Meetings (or “Meet and Greets”) allow members to get to know one another better. Club business is just the excuse to get together. While it is important for meetings to be productive, it is more important that they are social and enjoyable.
For reference, an example of a meeting is provided below along with the Meeting Agenda,Treasury Report, Membership List / Attendance Record / Sign-in Sheet and Meeting Minutes. These documents are provided as suggested templates to save chapters time. Download them and modify them as your chapter sees fit.
Each chapter President adopts their own style for running a meeting but if you would like to attend a meeting at another chapter, read on. The meeting below is fictional but it is closely modeled on the meetings held by the South Central PA Chapter. They get together on the first Thursday of every month at a Bar & Grille from 7pm-8pm.
Two days before the meeting:
Ryan, the President, emails a meeting reminder to everyone in the club. He then emails the Meeting Agenda to the officers so they can add additional topics or remind him of topics from the last meeting that he missed.
Bob, the Treasurer, emails the Treasury Report to the other officers so the Secretary can copy it into the minutes later.
The day of the meeting:
The officers arrive early enough to greet people when they arrive. The Secretary places theSign-in Sheet near the entrance. The Vice President puts business cards in the middle of each table. Members start arriving around 6pm to order food and socialize before the meeting. Someone passes around photos from last week’s bar-B-Que.
Rick, the Vice President, keeps a lookout for new faces and .makes a point of talking to Todd and Tim since they are still somewhat new to the club. He sees Terry and Cindy arrive who joined several weeks ago. Rick had already emailed them a welcome letter but he gives Terry his membership patch and asks him if he had any problems getting on the forum.
When someone new walks in, Rick greets him and introduces him to the President. He then takes him to a table with an empty chair and introduces him to everyone at the table. He returns moments later and hands him a membership application and a pen.
Despite the rain, attendance is high. (This chapter voted to hold meetings in the evening separate from their scheduled rides). 10-15 minutes before the meeting starts, a volunteer walks around and sells 50/50 tickets to everyone for $1.00 each. Exactly at 7pm, Ryan calls the meeting to order…
NOTE: Side comments and funny quips from other members are a welcome part of any meeting but they have been omitted for the sake of brevity.
Rick (VP) Terry and Cindy just joined as full members [ points out Terry and Cindy ]… I see we didn’t scare you off. Welcome back….And Vinnie joined as an Associate Member but I don’t see him here tonight. That brings our membership to 15 full members and two Associate Members.
On a related note, we just had new business cards printed so if you don’t have one in your wallet, please grab a few from the center of the table. If you run into someone riding a Vulcan, you can just give them our card since it has all of our information on it. Or you can just leave it on their seat like someone did with Fred.
Ryan (President) The officers recently had a discussion about that. Once we have around 40 members, the club will make a thousand dollars each year from dues. That should be more than enough to meet our needs. We’d probably be better off putting our efforts into finding new members rather than selling chilli or something. We can discuss it more at the next meeting.
Anyone else? [ silence ] Alright Bob, how much is the 50/50 worth tonight?
After the meeting:
When Rick receives the minutes, he sees Fred’s email address and follows up with an email thanking him for coming and asks him if he has any questions.
A simple agenda helps the President keep the meeting on track and avoid forgetting topics. The sample provided below is a suggested list of topics to cover. Be sure to share the agenda with the other officers before the meeting starts so they can add additional items.
When members socialize before the meeting, not everyone is included in the discussion. When an officer overhears an interesting topic being discussed, let the President know so that he or she can bring it up during News/Announcements. This allows the story to be shared with everyone.
NOTE: The topic called Open Floor (News/Announcements) is intended as an opportunity for members to share something personal – a new motorcycle, a new job, a new house, a recent bike trip, a fun weekend or anniversary, etc. One or two personal stories help keep the meetings personal and promotes members getting to know one another better. If no one volunteers, call on someone who is typically quiet and ask them what they did last month.
Below is a plain-text version of the document above.
- Welcome New Members
- Approve Minutes
- Membership Report
- Treasury Report
- Cindy passed MSF
- Gary selling leather saddlebags for $50
- New VRA Chapter in Somewhere, WV
- VRA Member Assistance Directory
- Open Floor (News/Announcements)
- Recent Rides/Events
- Summer Bar-B-Que Party – Jerry, Erica & Tom
- Breakfast ride to Waffle House – Rick
- Upcoming Rides/Events – Events Coordinator
- Old Business
- Business Cards – Rick
- Overnight Ride to the Falls – Eric
- Open House at Dave’s Kawasaki – Ryan & Rick
- New Business
- Club Christmas Party
- Open Floor (New Business)
- 50/50 Drawing
The Treasurer needs to maintain a General Ledger but the members should be kept aware of the club’s current balance as well as recent income and expenses. Consider using the format below.
This report can be created easily using the template below. Change the Previous Balance amount and replace the amounts and descriptions on the right with the new amounts. (The rest is calculated automatically)
NOTE: Petty Cash is included with the bank balance in the Previous Balance amount.
