Insights

The 8 types of meetings you should always record

Illustration of an open laptop on a desk

How much of your last meeting did you retain? Most people walk away from meetings with one or two highlights, if they’re lucky. When people think 50% of meetings are a waste of time, it’s tempting to assume that this is a high bar for meeting productivity. 

But we can do better! Video conferencing has advanced since the early pandemic, when leadership teams panic-purchased software licenses to support a newly remote team overnight. Now, better platforms exist to make meetings more productive — before, during, and after.

One key way to make meetings more useful — and enable better teamwork and collaboration — is to record your meetings, making them immediately available to everyone on your team who attended.

What types of meetings should you record?

You might not want to record every single meeting you have, but there are certain types of meetings that are super useful to capture. These include:

  • User interviews — so your team can learn more about your customers and their needs

  • Sprint demos and retros — so everyone outside product teams can understand what's happening with the product

  • Staff onboarding or training sessions — so you don’t need to repeat yourself to new hires

  • Team meetings — so people who couldn’t attend can stay up-to-speed about important decisions and projects (and you can look back at what was decided)

  • Career development 1:1s — so you can remember conversations with your manager about advancement and next steps

  • External calls with contractors and agencies — so you remember what was promised and what will be delivered

  • All-hands meetings and town halls — so transparency is part of your company culture (and easy to share with new team members)

  • Brainstorm or jam sessions — so you can focus on ideation instead of furiously trying capture everything that's said

Note: You won’t want to record entire meetings and save or send them without context — that just creates work and a bank of unviewed meeting recordings (maybe like what you have in your Zoom account right now if you record meetings there).

Instead, you'll want to record your meetings in a way that lets people bookmark key moments, take notes that are time-stamped to the transcript and video, and create clips they can share and save after the fact.

Let's run through each meeting use case!

1. User interviews 📋

Every startup loves to describe themselves the same way: customer obsessed. But how many actually live this principle?

Valuable commitments to being "customer centric" start with customer conversations. The user interview is where this begins for most companies, but there’s always one problem with them: Most of the company never gets to hear them.

User interviews are usually conducted by product and UX teams, who transmit what they learned to everyone else. If your product team are great communicators, the information silo may not matter … until it does. 

Because someone from your success team may need to know customers differently than someone from your marketing team. And if you’re depending on individuals to filter information through their own lens, information loss is more likely what you’ll get. 

Our recommendation is to record user interviews and send a clip of them to your whole team (always ask the user for permission before you record!).

Tips for recording and sharing user interviews

1. Clip and share your research. It’s important to organize user research so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. Clip parts of your meeting from the video or transcript, then put them in folders and share them with relevant team members. You can also share links to clips on Slack (at Vowel, we have a handy #customerfeedback channel).

2. Use live transcription to search by keyword. Need to find a customer interview that references a certain feature or competitor? With transcription, you can search through all your meeting content to find exactly what you need.

3. Bookmark meeting moments for future reference. You know when a customer says something you definitely want to remember? Bookmarks let you discreetly mark (and categorize) a key moment in a meeting as it happens. When the meeting is over, copy the bookmark link to share that exact point in the meeting.

A meeting search results page in Vowel

You can search across all your recorded meeting content in Vowel!

2. Sprint demos 🎤

A sprint demo is a hype meeting. Of all the product meetings, it’s the one that boosts morale the most because it’s when you get to show progress on building your product.

But there’s a catch-22 with sprint demos: You want everyone in the company to get the morale boost, but you don’t want the meeting to get so big that it ends up being your town hall.

To keep sprint demos contained, we recommend recording the whole thing, clipping the hype moments, and isolating action items. 

Tips for recording and sharing sprint demos (and retros)

1. Set up automatic sharing with people who couldn’t be there. First, take care of people who should have but couldn’t attend by sharing the whole meeting recording with them the second the sprint demo is over. In Vowel, if they're invited to the meeting and are part of your workspace, they'll automatically get the cloud recording!

