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What Should Happen in Your First 3 Chapter Meetings?

What Should Happen in Your First 3 Chapter Meetings?

You have a limited amount of face time with your chapter members, so how do you make the most of it during your first three meetings of the year?

Monika Byrd, Phi Theta Kappa’s Associate Vice President of Leadership and International Education, is currently working on an activities guide for chapters and has a few pointers.

“Meetings need to be customized, depending upon where the chapter is,” she said. “But, overall here are the things you’ll want to cover in your first three.”

Make sure new and prospective members are introduced and welcomed. Icebreakers, games, prize drawings and leadership activities are fun ways to get to know each other and support teamwork.

Have Some Fun… and Some Food
Host a welcome celebration featuring food and recognition. Acknowledge members who have won awards, scholarships, etc. Remember, some members may have to miss mealtime to participate, so refreshments will improve both attendance and mood.

Get Connected
Make sure everyone has shared phone numbers and e-mail addresses, and determine whether members prefer texts or emails. And remember, word of mouth is still important too. Also, make plans to connect with your college administrators soon if you haven’t already.

Show the Big Picture
Review what’s happened so far in the year and what remains to be done (member recruiting goals, Five Star Chapter Plan goal, campus engagement, etc.). Share a calendar of events for the year.

What’s New?
Help members catch up on news from the Center for Excellence they might have missed during the summer, such as the Centennial Alumni Challenge and the new Synergy Session Webinars. Encourage members to follow PTK on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin, and subscribe to The Reach blog.

Encourage members to go ahead and sign up for service opportunities throughout the year. Most want to be involved and build their resumes for transfer/scholarships but don’t know where to start. This can also help your chapter discover leadership potential early on.

How to Get the Most Out of These First 3 Meetings

The Alpha Omicron Chapter in Texas just had a record attendance of 86 members at their first meeting! Advisor Gigi Delk shares strategies that have worked for them in these initial, and crucial, get-togethers.

Plan Ahead
Your advisors/officers should gather before the first full meeting to plan the agenda, assign responsibilities, and make sure everything goes smoothly.

Time and Place
Choose a consistent date/time and location for meetings so members will fall into the habit of attending. Officers can wear PTK t-shirts on meeting days and post signs as visual reminders.

Be Our Guest
Invite a university recruiter to provide a brief overview of transfer scholarships available in your area. This increases awareness of member benefits, and they might even sponsor the meal.

Put It in Print
Distribute a brief printed agenda/announcement sheet to those attending. Even if they can’t stay for the entire meeting, they’ll leave with a good idea of what’s going on.

Go High-Tech
Make your meetings video friendly for members who can’t attend in person. Skype, Zoom, and are all free programs that could work for your chapter.

End Promptly, and on a High Note
Save time for questions and don’t let the meeting run much longer than an hour. One person shouldn’t be droning on extensively about any one topic. Offer something that appeals to everyone – Scholarship, Leadership, Service and Fellowship.

“Make certain every single person has been spoken to and had a chance to interact with a real, live, human for at least a few moments of the day,” Gigi suggests. “You never know when the connections you make will pay off in the future!”

Find additional resources for hosting effective meetings.

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