Ready to Host Your Own Meeting?
Follow these guidelines to help make your first meeting go smoothly:
- Arrive at least 15-20 minutes early to arrange the room
- Have forms such as sign-in sheets and questionnaires prepared for the attendees
- Put out sign-in sheets, copies of the agenda, pencils, name tags, and refreshments if desired.
- Remind people arriving for the meeting to complete the sign-in sheet and take a copy of the agenda.
- On a wall, post a map of the proposed neighborhood boundaries to use as a reference.
- Be sure to identify someone with the skills to take notes (minutes) at your meetings and collect all the materials created.
- Prepare a timed agenda to help keep the meeting on track.
- Introduce yourself and explain why you are interested in forming a neighborhood association. If the group is small, you might ask everyone introduce themselves and where they live and ask them to state their reasons for being there and maybe how long they have lived in the area.
- If you have a guest speaker, advise them in advance of the time limit you have scheduled for them. Be sure to ask the speaker to provide you with some short biographical information that you can use when introducing him or her to the audience.
- Allow time for questions and answers and informal discussion but be sure to control it.
- Encourage participation by making everyone feel valued for their contribution.
- If you have created a neighborhood survey, have people fill it out or let them know where to return the completed surveys.
- Talk about the next steps in the organization process and about setting up a steering committee. Use a sign-up sheet for names of individuals who are willing to serve on a steering committee.
- Set a tentative date for the next meeting. Find out which night of the week works best for the greatest number of people. Be sure that you have identified a preferred method of contacting those in attendance and encourage them to bring 2-3 more people to the next meeting.
- Adjourn the meeting, thank everyone for attending and assure them you will be in touch.