2. Clip and share hype moments. For everyone else, clip out exciting moments from the sprint demo and share it with them in a hype folder.   

3. Isolate action items. To make your sprint demo more actionable, tag people in a list of shared action items. In Vowel, action items are time-stamped to the transcript and recording, so people can jump to those moments if they need a context refresher.

Need a sprint demo agenda template? Get one here. 

3. Staff onboarding or training sessions 👋 

Most companies understand staff onboarding as the big investment it is. Your people are the company, and first impressions are everything when new staff come in. 

You’ll want to make sure parts of your onboarding are interactive, but you should be able to identify components that can live as recorded training sessions — especially when most or all of your team members are remote. 

Admin procedures, company values, software training sessions, and even your latest town hall can all exist as recorded sessions that are updated rather than repeated for every new hire. 

Tips for recording and sharing staff onboarding or training sessions

1. Recycle past meeting recordings for training. To cut down on time when creating your onboarding series, clip past training sessions that are most relevant for new hires.   

2. Record re-usable onboarding videos. Identify any gaps and record new sessions that can live in one folder.  

3. Ask new team members to share intro videos. Add a personal touch to your onboarding experience by sharing a meeting folder with intro videos, so new hires are meeting people with a little bit of personal knowledge.  

4. Weekly team meetings 📆

Team meetings are large enough that odds are, not everyone will be able to attend. Given that these meetings also tend to be heavy on action items, you’ll want to record them with the goal to communicate action items and their required context for everyone who needs them, regardless of actual attendance. 

Tips for recording and sharing team meetings

1. Bookmark moments that matter. Bookmark meeting highlights that serve as important bits of context, so people who had to miss the meeting can skip to those parts.

2. Take down action items (including for people who couldn’t make it). Tag people in a list of shared action items, and share any relevant meeting clips associated with those action items with people who couldn’t attend the meeting. 

3. Use live transcription to create text searchable by keyword. This will make it easier for staff to watch meeting highlights relevant to their specific role (and see if their name is mentioned or something they're working on).

Need a product team meeting template that  

5. Career development 1:1s 💼

Whether you want a promotion or you’re looking for advice on how to progress in your role, dedicated time with your manager (or coach) on career development is a must. But how often have you left this kind of meeting wondering what the next steps are?

Career development conversations are never just one conversation. They build on each other as you implement feedback, improve, and can point to some evidence you deserve a promotion or a raise.

And it’s such a simple thing, but recording these meetings in a methodical way can accelerate the whole process. 

Tips for recording and sharing career development 1:1s

1. Note actionable advice during the meeting. When your manager says something useful for your progression, take a quick note so you know to come back to it later. (Your manager can also take the lead on this part.) In Vowel, notes are time-stamped to the transcript and recording for instant context.

2. Save relevant clips. After the meeting, create a folder for yourself with clips of advice and next steps. Review these monthly (or even weekly!), so you can always remember specifics on how to progress.

3. Review the recording before your next big 1:1. Your next conversation should spring from the one that came before it. Before your next meeting, review clips and note the status of each action item from previous meetings. This goes for managers, too: remember what you talked about with your direct reports so you can follow up with the right questions and advice.

6. External calls with contractors and agencies 🤝

It’s common to walk away from external calls with contractors and forget exactly what was promised. When this happens, you’ll probably search for an email that contains a quote and a bare-bones list of deliverables.

Then you’ll probably still have some questions, and you’ll need to message the contractor to have them repeat what they said during your meeting (or schedule another meeting).

This is where meeting recordings save time on both ends. When you record your meeting with a contractor or agency, you’re creating a record of what was promised to you as a client and the limitations of those promises, avoiding the dreaded post-meeting back-and-forth.

Tips for recording and sharing calls with contractors and agencies

1. Use live transcription. Transcribing the conversation will make it easier for you to search the meeting later to get the details you need (e.g. what was quoted, when something will be delivered, etc.).

