As you break down the purpose of meetings you discover there are only really three keys reasons for meetings.
Firstly, to update. A meeting should always start by providing an update of some sort (X has happened, so now we need to decide what to do with Y). A very important purpose of a meeting is a group of people coming together to provide updates to each other and passing information.
Secondly, to action. As you go into a meeting you should always try to ensure it is output orientated. If you are going into a meeting to try to move something forward, whether that is to move a project forward or your business. As such, you need to ensure that nothing in a meeting goes without being noted and that all actions are captured.
Thirdly, to decide A meeting should be about getting the right people in the room who are able to make decisions. A question you need to ask yourself as part of meetings is “are the right people in this room to make the decisions I need making?”.
Always ensure that every meeting you have informs people, it generates actions and it makes decision.