Planning for Chapter Meetings
What are board meetings and how often should meetings be held?
Chapter Board of Directors’ meetings, which should be held at least three times a year, are important for overall guidance and control of the chapter activities.
What type of business is conducted at a board meeting?
Once a quorum is present, the meetings should be used to plan special events, review budgets, consider the results of fundraising activities, and take any action judged desirable. Such action may include the appointment of any special committees needed to implement programs suggested by the Board.
What is a quorum?
Before any business can be transacted legally, the chairperson should determine that there is a quorum present. Voting members equal to two-thirds of the members of Board of Directors should constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at regular or special meeting. (Often a simple majority is sufficient.)
If the correct number of members to form a quorum are present, all acts concluded by majority vote present are legal and binding. If a quorum is not present, no business can be transacted legally, and the Chair must announce that the meeting is not in session because of the lack of a quorum, and should announce a definite new time for a future meeting. Having established a quorum, the Chair declares the meeting in session.
Should meetings have a written agenda?
Absolutely! That is the only way to tell if you have covered the necessary items. A sample board meeting agenda is listed below. You can modify this for your chapter meetings by eliminating roll call, minutes, old and new business, etc. and add "introduction of speaker"
Sample Agenda for Board Meeting:
- Roll Call
- Introduction of Guests/New Board Members
- Reading of Minutes and Approval
- Treasurer Report
- Secretary Report
- Membership Chairman Report
- Report of Committees (as called for by the Chairman)
- Other Old Business
- New Business
- Next Meeting(s)
How do these differ from Membership Meetings?
Membership meetings, also referred to as "monthly meetings" or "technical meetings" are the main activity of each chapter, providing opportunities for members to meet and discuss matters of general or special interest in a congenial atmosphere. Generally, the meeting is preceded by a dinner, followed by a speaker invited to talk on a subject of which he/she has special knowledge or experience that is of interest to the members. In addition, or alternatively, a visit may be made to a local plant engaged in die casting or a related field.
What does an agenda look like for a membership meeting?
A suggested agenda / meeting format might look like this:
- When the majority of the diners have almost completed the desert course, give a 10-minute notice to allow tables to be cleared, and people to stretch their legs. The audio/visual equipment should be put in final position at this time.
- Call the meeting to order. (Check for quorum if business is to be conducted).
- Introduce new members in attendance.
- Introduce any guests in attendance.
- Call for pertinent reports from members of the Board or Committee Chairpersons.
- Announce pertinent information from NADCA headquarters office, NADCA Board of Governors, or other chapters.
- Conduct any needed business.
- Call on the chairperson of the program committee to present the program; after the program, he/she will turn the meeting back to the chapter chairperson. Thank speaker, referring to specific points in his talk. Make gift presentation, if chapter policy dictates.
- Announce time, place, and subject of next meeting.
- Adjourn the meeting.
What do I do to get a meeting room for a chapter meeting?
Contact the hotel and verbally state your requirements, or use the Request for Hotel Meeting Space form to help you remember questions to ask. The main things the hotel needs to know are date, time, number of people, room set-up, food & beverage requirements, audio-visual requirements, and if any guest rooms will be needed. If guest rooms are required, you will usually work with a sales manager. If no guest rooms are required, you will typically work with a catering/banquet manager. Meeting room rental charges vary based on how much food & beverage you order and how many guest rooms are used.
How do I check the hotel and meal functions?
Based on the contract you sign with the hotel, they will send you a Banquet Event Order (BEO) or similar document. You need to go over all the information on the BEO to make sure everything you requested is included. You will be asked for a guarantee number for any food & beverage that is ordered on a per person basis. This guarantee is usually required 72 hours before the event. If your guaranteed number is a lot less than the number you originally projected, the hotel may increase room rental charges. A good rule of thumb is to go 5% to 8% BELOW your actual called-in reservations as a guarantee. But please... be careful what you sign. If you don't like what the contract says, have it removed before you sign.
How do I find a speaker?
Fantastic sources of material for chapter meetings are the papers given at NADCA Congresses. Such papers often can be expanded into high-quality chapter programs, using local speakers from the various technical committees when the original authors are not available, or used as a basis for a panel discussion when the subject is new or controversial.
And don't forget local talent!
Be prepared if a scheduled speaker is forced to cancel at the last minute. It is prudent to always have one local person available to speak on short notice.
Many times, NADCA staff is available as speakers or to assist in suggestions. Please call — in advance — to discuss your needs.
What do I need to do about the Speaker?
It depends, but every speaker should be treated special. Remember, they have given up their time – both personal and business – to be at your event. Make sure the event runs smoothly. Contact them several times BEFORE the meeting, to verify their A/V needs and to make sure there are no changes in their plans! Send out the Guest Speaker Datasheet with your first letter to the speaker. Request that they complete it and return it promptly.
Complete details should be supplied to an out-of-town speaker regarding the date, time, and place of the meeting, clear directions on finding the meeting place, and suggested hotels in the area.
What else do I need to remember?
Use the Chapter Meeting Checklist. It is one sheet that attempts to remind you of just about everything you need for a meeting. Add to it as you need, to better match your activities and requirements. But remember one thing. If nothing else: start on time;stop on time! Your attendees will appreciate it!