By Rowan McClean, D9800 Chair Club Service

When you visit different Rotary clubs, it is clear that there are many ways to run a successful meeting. Below are points on what has made them successful.

Before the Meeting

You do need an agreed format, agenda or running sheet, and an Attendance Officer or Club Service Chair does need to know in advance who will be attending for catering and special diets. The Club President should also be aware of guests attending.

Appointing “minders” to make visitors feel comfortable and introduce them to others is worthwhile, and some clubs appoint greeters and desk people for a specified period, whilst others roster different people on for each meeting. These are opportunities for new members to get to know their colleagues.

You might consider displaying Rotary banners and flags as part of the meeting set-up.

At the Meeting

Some clubs commence meetings with the National Anthem, and a toast to the Queen, Rotary, another club or their own club. Some merely introduce the President who welcomes partners and guests. One club in our District starts meetings with a review of the Four-Way test. Longer-serving Rotarians interviewed for Networker have commented that they miss some of these formalities. 

Achievements of the club and members should be recognised. Other considerations include: managing cliques who always sit together; summarising Board meeting outcomes and encouraging table discussions on club issues; ensuring good guest speakers including District office-bearers; holding “member behind the badge” presentations; asking Directors to provide updates of activities; having a plan for handling disruptive behavior; encouraging quieter members to ask questions / be heard; closing with a reminder of forthcoming Club events and the Rotary International theme; changing usual patterns from time-to-time to give meetings a lift; and collaborating with other clubs to discuss projects and key Rotary issues.

After the Meeting

This is a good opportunity for the Club Service Director and Club President to review possible meetings improvements.  Asking/surveying members for their suggestions can often bring forward ideas, at the same time as engaging members.

Review your meetings procedures and see if you can make improvements!