Table of Contents

What’s an Ad Hoc Meeting?

An Ad Hoc meeting is a meeting that is held at short notice without plans. Sometimes it’s because something urgent happens and the team needs to gather and find a solution to react promptly. Or maybe an important business partner whom you have been waiting to talk to suddenly has a free slot of time to listen to you.

You do not have enough time to prepare for an Ad Hoc meeting and the difficulties of holding a successful one are all about the unpreparedness.

Comprehensive meeting agenda, an agreed time for all stakeholders, well-set meeting room (especially important when this is a hybrid meeting)…Everything you can do before a regular meeting may not be taken care of due to the time limit now.

If you’re working in a field or a team that requires high mobility and quick actions, you shall always get yourself and your meeting room prepared for an Ad Hoc meeting.

How to Hold an Ad Hoc Meeting Successfully?

An impromptu meeting could easily lead to nothing and waste everyone’s time if the host doesn’t have a structure of what he/she shall do to handle it.

How to hold a productive Ad Hoc meeting? Here are 8 tips you can have in mind.

Set Clear Goals

Basically, an Ad Hoc meeting is short and the most important thing to make it smooth and keep it on the right track is that you shall have a concrete and clear goal.

Try to ask yourself these:

  1. What’s the exact problem/situation you wanna discuss with your team?
  2. What do you expect from them?
  3. What results you wanna get at the end of this meeting?

The more measurable and clear purpose you have in mind, the easier for you to lead the meeting and your team to the right track.

Get the Right People

When you have a goal in mind, it’s much easier to decide who is necessary to take part in the meeting. Having people who are unnecessary to join would cause confusion and waste time on communication that does not get results.

List out the key stakeholders and keep the list short to make the meeting concise and easier to run and control.

Prepare Your Meeting Space

Smooth discussing and sharing ideas sometimes require technology support, especially when you are holding a hybrid conference — where you have not only your local team but also remote participants joining online.

Set up your meeting room with a presentation system for in-person meetings or a wireless conferencing system for hybrid ones. A plug-and-play hardware solution can save you a lot of trouble.

Give a Time Limit

An Ad Hoc meeting has flexibility in itself and setting a time limit could help make it more structured and efficient. A meeting that you never know when to end could be long and dreary, and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone is sitting there with their mind wandering.

Make Actionable Assignment

To make an efficient meeting really productive, make sure the actionable tasks are well assigned to individuals and keep rolling in the desired direction.

When the meeting comes to an end, you shall know what are the next steps and who will be responsible, and make clear to them the desired outcome and deadline of the actionable tasks.

Using a task management service may help you follow them up and improve the team collaboration process.


In summary, Ad Hoc meetings require a specific approach for effectiveness. Key steps mentioned above like making clear goals, selecting the right participants, and optimizing your meeting spaces, especially for hybrid setups could help you better prepare for it.