Are Ineffective Meetings Killing Your HOA?
We’ve all heard the phrase, “death by meeting”. The term was coined by national best-selling author, Patrick Lencioni, and we can all relate to being in a meeting and wondering why in the world we’re there or what else we could be doing with our time instead. However, meetings do serve a purpose, and they are extremely important for HOAs to convey information from board members and about the community, as well as to gain consensus on initiatives.
Make Your Meetings Work for You
It might take an extra step, but if you want the quantity of attendees to improve then you can’t ignore the quality of your meeting. If you have email addresses for members of your HOA, compose a brief survey that lets them vote on topics to be covered during the meeting , as well as propose their own. People are automatically more engaged and feel invested in what is being covered when they feel they have a say. There are some great tools out there that you can take advantage of for free, such as SurveyMonkey, to help you get a grip on what your members are interested in. You can then take the responses from the survey and use them to inform an agenda that will drive attendance.
Bring in someone from your community that has a special area of expertise. For example, someone that could share a few tips on ways to reduce electric bills. Try to keep the spotlight short and highly informative. It helps to deliver additional value for your members, and makes the meetings more attractive. If you have members of your HOA that enjoy public speaking, try letting them lead some of the meeting. It helps to have a variety of people presenting to keep the energy up in the room.
Offer an Incentive
Everyone likes to be a winner. You don’t want to seem gimmicky, but doing a drawing at the end of the meeting for a gift card is an inexpensive way to drive attendance, keep attention, and reward your members. A simple $25 Visa or MasterCard gift card is a great way to go, because it can be used for anything.
Promote Your Event
Everyone is busy. It’s important to give yourself adequate time to promote the event, so that people can put it on their calendars and plan to attend. If your community allows flyers, then place them in prime areas. It’s helpful to include the high-level agenda, set the expectation for how long the meeting is going to be, and to include information about your incentive for attending. If your HOA has social media accounts, take advantage of them. For example, you can setup events on Facebook and invite anyone that is connected to your account.
Many people have their social media accounts attached to their phones, so it shows up on their calendar and sends them reminders. This will help your meeting to stay top of mind. If you have an emailing list for attendees, send out a quick email invite. A clever tool that can be used relatively inexpensively if you’re only sending out a limited number of invites is Paperless Post. Paperless Post offers some great interactive designs that will spice up the invite, and give it a personal touch.
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