Planning Meetings

Things to consider:

  • Date
  • Time–start time, end time
  • Location
  • Type
    Traditional meeting
    Telephone meeting
    Lunch/Dinner meeting
  • Purpose–General chapter meeting, committee/subcommittee meeting, planning meeting, informational meeting, social, speaker, other


  • Publicize the meeting
    Make sure before adjourning the previous meeting that the information about the next meeting (date, time …) is shared with members/guests
    Use contact lists and protocols which have been set up (phone tree, announcement line, other) to ensure all interested parties know when and where meetings will be held
  • Create an agenda
    Once an agenda has been finalized, make sure it is widely distributed
  • Does the room need to be set up
  • Are refreshments provided

Meeting Outline:

  • Introductions
  • Review agenda, making note of any necessary changes etc.
  • Minutes (review if necessary, if they have been distributed and read by all attendees this may not be necessary)
  • Financial Reports
  • Other reports

After Meeting:

  • Minutes should be disseminated in a timely manner
  • Action items should have timeframes

Chair–manages the process of the meeting
Participants–have task responsibilities and manage the content of the meeting
Recorder/minute taker–takes an accurate record of the meeting: what happens, what is discussed, what is decided and what actions are agreed upon

Why have an agenda?
A written agenda allows everyone to focus on what they are to do before, during and after the meeting. It acts as:
* A plan of the meeting to aid preparation;
* An objective control of the meeting’s progress;
* A measure of the meeting’s success.

Here is a checklist of what most formal agendas will include (in this order):
Title of meeting
Date, time, venue
Apologies for absences
Minutes of previous meeting
Matters arising from the previous meeting
Reports etc.
Other items to be discussed and decided upon
Motions relating to the above Reports from sub-committees
Contributions from guest speakers
Any other business
Date, time and venue of next meeting

Some ideas taken from “How to Manage Meetings” by Alan Barker

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