Chapter meetings are vital in maintaining communication between advisers, officers, and members. Whether a meeting is held to inform members of upcoming events or just as a social opportunity, it is imperative that it is well-run and a productive use of members’ time. To ensure meetings are carried out effectively, officers should follow a few simple guidelines.
The most time-consuming step is actually planning the meeting. Choose the purpose of the meeting. Will it be a social event for members to meet one another or an informative event about the upcoming conference? After the topic is decided, determine what will be required the meeting (refreshments, guest speaker, decorations, etc.) and divide the workload among officers or other meeting hosts. Distributing the workload reduces stress for each member and promotes teamwork.
Next, it is important to choose a time and date when the majority of chapter members are able to attend; avoid overlapping dates with other school organizations or conflicts. Once the meeting is planned, the topic is set, and the time and date are determined, begin promoting it through school announcements and flyers. Ensure that member’s are aware of the meeting to increase attendance and chapter participation.
Between the planning time and actual date of the meeting, gather all the necessary items for the meeting. If a guest speaker is scheduled, be sure to maintain contact and verify that they can still attend. Most importantly, practice the presentation. Familiarity with the content will allow the presentation to flow naturally. Be sure to be able to answer any questions members may have on the topic, or at least be able to point them in the direction of an answer.
On the day of the meeting, arrive as early as needed to set up and prepare. Run through the presentation one last time if time allows. As members arrive, welcome them. If refreshments are provided, it is often a good idea to have members get them on the way in. Try to begin promptly at the decided time. While presenting, make sure that all members can see and hear. Allow time for questions at the end. Even if the meeting is not designed solely to be a social event, it is always a good idea to allot a little time for networking among members. Lastly, and most importantly, ask for feedback from not only advisers and officers but members as well. Constructive feedback will allow future meetings to run even more smoothly and efficiently.