The Director's Desk

 

How To Conduct Chapter/Provincial/State/Region Meetings 

The chapter/provincial/state/region officer should plan at least two meetings per year with the officers that report to him. Generally, these are open meetings where any member can attend and observe; however, it is permissible to have a closed meeting if you feel you have sensitive and confidential things to discuss. 

The meetings should be scheduled at the beginning of the year so they can be published on the riding/event calendars and the appropriate officers know in advance that they have an obligation to attend. It is best to schedule the meetings for dates that have the least amount of impact on other meetings and events. 

Once you have selected the dates, you need to find a location. You will get the best attendance if you can select a meeting location that is equal travel distance for all the participants. 

At least 120 days prior to the meeting, explore your options for meeting places.

a)       If the meeting will take place in a city where a chapter is located, contact the chapter director for information about locations they’ve used or the possibility that one of their chapter member has a business and will allow you to meet in their facility.

b)       Check with the Chamber of Commerce and city offices to see if you can get a meeting room at no charge.

c)       Check with the public utilities offices as some of them will give you free meeting space in their facilities.

d)       Check with churches, community organizations, and local schools to see what they might have available.

e)       Check out meeting space at local hotels or restaurants. 

Once the meeting date and location are secured, send a notice and tentative agenda to each applicable region/provincial/state or chapter officer. The agenda should include date, time, meeting location, and list of topics to be discussed. Request a confirmation from them that they or a designated representative will be attending the meeting. 

Ask the officers for input of any additional items to be included on the agenda. Also request that they publish the agenda to their members. Note: see sample agenda. 

Be sure to include any meeting rules on the agenda.  Note: see sample. The officers are responsible for ensuring that their members in attendance comply with the rules. They should publish these rules in their newsletters so that all members are aware of what rules will be followed. 

Prior to the meeting, prepare individual packets for each officer scheduled to attend. The packet should include a finalized agenda, rosters (if appropriate), event fliers, miscellaneous information. Ensure extra copies of the agenda are available the day of the meeting for visitors who might attend. Also ensure that you have someone present at the meeting who can record and transcribe the minutes of the meeting for you. 

One the day of the meeting, arrive at the meeting place at least 1 ˝ hours prior to the meeting so that you can ensure the meeting room is properly set up. Whether you use tables and chairs or just chairs set up theater style will depend on the space you have secured.  For small groups, tables and chairs in a  U shape work very well because everyone can see each other. However you set up the room, be sure you have it laid out so that you and your staff can form the head table. Use a podium so that you are standing as you conduct the meeting. This will keep everyone’s attention focused. 

If you are serving refreshments, they will also need to be set up by your staff or the caterer.  Be sure that you have a glass or water at the podium for yourself. 

It is a good idea to have an attendance sign-in sheet and the packets set up by the door so that it’s convenient for those arriving. Place the refreshments at an alternate location within the room so it causes the least amount of congestion or distractions during the meeting. 

Start the meeting on time. 

Once you’ve called the meeting to order, verbally state what the meeting rules will be so that everyone in attendance knows and agrees to adhere to them.  Generally, if members are aware of the rules, they will abide by them. This is especially important when you wish to conduct a meeting with only the directors speaking on the issues and voting for their respective groups. If a visitor who is not a director has a question, they can give their respective director a note so that he can bring the question to the floor. It is equally important that you stick to these rules for the entire meeting. If someone other than the director (or the designated representative if he is not present) insists upon talking during the meeting, ask them to remain quiet. If they will not remain quiet, politely ask them to leave the room. If you have reason to believe that a member plans to be disruptive so that you cannot conduct the business at hand, you may want to consider hiring a security guard or police officer to be present during the meeting to act as a deterrent and to escort the disruptive member from the room if required. It’s doubtful anyone would ever have to go to this extreme as the person’s peers will usually put a stop to his actions but it deserves consideration in isolated cases. 

Follow the agenda and use Roberts Rules of Order as much as possible. Stay on track – set a time limit for discussion of any one subject. Insist that the directors be recognized before they speak, as this will assist the recording secretary in taking the minutes. If voting on an issue requires more than a voice vote or show of hands, use ballots so that their peers will not intimidate the voting officers. For ballot votes, announce the results of the vote but not the number of votes for or against. 

At the conclusion of the meeting, thank everyone for coming.  It’s important that they attend the meeting and they need to know you appreciate their efforts to be there. If possible, make yourself available after the meeting for any individual to approach you and discuss something privately. If it’s not possible for you to be available immediately following the meeting due to other commitments, establish an appointed time and place they can meet with you later. 

The week following the meeting obtain the transcribed minutes from the recording secretary. Review them for accuracy and if there are no changes, send copies of them to all region/provincial/state/chapter officers. Request they review the minutes and advise you if they feel something is incorrect. If corrections are required, publish and send a copy of the revised minutes as quickly as possible. 

Follow up on any open items from the officer meeting that require research and answers.  Establish a time line to ensure these items are completed and then ensure that a notification of what action was taken is sent to all the region/provincial/state/chapter directors. 


Sample Agenda:

Officer Meetings
Evergreen Electric Conference Room 104
2187 Hurricane Drive
Crescent Bay, WY 
April 15, 2000
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

  • Welcome

  • Statement of meeting rules

  • Introductions

  • Financial reports

  • Director reports

  • Roster information (if required)

  • Upcoming events

  • Site selections for future events

  • Questions/discussion from the attending officer group

  • Confirmation of next officer meeting date

  • Announcements

  • Adjourn

 

Meeting Rules

The region/provincial/state/chapter directors are the designated representatives for this meeting. All other members are welcome to attend as guests; however, they are not eligible to speak regarding the business at hand or vote on any issues brought before the group. 

Members who do not honor the meeting rules will be requested to leave the room and will not be allowed to reenter for the remainder of the meeting.

 

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