Makeover Your Meetings Meetings are often the heart of Lions clubs. They’re a time to get informed, share ideas, set goals and of course, have fun. Are your meetings addressing the needs and interests of club members? Does the tone of your meetings fit with the membership climate? Are some traditions feeling outdated? The good news is that meetings can be tweaked in little ways or be completely reinvented—it’s up to each club to make the call. LCI’s “Your Club, Your Way” guide provides a blueprint for evaluating and updating meetings. Here are a few factors from the guide to consider: Determine the goals of your meetings. Are they to plan events, enjoy a speaker, conduct a service project, enjoy the fellowship, have fun or all of the above? Determine the frequency of meetings. Some clubs meet once a week, while others meet once a month. Determine the amount of time needed to plan, communicate and get your members involved. Identify channels of communication. While announcements during meetings can be exciting and motivating, take advantage of email, text messages, Facebook, Twitter and your club’s website. Determine meals and location. While meeting over a meal is a long-standing tradition, it’s not a requirement and may lengthen and add to the cost of membership. Question traditions. Many clubs open with a song or a pledge, but your club can determine which traditions you would like to keep and which to drop. Ask younger members to provide input. Find more guidance on reinventing meetings in LCI’s “Your Club, Your Way” guide. The guide includes ways to increase involvement, program ideas and a survey for club members to fill out and share their input on the future direction of meetings. Find the guide at lionmagazine.org. Baby Steps to Big Change Change isn’t always easy. If your club agrees that change is in order, Mindy Marks, division manager of District and Club Administration at LCI, recommends phasing it in gradually and assessing as you go. “Try establishing a special meeting once a quarter using a new format to see how members like it. Or consider replacing a monthly meeting each quarter with a service project or family-friendly event. Also, try more online collaboration to plan events or programs. Most importantly, start with the change that members want to see the most.” Lions Weigh In On Meetings We asked Lions on Facebook, “What makes a great meeting?” Here are a few of the many comments shared: Sammy Walker, Warren County Lions Club, Tennessee: Interesting speakers, change meetings around, don't let your younger members get bored with same old thing. Patti Patterson, Rathdrum Lions Club, Idaho: Participation from all members present! Having fun, laughing, setting goals and having a plan to achieve those goals. Elizabeth Steves, La Habra Host Lions Club, California: A good informative program speaker that will engage the membership, a scope of activities, meetings on time from start to finish and tailtwisters who know their audience and can keep it fun. Shari Walker, Churchville Lions Club, Maryland: We have a great group ... small but very dedicated. We have an agenda, but we keep it "loose." A lot of laughs, but the jobs get done.
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