The following section provides tips on how to run organiser meetings. It covers the main tasks and roles for before, during and after the meeting.
Before the meeting
Decide on the topic of discussion
Common meeting topics:
Planning for specific events and 1-on-1s
Brainstorming event ideas
Developing and revising group strategy
Evaluating a recent event based on feedback and observations
Determine a meeting venue
Meeting rooms e.g. a university room, coworking space, public library room
Committee member’s house
Public places e.g. café, park
Skype/Hangouts (if a physical meeting is not possible/practical)
Meeting leader roles
If you have a president, this person is the default meeting leader, but can assign the meeting to another organiser.
Meeting leader’s tasks:
Write an agenda. Google docs makes it easy to have a shareable and editable format, plus the ‘Outline’ format (with indented numbered points) is helpful.
Send out the agenda, ideally 3 or 4 days in advance, and ask for any additional agenda items
If there are multiple items on the agenda, work out what the priorities are, and estimate how much time needs to be spent on each item
Designate a note taker for the meeting. This can be the group secretary, but it doesn’t have to be.
During the meeting
Suggestions for the Meeting Leader
Introduce each point on the agenda (or get other organisers to introduce points as appropriate)
Make sure that everyone gets a chance to speak (you can also assign someone else to keep an eye on this)
Prevent the conversation from straying too far off-topic
When discussing proposals:
Describe the problem you are trying to solve before proposing solutions
List possible solutions before discussing pros & cons of each solution to avoid fixating on one answer too soon
Value other people’s ideas and give positive feedback
If there seems to be no clear solution, have everyone jot down an alternative idea (regardless of its merits). This way, you may be able to come up with more solutions
Help the group come to decisions after the options have been discussed
If it is a small group you can ask each person
If you have a large group at your meetings you may wish to take a poll of people’s positions, e.g. thumbs up, thumbs down, thumbs to the side (neutral)
Ensure the meeting covers everything it needs to, allocate sufficient time to specific topics and include Action Points to make the next steps clear
Summarise the key takeaways and priorities at the end of the meeting
Thank everyone for attending and volunteering!
Suggestions for the Note-taker
Ideally write notes onto a shared document. Usually the agenda is a good place as hopefully everyone has a version of this. It is probably best to take notes of key points and decisions rather than write down everything that is said.
The notes should include:
People in attendance
Any decisions that were made - often a meeting occurs and people remember they had a discussion about something, but not what was decided in the end!
Action points with assigned responsibility and due dates. Google docs allows you to assign tasks; make a comment including their email address, and they will be sent an email with the task. This is a good way of keeping track of Action Points in a long doc.
After the meeting
The note taker should read over the notes to edit where required, then send the document to the group. Put the action points, due dates and responsibilities in the body of the message to make it really obvious who has to do what!
The meeting leader (or project leader) should follow up with individuals on their tasks.