Did you ever leave a meeting and think, “Now what was the point of that?” We’ve all been there, sitting through a meeting, texting distractedly or doodling in the margins of our notepads and thinking this could all have been settled over email. You NEVER want your members to come away with that same feeling after one of your meetings.
After all, you have important stuff to share! Here are the top five takeaways your members must walk away with after your meeting to ensure that it wasn’t a bust.
1) The state of that thing they care about
You’re not psychic and there’s no doubt a lot going on in your association so that specific thing might be tough to pinpoint. Just ask! Always schedule a few minutes to open the floor up to questions or send a follow up email double-checking that everyone got the input they needed. If there's something you may have missed or failed to update, put it on the agenda for the next meeting, even if nobody expresses interest right away. It doesn't mean the interest isn't there!
2) The next event or meeting
Speaking of the next meeting, if you didn’t schedule it during the present one, make sure everyone knows the time, date, and location for the next one. It may seem like you’re getting ahead of yourself, but having future meetings on the calendar already can be a comfort to members who maybe missed this one or who want to follow up on an issue. Besides that, it makes your association look active and involved to those casual Googlers out there who stumble upon your association in search engine results.
3) Who the leaders are in committees
Remember that important thing that your member cares about? Who’s in charge of it? Is there a way that they can follow up and ask questions about what’s going on? Members may have questions, suggestions, or objections to events, objectives, or strategic plans. Make sure they know who to talk to so they can be heard.
4) How to get in touch
How to be heard is also a big one! This is likely where your AMS comes in. Make sure your system is easy to use and members are able to get enough information from it to get in touch. If you don’t have an AMS, there are always good old-fashioned business cards. Heck, even slides with names, email addresses and telephone numbers will do the trick. Members will write down what’s important if you provide it to them.
5) How they can help or get involved
Finally, if a member is attending a meeting there’s a good chance he or she wants to get more involved or just wants to keep tabs on how things are going within your association. Seize that engagement! Be sure to add calls to volunteers and vacancies in committees and leadership positions at your meetings. Then lay out a timeline for when those must be filled and if you have time, maybe even a rough outline of what the position entails.
Member meetings aren’t necessarily the “fun part” of association event planning. Don’t be discouraged if your meetings have lower attendance than you expected or not quite the engagement you’d like. It is possible, though, that your meetings are well-attended, engaging, and even fun! Download our free event planning guide for some super handy tips and tricks to get the most out of all types of events, from annual meetings to board or committee meetings. Just click below to download for free today!