What is an ad hoc meeting?

An Ad Hoc meeting is one that occurs outside your usual recurring meetings or meeting rhythms. They are also called one-off meetings. Ad Hoc meetings are called to deal with a specific topic or discussion versus a recurring meeting that takes place at regular intervals and has ongoing, regular topics. Ad Hoc meetings can be unstructured with no preparation or planning, or they can be structured with an agenda and meeting minutes. It depends on the purpose of the meeting.

When do you call an Ad Hoc meeting?

Most businesses have regular recurring meetings that happen weekly, monthly, or quarterly. You should have an ad hoc meeting when: 

  1. Something comes up that can't wait until the next regular meeting. It is usually when something requires a decision or action urgently. Or,
  2. Situations or events that are outside the topics you usually discuss at your regular recurring meetings and/or with a different person or group of people than you usually meet with.
  3. The meeting is held with people outside your organization, like a sales or information-gathering meeting.

Example: You are planning a party to celebrate your company's 10th Anniversary. This is a one-time event and you have asked for volunteers from your team to help plan it.