Leading The Way
Planning, Promoting & Running a Chapter Meeting
Leading the Way Guide Contents
Just as preparation is essential for the board meeting, it is even more important for your chapter meeting. Chapter members want to attend an efficiently run and informative meeting. That doesn’t mean that you have to run the meeting using all the rules and formality of Parliamentary Procedure. It is necessary to be in control of the meeting, insuring that the business at hand is covered; your members are informed; and a program is in place.
Planning a Chapter Meeting
The following steps are helpful to insure that your meeting is a success.
Choose your program topic.
Choose the dates of your programs - the sooner this is done the better chance you have of finding the facility you prefer. Keep in mind that hotels are very busy and have some meetings scheduled years in advance. You may also want to keep in mind that September and October are very busy months for meetings and conventions, and this may have an affect on the prices of your meeting room rental; sleeping rooms; etc.
- Choose a location and a facility.
- Request a bid from each facility you select. Give them the dates you prefer for your meeting and optional dates if possible.
- Let the facility know if you will be needing sleeping rooms for attendees who may come from out of town. (You may not need sleeping rooms.)
- Give them the size of the meeting room you will be needing (about how many attend- ees will be in the room), what times you will need the room(s) and how you would like the room(s) set (i.e., banquet style, conference style, theater style, classroom style, etc.).
- If you are requesting sleeping rooms, let them know a range of acceptable room rates.
- Let the facility know of any food, beverage or audio visual you will be needing. If you are not sure at the time of requesting the bid, that’s okay, you can add that later.
- Generally, if you have requested some sleeping rooms and/or food and beverage, there will not be a charge for the meeting room rental. Otherwise, expect to pay a nominal rental fee.
- Develop an agenda to insure that you cover the information necessary and important to your members.
- Establish a communication process so that all members receive sufficient notice of an event.
Promoting Your Chapter Meeting
Once you have selected your facility, you’ll want to begin promoting your event. For most chapter meetings, you will probably want to send an invitation to your members by broadcast email (complimentary email services are offered through the NAMA office). Don't forget to post it several times on Facebook and Twitter, especially if you've set up a chapter site. A direct mailing can be done as well, but consider the cost of the mailing and the time allowed to mail out a brochure or note. (Remember that NAMA can send you labels of your members to help with the mailing.) If your chapter has a website, you will want to post your meeting there. The sooner you promote the event, the better the attendance. The NAMA office will also post the information on the main NAMA website.
Running a Chapter Meeting
Utilize the agenda! It will keep the meeting on track, and allow your members to anticipate and participate in different aspects of the meeting. Give advanced notice to those presenting reports.
Start the meeting on time.
Introduce new and prospective members. (Or have the membership chair do it.)
Involve the board in various aspects of the meeting.
Be confident in your introduction of speakers and express your appreciation.
Thank members for attending and close the meeting in a timely manner.
A sample chapter meeting agenda is located here. You can copy it for your meeting. Sample agendas are also availalbe at www.nama.org under "Leaders," then click on "Leading the Way."
Chapter Meeting Agenda
You can download the agenda in an Adobe .PDF format and copy for your meeting.
CHAPTER MEETING AGENDA
(Welcome everyone to the meeting and introduce guests, first time attendees and members.)
(Call on the chairs of the committees to give reports. Have a membership and professional development/programs report at every meeting. Include other reports as activity warrants.
(Provide the current membership numbers. Be sure to note any new members.)
B. Professional Development/Programs
(Review the upcoming chapter, regional and national meeting dates, locations and program topics/speakers.)
C. Other Reports
(Call on representatives of other committees or board members to give an update on activities to include reminders of deadlines, etc.)
III. Meeting Program/Speaker
(Introduce the meeting speaker(s). Use the person who arranged for the speaker or professional development/programs committee chair or a member of that committee to do the introduction.)
(Remind the attendees of the next meeting date, location and topic. Also remind them of any upcoming deadlines or dates.)
V. Meeting Close
(Thank everyone for attending the chapter meeting and adjourn.