Annual General Meetings
A properly held Annual General Meeting is a good opportunity to get the membership involved in the management of the club, to explain the work done by the committee and outline future plans. Many Officers work hard all year but let themselves down by running a poorly planned and thought out AGM. The purpose of the AGM is to transact certain business: the report on the accounts; acceptance of the account; ballot for officers, committee; and other matters as required by the club’s rules.
- The meeting should be properly convened in accordance with the club’s rules. The date and time of the meeting must be placed on the club’s notice board, it should request motions be submitted to the Secretary by a certain date.
- The club rules usually provide for a notice period for the Annual General Meeting, this varies from club to club but is frequently twenty one days before the date of the meeting.
- An agenda should be prepared incorporating any motions and displayed in accordance with the club rules.
- Where required ensure accounts are displayed and that sufficient copies are available for the meeting.
- The Chairman is the most important person in the meeting as he ensures it is conducted in an orderly manner in accordance with the agenda and club rules. The Chairman should understands his role and be familiar with the agenda, this will help ensure the meeting is conducted in an orderly manner.
- Before the AGM commences the Chairman should ensure only members are present and that a count is carried out to determine that the requisite quorum is present.
- Tribute to past members
- Minutes of previous AGM .
- Confirmation of minutes.
- Chairman’s statement
- Report on the accounts
- Approval of Accounts
- Election of Officers
Conduct of the Meeting
- No business other than that specified on the Agenda should be conducted, there should be no agenda item ‘any other business’ as this should be covered by motions.
- All questions should be directed through the Chair. Speakers should be called by the Chair, and to preserve order only one person should speak at a time, the Chairman should insist there is no talking across the floor and speakers cease when requested. Club’s frequently request that speakers state their name or stand when called. If these procedures are not followed a meeting can quickly degenerate into disarray and chaos.
- The Chairman usually makes a brief statement thanking staff and committee, highlighting key points from the accounts and outlining plans for the future.
- Motions must be discussed in accordance with the club rules.
- The future of the club and a strong committee depends on an active membership. To encourage participation in a meeting many clubs give members checks. If the clubs can afford this policy checks certainly encourages higher attendance.
- To further encourage participation some clubs invite a guest speaker or arrange for a brewery or other supplier promotion on the night.
The correct conduct of a meeting is not an easy skill to master. Some issues will always divide the membership and polices that are good for the club may not be for the benefit for the members in the short term, heated and sometimes irresolvable exchanges are inevitable. Nevertheless a basic knowledge of tried and tested procedures will help ensure that most meetings are conducted in an orderly and effective manner.