When organising an event, it is most often a subcommittee that is brought together to oversee and run the event. This subcommittee will have a broad range of skill sets to address all parts of the planning process. This will include the designing and running of the event as well as other challenges including, council licensing and insurance, how to market your event and driving ticket sales.
Part of the planning process involves regular meetings of this committee.
Often people dislike meetings because they can be unproductive and in the worse instances can end up be aggressive or confrontational. How do we ensure our meetings remain positive and productive? To help avoid this kind of negativity, nine great tips are:
- Appoint a Chairperson – This could rotate each meeting and is the person who is responsible for ensuring the meeting sticks to its agenda and doesn’t divert too much onto “noble causes” (causes which maybe worthy of discussion could be best left to other forums).
- Ensure that meeting dates are set well in advance – Given that there is generally an event date, scheduling all organising committee meetings at the one time allows people to lock these dates in their diary early. This maximises the chances that all committee members will be able to attend each meeting creating a consistent and inclusive atmosphere.
- Ensure that someone is responsible for setting the agenda – This should happed for each meeting and should be circulated to all committee members prior to the meeting for review. This will ensure each member is aware of what will be discussed and will be able to be prepared.
- Ensure that minutes and more importantly the action points are recorded – Action Points are simply a list of tasks within your minutes that record who is responsible for each task and when it is to be completed by. These points are then able to be reviewed and updated at your next meeting. Minutes and action points are important for each meeting as it ensures all plans stay on track and responsibilities for each member are clear.
- “Think – do – think” – Often a trap many committees fall into is that they feel like they need to be doing “something”. The reality is the key to creating a successful and profitable event is for committees to spend approximately 60% – 80% of their time conceptualising and planning the event. They can then recruit the necessary people to help to execute the plan.
- Ensure individuals within the committee to have a strong understanding of the skills and strengths of each individual on their committee – Even if you have known your fellow committee members for a long time it is still a very valuable process to run a session where people introduce themselves and their skills to the group to ensure all members feel valued and respected.
- It is important that you get input from all members of your committee – Often there can be dominant or loud individuals in the group, as well as some who are quieter and more reserved. Don’t be like many committees (that do not maximise their opportunity) where some people may attend the meeting and not actually say anything, even though they have a lot they would like to contribute.
- Agreement how the meetings will run – Very simply this outlines publically how it is expected that the meetings will run and give members some guidelines. These can include things as simple as, Meeting rules – Don’t talk over each other etc.
- Have a process that allows for the best decisions to be made – Ideally through consensus rather than using a process where the majority rules. Making this clear early ensures all members understand how this will run and feel comfortable with decisions that are made by the group.