How many people should be in a meeting? Well if the meeting concerns making a decision, research suggests that seven or less is usually the correct answer. Each person beyond seven who attends the meeting reduces decision effectiveness by around 10%. Thus, meetings with 17 or more attendees usually can’t make any decisions.
But not all meetings are for decision-making. Another rule of thumb is the so called 8-18-1800 rule:
- If you want to make a decision or solve a problem, keep the number of people in the meeting to less than eight.
- For brainstorming, go as high as 18 people.
- If you want to provide updates or communicate information, go as high as 1,800 people (or higher).
Sources: Bain & Co Research: http://www.bain.com/publications/articles/decision-insights-9-decision-focused-meetings.aspx