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There are only a few requirements for a successful meeting: a reason to get together, a venue and time, good process, and effective ways to let people know about the meeting.
If there is no compelling reason to hold a meeting, wait for a better time. People won't come back if they attend an unfocused, boring or process-plagued meeting.
If you meet often, make it regular ("the second Tuesday of each month at John's"), so that people always know where and when to go.
If you have an email list, Web site or newsletter, list all events. If you have a phone line, put brief meeting information on the greeting. Fliers, posters, public service announcements and ads can all be used to spread the word. Have you got a phone tree?
When meeting indoors, don't get too large a room. It is better to be crowded than empty. A large hall holding 50 people looks like a failure. The same people in a boardroom feels successful.
Every communication about your meeting should include the following information:
Set up your venue ahead of time. Get there early enough to handle any possible contingency. Sound, lighting, food & drink, equipment, seating, staging, information and displays, keys, money, etc.
It is always helpful to have the use of a phone, if not courtesy of the venue, then a cell phone. This is particularly important if you are staging an outdoors or mobile event.
Ask speakers and other participants to check in ahead of their scheduled appearance. Speak with each of them individually to update them and see if they have any special needs.
Does your meeting require paperwork prepared and copied in advance? Like an agenda, minutes, budget, sign-up sheet, authorizations...
Assign jobs as needed for the meeting:
Before breaking up, schedule your next meeting.
The Activist Tool Kit is a project inspired by YAEC:
Youth Action Effecting Change
PO Box 34097 Station D Vancouver BC V6J 4M1 CANADA
The Activist Tool Kit was written and built by Al Rycroft of SunshineCommunications.ca.
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