For most student organizations, meetings are the only times to get all members together to discuss business and inform members about upcoming events, activities, and opportunities. Members’ time is valuable and you must spend that time wisely.
How often you should meet will depend on the organization and what you are trying to accomplish. Weekly or bi-weekly meetings are most popular. Going too long without bringing the group together can lead to lower involvement.
Here are a few recommendations to consider for how your organization structures its meetings:
BEFORE THE MEETING
- Decide if you really need to meet. Never have a meeting just to have a meeting.
- Decide who should be invited.
- Determine a location. If using campus space, requests must be submitted three (3) weeks in advance.
- Create an agenda.
- Create handouts, if needed.
- Remind members of meeting and provide a copy of the agenda ahead of time.
DURING THE MEETING
- Arrive at the meeting early with a smile. You should want to be there!
- Start the meeting on time - waiting for others may seem to be a good idea, but how would you feel if you were on time and others were late?
- Have the Secretary keep detailed minutes.
- Stick to the agenda - once you start to derail from it, people get confused, frustrated, and eventually lose interest.
- Make everyone a part of the meeting - if members seem to be losing interest, ask them for their input on an issue.
- After decisions have been made, restate the decision - this will ensure members will understand what was voted on and what the outcome was.
- Announce the time and place of the next meeting - make sure to have a location determined!
- End the meeting by thanking everyone.
AFTER THE MEETING
- Clean up the room.
- Collect agenda and other paperwork left behind.
- Meet with anyone who needs to discuss an unresolved issue.
- Ensure that minutes are distributed within a certain timeframe.
- Add any unfinished business from the meeting to the next meeting’s agenda.