Format

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The format of meetings for your core group and volunteers will depend on the purpose of the meeting. A few ideas for things to consider when deciding on a meeting format include:

Separate meetings for different sub-groups. If you have a big group running a range of projects, it can make sense to have separate regular meetings for different work groups, with meetings to feed back to the wider group every month or so. It is important to keep meetings at a scale which will be effective and workable to achieve its purpose, whilst involving and engaging all the relevant people.

Venue. It can be worth trying a range of different venues to see what works best for your group. Sometimes trying a more informal location, such as a local pub or café, can be more appealing and make it feel less like ‘work’, but somewhere more quiet and private where you can focus is likely to be more appropriate for important and technical planning meetings. If people live spread out across a large area, it is a good idea to rotate the location so it doesn’t always fall to certain members of the group to travel the furthest each time.

Online access. Providing a means for those who can’t be at the meeting in person to participate is important to keep them engaged in the process and to make sure their views are taken into account. Online platforms such as Skype, Google Hangout or Omnijoin can allow you to use video calls or web conferencing for holding group meetings and catch ups. Using webcams and screen sharing features can also be useful for giving demonstrations or presenting relevant information.

Case Studies
Country: UK

Southend in Transition hold weekly video call meetings using Google Hangouts to allow group members to feedback on progress and to plan future activities together. This means of communication is especially important when members of the group cannot attend a meeting in person. Using their shared Google Drive, participants in the meeting are able to read and review documents online simultaneously during the call and research and take forward new ideas.