Meetings are time eaters, but often necessary to get a bunch of people on same information level and/or receive decisions.
Daily team meetings, so called “Stand-ups”, are helpful to coordinate the just completed tasks and the ones ahead. If held standing (so that nobody may lean back comfortably) and lasting no longer than 15 minutes efficiency and (self) discipline increases.
Weekly or bi-weekly “Jour Fixes” serve well for organizing the project and should be conducted with a regular agenda. If decisions are required the deciders should participate – this accelerates the decision making and saves additional meetings.
By the way: If the colleagues often miss meetings or decline short-term because of other things, they maybe judge the you or the meeting not to be that important. You should follow up, perhaps cancel the meeting completely and change to other communication channels.