Tuesday, February 3, 2015

8 Tips on a Great Annual Meeting of Members

As an association executive, I’m used to organizing and staffing association membership meetings.

So, it is always a learning experience when I participate in an annual meeting of members as a member not a staff professional.

This happened last week when our “residents alliance” held its annual membership meeting. We have about 950 members and no staff. So, the meeting is volunteer developed and volunteer run.

Here eight (8) things I really like about the way the meeting is managed”

  1. Call to meeting and agenda emailed to members way in advance.
  2. Agenda packets (agenda, budget, committee reports, etc.) provided at sign-in. (I would prefer that these be provided in advance but since we’re volunteer run, I can accept it this way.)
  3. The president calls the meeting to order on time!
  4. As she reviews the agenda, the president announces how long she expects the meeting to run ... for this meeting, she said one hour and 15 minutes.
  5. She also announces that questions will be taken AFTER all the reports have been provided. (While some may question this process, think of how many times you’ve sat in a meeting when a member is asking an “off the wall” question that pertains to very few members?)
  6. The president leads us through the meeting agenda ... those giving reports have clearly been given a time limit on their reports.
  7. A power point provides the information in the agenda packet so you can follow along.
  8. The president ends the meeting (on time!) ... then opens the floor for questions (meaning people can leave or stay for the Q&A session.
I love it!

Because of the press of time on most schedules, starting on time and ending on time may be the most important element of meetings today.

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