Planning an Annual HOA Meeting
One of the main duties of the current HOA board member is to host the annual HOA meeting. This meeting is particularly significant due to the board elections and tends to have more community members in attendance. However, event planning isn’t always a skill that every HOA board member will possess.
The trick to a successful annual HOA meeting is preparation. That means you should start planning for it now, especially if it’s only a few weeks away. While starting early is important, here are a five more tips for planning a successful annual HOA meeting.
Organize the Agenda
The agenda is the official plan for the meeting and should be focused and accurate. That means time tables are figured out and set for each issue so that the meeting takes place in the time allotted. It’s also your personal to-do list, how-to guide, and event planner. In it, you should list everything that you need to bring to the meeting, every issue that you want to discuss, and how to transition from issue to issue. A poorly planned meeting often results in a poor meeting, so it’s important to be as organized as possible when planning your annual HOA meeting.
Throw a Party
A great idea to get community members interested in coming to the meeting is by hosting an event before or after. However, you should note that hosting an event after a meeting might discourage people from showing up. The event could be as simple as ordering a few large pizzas and letting people socialize to something more extravagant such as bringing in other vendors. The event itself can be a great way to get community members excited for the annual meeting and boost attendance, but it shouldn’t take priority over the meeting itself. Be sure to create a strict schedule for your event to allow ample time to conduct association business. You might hold your event for an hour or so before calling the meeting to order, but you usually don’t want to wait too long. People will leave before the meeting starts if the event goes on for too long.
Give Plenty of Notice
You will want to give everyone more than enough time to schedule for the annual meeting. Giving people notice the week or day before the meeting is a great way to ensure your attendance is almost non-existent. The more notice you can give, the better. You can check the bylaws of your association to find out when you should hold your meeting and go from there. Usually, you’ll want to give your first notice roughly 60 days in advance and a second notice a month before the event. That means planning your event could start anywhere from 12 months out to six months. Your bylaws will most likely indicate when planning for the annual meeting should begin. Many associations contact Elite Management Services to assist them with training and educating board members, which can in turn prepare them for planning and hosting the annual event.
Moreover, if there is an issue on the agenda that you know will stir a heated debate, it’s essential to let the community know about it well before the meeting. Give them plenty of time to form an opinion on the matter and formulate any arguments they may have to bring to the meeting. Otherwise, it will be all out war in the meeting if you spring an important issue on the association.
Hold a Forum
If your holding your annual board elections at the meeting, then a great way to get community members engaged is by holding a forum before the elections. Let community members meet and talk with board member candidates so that they may form educated opinions as to who they will want running their association for the next year. You can make this a Q&A session, where community members can ask the candidates important questions regarding the association, or by integrating the forum into the social event. In any manner you do it, allowing community members to engage with candidates is important because it ensures that the people elected are accurate representations of the the community.
Don’t Do it Alone
While planning the meeting falls to the members of the HOA board, that doesn’t mean one or two people have to do everything themselves. If the event requires set-up, for example, you could ask other members of the association for help. You might find that there are no shortage of volunteers, especially if some of them are looking to hold a board position in the near future.
Planning the annual HOA meeting isn’t your only responsibility throughout the year and the board will still need to enforce violations, plan and budget for expenditures, maintain common areas, and much more. Contacting EMS to help alleviate some of the overwhelming amount of responsibilities can help board members put more attention on other things.
If you and your fellow board members are interested in the unique and invaluable services provided by EMS, request a proposal today.