Meetings are crucial to ensuring the success of a club or society; when run effectively, they can be interesting and productive. Making use of the allocated time is the number one goal of a meeting. If a meeting runs for too long, people can get bored and lose focus, and if they are too short, important actions may be missed. Here are some tips to help your club or society run a successful meeting:
- Give your members at least two weeks advance notice of the meeting – appropriate notice is especially important for AGM’s as you want to guarantee there will be enough people to make decisions regarding nominations and appointment of the Executive Committee
- Have a meeting agenda and bring a sufficient number of copies to the meeting – this will help ensure your meeting sticks to a time frame which allows all actions to be addressed without running over time
- Assign someone to take minutes (notes) of all items discussed.
- Provide food and drink – if your budget permits, provide some food and drinks for you and your members. This can help your members focus on the meeting, and not be distracted by rumbling tummies!
- Encourage all members to participate and share their perspective, especially quieter members
- Ensure the discussion stays on topic – if someone raises an issue not listed on the agenda, write it down to be discussed at a later date (unless urgent). This will help to keep the meeting structured and on time
- Once the meeting has finished, the meeting summary needs to be prepared. This is then forwarded to all members as a record of what was accomplished, and who is responsible for which actions. The summary is an integral part of running effective meetings, and often gets overlooked.
These simple tips can ensure that your meeting is as productive as possible. It will also keep members engaged and support their ongoing attendance at meetings. After all, who likes to go to a meeting that doesn’t stay on track or runs too slow?
Having a solid objective in mind aligned with a well-structured agenda and commitment to involving all members in the planning, preparation and execution of the meeting will guarantee a successful meeting for your club or society.