I have been in the software industry for 20 years and with my current employer for 10 years. The company annual meetings I have experienced are basically the same. The boss gives some pep talk; review the previous year; set the goal for the next year; then some team building activity to help you know/bond with your colleagues better (supposedly).

I guess it is probably because I am old enough to know all of "tricks" and already have ideas who I may want to be social with and who I don't, so I have less and less interest in attending the annual meeting. For the past two or three years I even tried to find an excuse not to attend the meeting.

I have two questions here:

  1. Is the company annual meeting in other places like what I describe here (I am from Beijing)? I have assumed it is, just like the annual performance appraisal is basically the same everywhere. But then I learned that big tech company has stop doing annual performance appraisal although I don't know whether that is true or not. So that makes me wonder if tech companies still do annual meeting and how will they do it in the covid era?

  2. I won't go as far as to call it occupational burnout but do others, e.g. middle management like me, hold similar attitude toward annual meeting ? How do you overcome that?


--- update ---

Part of reason I asked this question is I would like to know what the annual meeting looks like outside China as I never work abroad.

One comment said "not every tech company does annual meetings. Maybe not a lot at all, but maybe it is more common in China..."

One answer said "I've been to many quarterly (or annual) meetings that are exactly like what you describe" while the other said "No. It varies a lot from company to company"

So maybe the annual meeting does vary but if that is the case I wold like know how(in tech company)? And it does look like an "universal feeling" that people have lost interest in it.

  • 1
    I would just say that not every "tech" company does annual meetings. Maybe not a lot at all, but maybe it is more common in China. Where I am (Australia), Christmas parties are more common, at least for the social aspect. And yes, absolutely the "excitement" of these gatherings seems to wane a little for some people. I think it's normal. But if the meeting is only a single day, I don't think it is a big problem for you to put up with a bit of "burnout". Jan 18, 2022 at 3:17
  • 4
    Listening to why they won’t be giving a pay raise while they get their bonus always ticks me off…
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 18, 2022 at 5:02
  • @JoeStrazzere of course I know that. But now it just comes to a stage that I would try to find any excuse to not attend the meeting. Besides I also like to know if annual meeting has other forms. Jan 18, 2022 at 13:15
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA thanks I modified the title Jan 21, 2022 at 6:50
  • @Qiulang邱朗, In the US, it's really uncommon to stay with a Tech company as long as 10 years. Jan 21, 2022 at 11:17

4 Answers 4


Most people lose interest in the annual meeting after their first one. They're boring, almost entirely without substance, take up valuable time, and could generally be condensed into a 5 minute email. The same goes for quarterly meetings, division meetings, and any mass meeting with more than a dozen or so people.

Some companies do them, some don't. And the amount of effort put into them differs- some are big things where people fly in, most are just really attended in person by HQ and webcast to the rest of the company- flying in to a big meeting was almost dead before the pandemic.

  • 16
    My experience would be most people lose interest in the annual meeting before the first one! Jan 18, 2022 at 13:05

Yes - I've been to many quarterly (or annual) meetings that are exactly like what you describe (at multiple companies). Not to put too fine of a point on it, but they're generally boring and useless.

I wouldn't worry too much about feeling that way - it's quite common.


Is the company annual meeting in other places like what I describe here ?

No. It varies a lot from company to company.

How do you overcome that?

Figure out what you can learn in the meeting that it's interesting and relevant to you. Things I would be looking for:

  1. How is the business going? How do the numbers look and what's the outlook for the next few years.
  2. Any significant changes in strategy? Either in terms of products, customers, markets and revenue generation?
  3. Who are the movers and shakers. Any new faces on stage? Who is gone?
  4. Any major reorgs or power grabs?
  5. How much focus is there on employee culture and well-being: diversity, retentions, compensation strategy, benefits, Covid management, etc. Or most important: is the culture shifting specifically in a way that's not really compatible with me?
  6. What were the biggest successes and challenges from last year?
  7. What are they NOT talking about? Could be a sign of a trouble area.

A lot of this depends on what the content of the meeting is and a fair bit requires to "reading between the lines", but with a little practice you should be able get most of this information.

  • Thanks for answering my question. But let me just say this if I were 20 years younger I would like your answer more. Jan 18, 2022 at 13:13
  • What kinds of things are you thinking about for point seven? Anything I should watch out for? Jan 20, 2022 at 14:48
  • All good things to track. However, if you're in a publicly-traded company, you'll learn a lot more from listening to their 10-K and 8-K conference calls than you will from an internal meeting. The financial press can push them on uncomfortable topics where the employees can't. Jan 20, 2022 at 17:34
  • @WesleyLong: but at an annual meeting they can talk about stuff that's confidential and NOT public knowledge. That, off course, depends on the culture of the company
    – Hilmar
    Jan 20, 2022 at 19:38

Modern corporate world is built on requiring lot of fake attitude, attending meaningless events and using unnecessary complex terminology and jargon. Most if not all of it is just hiding the real you or the real work. However, you do it for long enough and it becomes the truth or your real life.

However, most of us do it because of one simple reason: It pays to do so. Money, social status, comfort, learning, experience or even feeding your passion. You just accept the big fake cover-up as part of it and keep doing this. This is not because you are an mid-level employee but because you are part of this world. Even if you start a successful company and be a CEO, you would still do the same and make your employees do it.

In short, do what you have to do to get what you want. If you want to grow further in the company, attending these events may just help in being noticed whether the event itself adds any value or not. Also, it gives an opportunity to know your colleagues better. Who knows who will be your lead or reference for your next job. They might just remember you from this event you attended. On the other hand, if you are not driven by that or confident you do not need these events to be noticed and you will not gain anything out of it, then just skip those.

  • Thanks for answering my question. I mentioned I am a mid-level employee only because I remember when I was in my 20s I wanted to attend these meetings. Jan 21, 2022 at 8:55

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