It’s not easy to get people to go to voluntary meetings—even supposedly fun meetings. Clubs have a very hard time with this. People join clubs because they’re interested in a particular subject. They look forward to learning more about their hobby or special interest and sharing their thoughts with other people of similar interest.
Then they attend their first meeting.
Is there any old business? We will now read the minutes of the last meeting. The treasury has $12 in it. What can we do to attract new members? New business? Meeting adjourned.
I recently left a potentially vibrant organization to join the “I like to watch paint dry” club. The meetings were more interesting.
If you are a club officer, think about doing things at meetings that are actually enjoyable. Set a time limit for the business part of the meeting. How much “business”, old or new, can a hobby club have?
After the business is concluded, serve refreshments and declare time for open discussion. Kids would call it free play. Don’t adjourn because you’re done with official business. Set an adjournment time in advance and allow people to mingle and discuss whatever they want to discuss. A group that has this time will bond and solidify. Adjourn at the pre-specified time.
This might even be a good way to handle real business meetings. Try it and let me know how it goes.
The important things to take away from this post? Allow freedom and fun. Stay on schedule.
Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog