Let’s continue where we left off in: How to Plan a Board Meeting: 101.
As you can see, the meeting is coming together and each step fits exactly into the next. The different pieces are being set in motion and within the two-three weeks, all the details will need to be complete to have a successful board meeting.
During this time, you will need to meet with the CEO to discuss the meeting agenda. In addition to minutes from sub-committees and issues they request be addressed, the goals of the organization, or company, should be added to the agenda. You, or a staff member, need to gather the documentation that will be added into the meeting packet and reviewing each document for completion.
It customary to reserve a room block when you book your meeting space. At least three-four weeks out, you will need to confirm the hotel room block, for any members that are staying overnight, and send a final notice to the members reminding them to book their room ASAP. Most hotels will release a room block up to two weeks before the check-in date.
Where will each board member will sit is a question you need to ask the CEO. Some boards are informal and just sit wherever they like. But, most likely, you will need to assign seats and print table tent cards with the board members name, committee name and designation.
Taking note on refreshment preferences as you create each quarter’s meeting is a good idea. If you are starting from scratch, the broader selection of beverages and finger foods you present is best. Of course, taking into account the season and the area of the country you are in, you can highlight locally known delicacies and beverages for the members. Coffee, water, cookies, nuts and other types of snacks are general staples of board meetings everywhere.
A week out, you have sent out the final reminder and double-checked the meeting venue and confirmed the technical equipment needed – screen, microphone(s), podium, etc . With this invitation, you may want to email all presenting documents to the board chair for their review. Start organizing the packets into folders, onto slides, posters or into presentation software at least five days out. You will need to either assign a staff member to take notes or be prepared to take them yourself. Some boards require detailed meeting notes and other just require a brief write up with decisions and items that were voted on. Looking through past meeting minutes will give you the knowledge you need to record the minutes properly.
The day, or evening, before the meeting, you need to conduct a walk through with the venue staff. Make sure everyone knows where each member will sit, confirm where the refreshments will be placed and run through any technical presentations to make sure everything is working properly. The morning of the board meeting, make sure the refreshments are ordered or the caterer is on time and knows where to go to set up.
You will need to get to the meeting room about 90 minutes before to set up. This is a good time to check all AV including sound and slideshows. Put on a smile to welcome all board members to the meeting and know that you have the board meeting under control.
Afterward, be the host again and make sure everyone has everything they need as they exit and clean up, unplug and leave the room just as you found it the day before. Be sure to type up the meeting minutes and place it with the agenda for next time in an easy accessible file so you can repeat the same steps again.
Last, but not least. Don’t forget to send the board members a thank you email or better yet, card. Remember, most board members are volunteers taking time out of their busy lives to donate their time.
About the Author:
Jacquelyn is the President of JM Marketing & Events, Inc. Helping clients plan events that exceed their goals and expand their brand is her specialty. Follow us on Twitter@JMMarketEvents & Instagram. For great event planning and marketing ideas follow our Boards on Pinterest and Facebook.