Today I had a couple of meetings where the purpose was to transfer knowledge to a large group of people. These were hour-long sessions filled with presentations to update everyone on various initiatives.

These meetings are probably the most efficient way to transfer all this information. People aren’t going to read a long email - and that takes a long time to prepare. I don’t have anything against them, but if I had to critique them, I would suggest adding in more storytelling. There’s too much content to remember without devices to make it easier.

Today I am thinking about the cost of meetings. They can be very expensive when you do the math! I made a quick formula to serve as a mental model. Here are the assumptions:

The Math

The assumptions yield 1,440 productive working hours in a year. Using the 1.5 cost constant, that gives a formula:

Meeting cost = 1.5 / 1440 X average annual salary X # of people

Since salary can vary widely by industry, company, and location, I left it as a variable. This table breaks down the cost of a one-hour meeting based on average salary and number of attendees.

Salary vs. People 2 4 6 8 12
$60k $125 $250 $375 $500 $750
$80k $167 $333 $500 $667 $1,000
$100k $208 $417 $625 $833 $1,250
$120k $250 $500 $750 $1,000 $1,500
$140k $292 $583 $875 $1,167 $1,750
$160k $333 $667 $1,000 $1,333 $2,000
$180k $375 $750 $1,125 $1,500 $2,250
$200k $417 $833 $1,250 $1,667 $2,500

I am not saying meetings are pointless; many are worthwhile. This is just a framework to think from a different point of view.