Project managers I have dealt with have a tendency to throw out far too many 'just in case' meeting invitations. A 'just in case' invitation of technical staff to long meetings with lots of participants is a huge waste of time. The more specialist the role a person is in, the more pronounced this becomes.
Put bluntly - I hate meetings in which I am not an active participant. They are a complete waste of my time when I could be being productive instead.
My issues with meetings are:
1. The meeting organizer failing to consider who needs to attend and who just needs to be aware of the content of the discussion. A lot of the 'just in case' invites can be avoided if the organizer ensures that potential attendees are supplied with information prior to the meeting or are supplied with the minutes afterwards so that they can add their comments. Not everything needs to be done within the meeting.
2. Lack of focus. Too many meetings try to cover too much ground. They are too long and have too many attendees. Meetings should be kept short and focused. The number of attendees needs to be minimized - the less attendees there are the less chance of the meeting descending into a pointless talking shop where more time is spent clarifying or repeating points that have been made rather than addressing the subject of the meeting. Many longer meetings can be split into a number of shorter ones - each one more subject focused and with a better defined attendance criteria allowing for fewer, more active participants.
3. Meetings are for discussion. Information dissemination can be done in many ways. Too many people who like meetings just organize them for the social aspect - which is why they'll have 2 hour meetings and spend the first half hour on pleasantries. Decisions are best made after reflection - a meeting should not try to be the forum in which both discussion and a consequent decision are made unless time constraints mean it cannot be done any other way.
So while I can understand why a meeting organizer may consider it prudent to invite more people to a meeting than actually need to be there, I feel that every effort should be made to ensure that this is avoided. It will make for more productive meetings and far fewer people feeling their time is being wasted.