Despite your best intentions, you’re bound to miss a meeting occasionally.
We get it. People are busy. The unexpected happens.
There are good excuses for missing a meeting (a personal emergency, conflicting commitments, travel issues) and bad ones (sleeping through an alarm, forgetting to update Zoom, losing track of the time—you get the idea).
But, whether you’re a seasoned executive or just starting your professional career, knowing how to apologize for missing a meeting is an important skill.
Like learning a martial art, hopefully, you'll never have to use it. But when things go sideways, you’ll be glad you know how to.
How to Apologize for Missing a Meeting
1. Reach Out ASAP
As soon as you realize you've missed a meeting at work, reach out to attendees.
But before you start writing an email or messaging someone on Slack, know that apologizing for missing a meeting isn’t just about saying sorry—it’s about acknowledging what went wrong.
Apologizing for missing a meeting demonstrates you value other people’s time and is a sign of professionalism and respect.
Apologize quickly, and you'll start rebuilding trust on the right track.
2. Be Sincere
When crafting your apology, be genuine. This isn’t just about ticking a box. It's about showing that you understand the impact of your absence.
Remember, people are often more receptive to sincerity than excuses. An authentic and honest apology can go a long way.
3. Offer an Explanation
Let them know if you missed a meeting due to reasons beyond your control. But don’t overshare. You want to provide clarity, not seek sympathy.
That said, transparency builds trust. Tell meeting attendees what's up if you're dealing with a serious personal emergency, or it helps them understand your situation better. But if it's a private matter (or you don't have a good excuse), be straightforward with your apology and only share necessary information.
4. Set Things Straight
When it comes to apologizing for missing a meeting, this step is crucial. It shifts the focus from what went wrong to how you plan to make it right.
Missing a meeting is like a fumble in a football game: not ideal, but it’s how you recover that matters.
Offer to book a catch-up meeting or suggest rescheduling your meeting to a different time or day.
5. Follow Up
If you missed an important meeting, like a client meeting or touchpoint meeting, your apology isn’t the end—it’s the beginning of setting things straight.
Once you’ve said sorry, follow up with any necessary actions to help rectify the situation—this could mean rescheduling (as mentioned above), reviewing meeting minutes, or taking on additional work to make up for lost time—and find ways to prevent missed meetings in the future (more on that in a bit).
Further Reading: We Analyzed Elon Musk's Meeting Rules at Tesla. Here's What We Found
How to Write an Apology Email for Missing a Meeting
Need help understanding how to apologize professionally in an email?
Here’s an example of how to apologize for missing a meeting that’s short, sweet, professional, and to the point (feel free to copy this email template and adjust it as necessary):
Subject Line: Sorry for Missing Our Meeting
Hey [Recipient’s Name],
I wanted to reach out and apologize for missing our meeting on [Date]. I got held up with [brief reason, e.g., “an unexpected issue at work” or “a last-minute conflict”]. I’m sorry for any confusion or frustration this may have caused.
Can we reschedule? I’m free [provide two or three alternative dates and times], but let me know what works best for you.
I look forward to hearing from you and getting our meeting back on track.
Thank you, and again, really sorry for the mix-up,
Related Reading: What Are the Best Days to Work From Home? It’s Complicated
What To Do If You Have to Miss a Meeting (and How to Prevent Missing Meetings in the Future)
Slip-ups happen. But they don't have to define you.
Here’s what to do if you know you’ll miss a meeting (and ensure you don’t miss as many in the future).
1. Give Everyone a Heads Up
The minute you know you can’t show up to a meeting, let everyone involved know. Give attendees plenty of time to shuffle their plans or figure out alternative arrangements.
2. Propose a Different Time
Don’t just apologize. Suggest a new time to meet. If you can’t reschedule, ask someone to transcribe and summarize the meeting with a tool like Bloks—download it for free).
3. Designate a Representative (if Necessary)
If a colleague attends a meeting in your place, you want them to be informed. Aside from getting them to take meeting notes on your behalf, get them briefed ahead of time (again, Bloks can help you there—visit our homepage for more info).
Further Reading: Tim Ferriss’ Advice on How to Take Notes Like an "Alpha Geek"
4. Follow Up After the Meeting
Schedule a catch-up meeting or reach out and ask for a meeting summary or the minutes of the meeting—it’ll help you stay in the loop and show your commitment, even if you weren’t there.