The Treasurer can either read a summary of the report at the meeting or email it to all of the members prior to the meeting.
At minimum, the minutes should reflect the club’s current balance, however, by emailing the atttached spreadsheet to the Secretary each month, the Secretary can copy and paste the full report into the minutes.
When the Treasury Report is printed (shown below), it includes a notes area at the bottom for recording transactions at the meeting. (When several people are trying to buy T-shirts and pay dues at once, it’s easy to lose track of who paid how much for what).
The minutes are used as a record of decisions made by the club. They also serve as a record of the club’s Treasury and expenditures, membership growth, meeting attendance, committee members, scheduled rides, etc.
The minutes serve an important purpose to a variety of people for a variety of reasons:
- Everyone in the club uses the minutes as a record of decisions that were voted upon.
- Members who missed the meeting use the minutes to find out what happened at the meeting.
- Members refer to the minutes for details about upcoming rides and events.
- The President uses the minutes to remember what was discussed at the last meeting so he or she can plan the next meeting’s agenda.
- The Treasurer refers to the minutes to double-check balances and track down errors.
After each meeting, the Secretary should write a brief summary about what was discussed and send it to everyone in the club. The sample below can be downloaded and used as template for your chapter’s minutes.
So long as the minutes achieve the goals listed above, each Secretary should feel free to modify the format and write the minutes in their own style.
Member attendance is shown on Page 2 of the minutes (below). See the “Member List” tab for more information.
Each officer should maintain a copy of the club’s previous minutes and add the minutes that are emailed each month. Maintaining multiple copies will protect against potential loss from viruses and hard drive failure.
In the template provided, the last page of the minutes serves as a current membership list, a record of attendance, and as a sign-in sheet at the meetings.
Sign-In Sheet (last page of the minutes)
Before each meeting, print out the member list from the previous month’s minutes and use it at the meeting as a sign-in sheet. There are several advantages to using this format:
- Members can simply put a checkmark next to their name (or add their name if it’s not listed).
- After the meeting, the Secretary can easily transfer the handwritten “X”s to the Word Document member list instead of manually typing a long list of names.
- The minutes will show a record of each member’s attendance for the year
- The Secretary does not have to try and read people’s handwriting.
- Members can add or update their own email address instead of notifying the Secretary.
- Everyone will always have a current membership list with up-to-date email addresses.
- Member numbers are abbreviated. This fictional chapter is 1-13 so the first member would actually be 1-13-001A and their spouse or child would be 1-13-001B. The second member would be 1-13-002A and their spouse or child would be 1-13-002B. (see bylaws)
- To add or delete a row in the table, left-click immediately to the left of the table row. Once the table is selected, right click on the row and select “Insert Row” or “Delete Row” from the context menu.
- The table can be sorted by any column within Microsoft Word using either of the methods below:
– Click on “Tables” from the dropdown menu and select “Sort”
– Display the “Tables and Borders” toolbar ( View | Toolbars | Tables & Borders)
As an alternative to managing the membership list using a table in Microsoft Word, a spreadsheet has also been provided. When printed (shown below), it can also be used as a sign-in sheet.
Sign-In Sheet (as a separate spreadsheet)
Meeting Times and Locations
- Host a Meet-and-Greet once per month at the same date, time and location.
- As a guideline, limit meetings to one hour.
- Some chapters combine their meeting with their regularly scheduled weekend ride and socialize over breakfast or lunch. Some chapters hold their meetings separate from the rides and get together after work on a weeknight in the evening.
- Always start the meeting promptly at the designated time.
- Choose a central location with food and drinks where members can talk freely without disrupting other patrons. A Bar & Grille with a private room is ideal.
- Encourage members to come early to eat and socialize before the meeting starts.
General Guidelines & Tips
- Meetings (or “Meet and Greets”) allow members to get to know one another better. Club business is just the excuse to get together. While it is important for meetings to be productive, it is more important that they are social and enjoyable.
- The success of a meeting should be measured by how enjoyable it was, not by how much was accomplished.
- Keep the meeting as informal as possible while still getting through the business at hand in the time allotted. A small group should be able to openly discuss ideas and reach a consensus without using Roberts Rules of Order.
- Disagreements should be expected but there should never be cause for an argument. Majority always rules. Give everyone a chance to present their viewpoint, put the issue to a vote and then move on.
- Avoid discussing club business (which can lead to arguments) on the club’s forum. Use the forum for socializing and use meetings for discussing issues and making decisions.
- It’s easy for the officers to monopolize the conversation. The President should look for every opportunity to have other members talk.
- Officers should make it a point to know everyone’s name before the meeting starts.
- Create committees as needed to deliberate the details of a topic or initiative. Depending on their purpose, committees can be given complete authority or they can offer recommendations to be voted upon at the next meeting.
- When creating committees, designate a committee chairman to be responsible and then ask for volunteers to be a part of the committee.
Items to Bring:
|President||Vice President||Secretary||Treasurer||Events Coord.|
|Meeting Agenda||Membership List