2. Create folders for specific projects. After the meeting, create a folder for the meetings you have with that contractor/agency so they're easy to find and go back to later. You can even invite the contractor to that folder if you're fine with them having access, too.

3. Take note of action items. If you’re working with a large agency with a ton of decision makers on both sides, not everyone will be able to make the meeting. Take down action items as a way to make sure expectations are met on both ends — in Vowel, these are time-stamped to the transcript and recording for context.

7. All-hands meetings and town halls 🏛️

The all-hands meeting has only become more important for remote teams. They’re a chance for leadership to show their dedication to transparency, which is great for staff retention. 

But town halls can be cumbersome, and no one is going to watch one from start to finish if they couldn’t make it. If you can split up your town hall into searchable, bite-sized chunks of information, suddenly your town hall becomes useful and much easier to review. 

Tips for recording and sharing all-hands meetings and town halls

1. Create a folder for all-hands and town hall meeting recordings. This gives your team a central place to go to find these meetings if they missed them or want to go back.  

2. Create Q&A clips in isolation. Show your commitment to transparency by creating clips for every staff question asked, with your answer on record. You can save these in another folder for posterity!

3. Use bookmarks. Have someone on your team (likely the person keeping tabs on the agenda) bookmark key moments in the meeting so they're easy to find later. This can also help some who's going back to the recording skip to the most important parts.

Folder of Vowel's recorded all hands meetings

A folder of all-hands meeting recordings in Vowel.

8. Brainstorm meetings and jam sessions 🫙

Jam sessions are a fun and exciting way for teams to come together and work through problems and opportunities. Whether it's a session to come up with a rough script for a new marketing video or getting different stakeholders together to discuss the evolution of a product feature, these sessions usually contain lots of gems to move work forward.

Tips for recording and sharing brainstorm meetings and jam sessions

1. Create a folder for all-hands and town hall meeting recordings. This gives your team a central place to go to find these meetings if they missed them or want to go back.  

2. Create Q&A clips in isolation. Show your commitment to transparency by creating clips for every staff question asked, with your answer on record. You can save these in another folder for posterity!

3. Use bookmarks. Have someone on your team (likely the person keeping tabs on the agenda) bookmark key moments in the meeting so they're easy to find later. This can also help some who's going back to the recording skip to the most important parts.

Reasons to record your meetings as a remote team

Remote teams need to record even more of their meetings for the sake of productivity, fun, and company culture. When your team is distributed across time zones, you’ll need to find technical solutions to make sure everyone has access to meetings.

…which, right now, doesn’t need to mean synchronous attendance (aka when everyone attends meetings at the same time). If you’re sick of making a portion of your team attend meetings at ungodly hours of the day, easy-to-digest meeting recordings are what you need to treat these employees with respect. 

Other reasons to record meetings for your remote team:

✅ Everyone who couldn’t attend, for whatever reason, can catch up on them later. 

✅ You create a single source of truth on decisions, numbers, action items, etc.

✅ You develop documentation as you go, in the form of searchable, shareable knowledge.

✅ New staff gain access to important company context the minute they start.

Why Vowel is great for recording meetings — and a whole lot more

If you want to use a meeting app that lets you record unlimited meetings without add-ons, downloads, or third-party tools, try Vowel for free!

During your meeting, anyone can start recording and live transcription, not just the organizer. Vowel’s meeting process is a collaborative one — everyone can contribute to shared notes, assign action items, react with emojis, and more.

A screenshot of a recorded meeting summary in Vowel

After your meeting, the recording is instantly available alongside notes and a fully searchable transcript. Vowel is also SOC2 Type II compliant, which proves an ongoing commitment to protecting customer data and confidentiality in video meetings.

There’s more to recording meetings than what mainstream video conferencing platforms offer. To learn more, see how Every.org uses Vowel to create a more collaborative and flexible remote work culture.