Board Meeting Etiquette Part 2 (Meeting Length)

The effectiveness of Board meetings has a significant impact on the ultimate performance of an organization. And they require a certain etiquette in order to be most effective. But how exactly should they be treated? Why should we have them? What should be discussed? Who should attend? Answering such questions can be difficult for first-time entrepreneurs who find Board meetings to be a foreign experience. Even veteran entrepreneurs should be reminded of proper Board meeting etiquette. So I’ve asked some experienced entrepreneurs and investors to offer their opinions about Board meeting etiquette in the context of small, private businesses. Their responses will be compiled into a series of seven separate blog entries.

How long should a Board meeting be?

“A standard Board meeting should take 2-3 hours to review the company’s quarterly status. A longer 4-8 hour meeting should happen at least once a year for an annual review and strategy discussion.” –JaimeVillagomez

“As short as possible without being negligent.” –Allan Young

“Board meetings should be well planned, and efficient.  Like most meetings, longer does not necessarily mean better.  I’d say no more than 3-4 hours.  Also allow for breaks.” –Gregg Rosann

“Most meetings should last no longer than 1-2 hours in length.” –Robert Rieger

“Board meetings may take an entire day or several days but typically are 2-4 hours depending on whether they are conducted quarterly or monthly (whereby the quarterly meetings generally run longer). Attendance and business issues or agendas are generally a factor involved in the time lines.  Most non-profit board meetings are held as efficiently as possible to best support the membership time demands.” –Tricia McGarry

“It varies depending upon the subjects to be covered (assuming you are not meeting with just investors).” –Scott Spurgiez

“It depends on the stage of your organization. Longer meetings are necessary during infancy, such as 2 to 3 hours. Shorter meetings are sufficient in later stages, such as 1 hour. The shorter, the better.” –Jacob Webb

Next question:

Who should do the speaking in a Board meeting and why?

Previous question:

Pt. 1: What is the purpose of a Board meeting? Why should we have them?

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