Late Notices: How far in Advance Should Business Meeting invitations be Recieved?

Q: When sending an e-mail invitation for a meeting to employees, how far in advance should they receive the invitation. Example: Let’s say the meeting is March 13th – when should the e-mail invite have been sent. Thanks in advance for your help!

A: It’s best to give as much advance notice as possible. A general guideline is at least one week for in-house meetings, two to four weeks for formal meetings. Another important thing to remember is the longer the meeting, the more schedule-shifting it will require for participants. However, this is only a guideline and it could depend on the urgency of the meeting, the number of employees, etc.

4 Comments

  1. Jody

    I would also take into account the location of the meeting. Even though it may be in-house, will employees need to travel from other locations? If so, you may want to give more advance notice so that airline/hotel arrangements can be made.

  2. Amanda

    I don’t think this “one week in advance” rule is relevant or applicable in the modern workplace. If I waited a full week between scheduling a meeting and holding the meeting, work projects would move glacially slow and I would lose my job. If the workplace offers a dynamic calendar-keeping application (like an Outlook calendar) then I think it’s permissible to schedule a meeting with very little notice, with the caveat that, the shorter the lead time, the more responsible the scheduler is to proactively ensure that invitees can attend. Workers can block off time on their calendars to prevent meetings being scheduled during inconvenient times.

  3. Lilli

    I think the length of the meeting also plays a role in how much notice is necessary. I’ve called meetings 10 minutes before they were to start, but I only needed everyone for 3 minutes to make a few announcements.

  4. Vanna Keiler

    I agree with Amanda and Lilli. Most businesses use some kind of calendar which everyone has access to and can coordinate their schedules, accept or decline meeting dates, etc. If an organization does not have this type of setup, then I reluctantly agree to the “snail mail” version of setting up a meeting e.g. one week in advance. But, as Amanda pointed out, unless the meetings are not critical, not holding up progress and are just a formality for long-term goal setting, one week notice is good. The idea is for the attendees to have reasonable advance notice to respond, and hopefully clear their calendars to attend (if very important). It’s all relative! :)

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