5. Keep Your Calendar in Check
Don’t make missing meetings a habit. Use tools like Google Calendar or Outlook to stay on top of your schedule.
Set reminders, check your agenda first thing in the morning, try time-blocking (here’s the OG way to do it), and make sure you’re not double-booking yourself.
Do those five things, and you’ll be one step ahead of most people (and hopefully won’t have to apologize for any missed meetings in the future).
Whether you’re a sales superstar, in-demand consultant, busy recruiter, or someone who simply needs to schedule a lot of meetings, one thing’s for sure—you’ve probably booked a lot of them over the past two years.
Hybrid work has forced the majority of our meetings online, and while we appreciate being able to wear sweatpants during normal work hours, the time-consuming ballet that is sharing your availability, finding a time to meet, and adding it to your calendar isn’t quite as enjoyable.
Speaking with everyone from solopreneurs to seasoned professionals, it seems like a lot of people find meeting scheduling software either costly, impersonal, or just plain boring. And Calendly and other alternatives don’t always cut it.
We hear you.
Everyone is different, and so is how they work. Making good first impressions is important, and you shouldn’t have to pay a premium for them or basic customizations and integrations with your meeting booking system.
Nook Calendar’s meeting proposal feature is already used by tons of high-performing teams for selecting and proposing meeting times outside of their organization.
Now, we’re making things even easier by letting you build personal pages with shareable calendar-booking links, right in Nook Calendar. Add them to your LinkedIn profile, email signature, website, or messages when finding a time to meet.
We think it’s the best meeting scheduling software out there, and we’re excited for you to give it a try, so let’s get started.
Here’s How to Set Up a Personal Booking Page in Nook Calendar
First off, if you’re new to Nook Calendar—hello! (If you’re already a Nook user, you can skip ahead.)
You’re going to start by syncing your calendar—either from Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook—and entering your work email address.
Once you approve any necessary permissions, you’ll set up your People Bar. Search for any connections and add the people you interact with the most when scheduling meetings.
From there, you can add any additional calendars you want to see (add your personal one, if you like, to further prevent any overlaps when scheduling meetings), integrate with Zoom (so you can launch calls straight from your calendar), and choose your preferred display setting—select Match OS, Light Mode, or Dark Mode.
Launch Nook Calendar, and you’re ready to set up your online meeting scheduler.
Now, the fun begins
You’re going to start by claiming your unique URL for sharing your meeting availability page.
Your first name appears by default, but really, it can be anything. We recommend using your full name (e.g., /john-smith).
(You can always change your URL in the future, as long as it’s still available.)
From there, you want to complete your profile.
Your profile pic is automatically pulled in from your Microsoft or GCal account.
But you can add your name, job title, welcome message, and links to social media profiles or professional website, so guests know a bit more about you when booking a meeting.
Then, you can start setting your weekly availability.
Nook Calendar defaults to traditional time blocks—9–12 a.m. and 1–5 p.m. These are the hours someone can book a meeting from your personal page. Adjust them based on your availability.
Your timezone is automatically set to your local time, but you can change it if you primarily work with people in a different timezone and it’s better to visualize that when setting your availability.
Choose which calendar you want to accept meetings in—it can only be booked in one, but Nook Calendar will automatically reference your availability in other calendars you’ve synced to prevent double-bookings when someone schedules a meeting.
Now, it’s time to set up some paramaters.
You can set up your preferred meeting duration in either 15, 30, 45-minute or one-hour increments (or a custom time).
You can also add buffer time to give yourself a break between meetings, or set a lead time of up to 24 hours, so no one can book any last-minute meetings.
And you’re all set! You can preview what the page will look like, then share it with contacts or add it to your LinkedIn profile (we suggest adding it as a secondary URL), email signature, and anywhere else you do business.
Once someone books time in your calendar, you’ll receive an email and get a notification in the Pulse.
If you ever need to make any changes, you can access your personal meeting page in the bottom of the Magic Panel and make any adjustments—either to your weekly availability or personal information.
You can also remove your availability by simply creating events in Nook Calendar and marking them as Busy to block off time and prevent any bookings.
Nook Calendar’s new personal pages for sharing meeting availability are available on Web, iOS, and Android.
If you have any questions or thoughts, we’d love to hear them. Hit us up in our Slack Community or contact us through Support.