their average salary. For example:

Meeting Value Formula

Fried and Hansson provide a few other interesting meeting ideas. Take a look and see which ones look helpful for you:

  1. Set a timer. When it rings the meeting is over – period!
  2. Invite as few people as possible.
  3. Always have a clear agenda.
  4. Begin with a specific problem.
  5. Meet at the site of the problem instead of conference room. Point to real things and suggest real changes.
  6. End with a solution and make someone responsible for implementing it.

I’d love to hear of your insights about ways to make meetings effective.

[i] Fried, Jason & Hansson, David (2010). Rework. New York: Crown Publishing. P. 110.


  1. Sandra

    I love your ROI meeting calculation. If that was a norm, we’d never have committees. LOL.

    • Jeff Suderman

      Either that, or committees would function very differently! Did you know the technical term for a flock of vultures is a committee 😉


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