State of Meetings Report 2023

Read Time: 10 minutes

Bobby Rae

Bobby Rae

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

State of Meetings Report

Meetings are a way of life. No matter what you do for a living it’s unlikely you go through your career without having them. Whether it’s a weekly meeting, catch-up or, more recently, virtual gatherings - they are nearly impossible to escape. 

As one of the world’s most-loved scheduling tools, Doodle helps millions of people find the perfect time to meet every single day. 

Over 70 percent of users who come to Doodle do so to help them professionally in their working lives. Of this group, entrepreneurs, leaders and executive assistants stand out as sizable groups. 

These people were primarily based in North America and Europe - as well as a few selected locations in other parts of the world. 

With this in mind, we surveyed two and a half thousand of these users to compile the findings of this report. Our analysis has been supported by the School of Applied Psychology within the Zurich University of Applied Sciences.

The data in the following report was tested statistically, mainly using chi-square tests. All the results presented are significant. To make this report more reader-friendly, we’ve refrained from providing statistics, however they are available. So, let’s find out more about what’s happening in the world of meetings in 2023.

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World Trends

Where we saw a merging of meeting styles during the COVID-19 pandemic, there now seems to be a growing divergence between North America and Europe. Let’s break that down. 

Planning Ahead:

More than half of meetings (55 percent) in North America are organized between one week and one month in advance. In contrast, for Europe that figure is 40 percent. 

Almost half (46 percent) of all European meetings are organized more than a month out. 

state of meetings report graphs

Participants: 

Both Europe and North America align on the most popular meeting size range. 

Six to 10 people made up 43 percent of all meetings booked in North America. In Europe, this number was almost identical at 42 percent. 

Group meetings of three or more participants made up the biggest share of meetings around the world, outpacing those who planned one-on-ones.

That’s probably because there has been a return to more ‘normal’ working habits, post-COVID-19. 

During the pandemic when many people were forced to work from home, we saw a noticeable rise in people arranging things like mental health check-ins and virtual catch-ups, which happened one-on-one, because they couldn’t do it in person. 

With meeting restrictions quickly becoming a distant memory, one-on-one events are returning to pre-pandemic levels. 

Duration: 

In North America, more than half (55 percent) of meetings were between 30 minutes and one hour long. 40 percent of meetings were longer than an hour. 

Europe, by contrast, witnessed almost two-thirds (67 percent) of meetings last longer than one hour. 30 minutes to an hour was the second most popular duration, making up around 29 percent of meetings. 

state of meetings report duration graph

Location: 

Following the trend of recent years, virtual meetings are still the most common form of gathering in North America. 

42 percent of meetings there took place solely online. Hybrid meetings (where there was a mix of people in person and calling in) were the second most popular at 38 percent. 

Europe has had a faster return to how things were pre-COVID. 

In-person meetings were the most common and made up a little under half of all meetings (44 percent). A quarter of get-togethers were hybrid and only around a fifth (21 percent) took place purely online.

state of meetings report graph 3

With all these formats now commonplace, Doodle helps navigate this newfound scheduling complexity. 

You might be someone who is looking at combining online and in-person meetings. For instance, you want colleagues who are based overseas to get involved with company events. Group Polls make that easy to do. 

They can also boost productivity, be more cost-effective, help businesses achieve eco-friendly targets and get everyone in a business on the same page easily. 

Who organizes the most meetings?

Scheduling might not be something we love, but it is something we all have to do. We've been able to break down who is organizing the most meetings. 

In our survey, we spoke to executive assistants, entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Executive assistants tended to book larger meetings. 28 percent of all events they arranged were for more than 10 people. 

Compare this to Entrepreneurs where only 16 percent of the meetings they booked were for more than 10 people. 

The majority of meetings booked by Administrators (50 percent) and business leaders (56 percent) were arranged more than a week in advance. 

Entrepreneurs by contrast book a lot more meetings with fewer than six days' notice (35 percent) compared to administrators (who only book around 19 percent in the same period). 

With a Doodle account you can arrange events quickly and completely free

Some Interesting Meeting Facts

Taking a step back from where and who is organizing meetings, here are some interesting trends in the world of meetings. 

The later the invitation is issued, the shorter the meeting lasts. 

If people are invited more than a month in advance, meetings often last longer than an hour whereas if they are invited within a week, meetings most often last between 30 and 60 minutes. 

The longer the meeting, the more likely it is to take place at a physical location. 

63 percent of meetings that were longer than an hour took place onsite. That compares to over half (56 percent) of online meetings being between 30 minutes and an hour. 

The more people who attend a meeting, the longer it lasts. 

When there were only two people getting together, only 15 percent lasted longer than an hour. When more than 10 people attended, 64 percent of meetings took longer than 60 minutes. 

Scheduling tools make it easier to schedule all types of meetings.

44 percent of hybrid meeting and 38 percent of online meeting organizers used Doodle to find and arrange a time.

It also helped with larger meetings too. 68 percent of meetings that had five or more people in attendance used Doodle to coordinate the organization of the event. 

Everyone’s talking about AI…where does automation come in?

It would be wrong to talk about scheduling technology this year and not look at artificial intelligence. 

2023 has been notable for how quickly and prominent AI has become. This, of course, doesn’t exist in isolation and has seen a blurring of lots of things that make our working lives easier. 

Primarily, AI has enabled us to utilize automation more than ever before. 

From difficult business decisions to creating content calendars, tasks that used to take hours or even days can be done in a fraction of the time. 

It has also made it even easier to work remotely. Let’s think about it from a scheduling point of view. If you can automate your calendar, you can focus on more important tasks and optimize your productivity. 

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As 2023 draws to a close, it’s fair to say that our meeting culture continues to change. 

No matter how you are looking to meet, whether it’s for professional or personal reasons, Doodle makes it easy. 

On average, you could save up to 45 minutes a week compared to scheduling manually via email. 

So give it a try for free today.  

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