This introductory essay describes a novel approach to meetings in relation to broader literatures within and beyond anthropology. We suggest that notwithstanding many accounts in which meetings figure, little attention has been given to the mundane forms through which these work. Seeking to develop a distinctively ethnographic focus on the forms, actions and aesthetics of meeting, we describe how the negotiation of relationships ‘within’ meetings is germane to the organization of ‘external’ contexts. This, includiincludes reflections on how time, space, organizational structure and society are situated by the institutional practices that they are often taken to frame. The essay offers a set of provocations for rethinking approaches to bureaucracy, organizational process and ethos via the ethnographic lens of meeting.