The Real Cost of Team Meetings

Posted by Kristin Arnold on February 20, 2012

I continue to be amazed at how leaders can call a meeting without really thinking through the meeting objectives, outcomes, and agenda. Your meetings are costing the company real dollars – although those costs are sunk costs in the form of payroll.

Even those meetings that charge real dollars to a cost center aren’t well thought out. These meetings are typically held “off-site” – where more attention is placed on the location, the food, and the cocktail party! Although major blocks of time are allocated for specific discussions, it still falls prey to the typical meeting pitfalls.

So how much are your meetings costing you? Check out this simple way to calculate the cost of an average meeting.

Let’s use an example of a typical leadership team off-site (I’ll use some numbers that make the math easy!):

Average Annual Salary$100,000
Team Size15
Length of Meeting (hours)9
Cost of Meeting$6,667
Meeting Room Fee$500
A/V Charges$500
# of People Staying at Hotel15
Average Lodging Cost$200
Average Food Costs$150
Meeting Expenses$6, 250






The total cost of this one-day off-site is $12,917! Be sure to take into account the costs of the work that isn’t getting done since your people are away from the workplace, as well as looking at the historical trend for your meeting effectiveness. Are all your meetings top notch? No improvement needed?

Consider this: What is the cost to you and your company if this meeting bombs? Hiring a professional facilitator starts sounding like a good investment!

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