As much as our efforts worked well for us, poor planning and coordination of special gatherings can lead to disastrous occasions. To make the most out of your joint meetings, consider the following five tips:
Once your club has connected with another club and agreed to hold a joint book club meeting, select a date for the meeting that is at three months or more in the advance. By giving both clubs this amount of planning time, you are more likely to get the cooperation of members, avoid scheduling conflicts, and have enough time to purchase and read the agreed on book of the month.
Decide in ahead of time which club with be responsible for thevarious aspects of the meeting, such as providing a location, food, facilitating the meeting, advertising to the public, etc. Once this has been established, each club can break down their club’s given tasks to individual members.
Make one member from each club (most likely an officer such as the president, vice president, or secretary) the point-of-contact person. All correspondence between the two clubs related to the joint meeting should go through these selected members. By having only one person from each group communicating with each other ona regular basis, confusion and miscommunication will be limited.
Disregard Your Routine
Because you are having a joint meeting, it will be difficult to remain true to your club’s policies and routines. The book club that is joining you may conduct themselves in an entirely different manner, therefore, it is not recommended that you attempt to force them run the meeting as your club normally would. Instead, come into an agreement on the agenda of the meeting, placing the book of the month at a greater level of significance than any other aspect of the itinerary. Also, avoid handling book club business like paying dues and addressing pressing issues. Individual club business should be scheduled for a later date when only those club members are present.
Make Time to Socialize
The whole point of coordinating a joint meeting is to collaborate and socialize with other readers. Schedule time in the agenda to meet and greet with the various clubs’ members. Consider making name tags so that everyone can communicate with each other without struggling to remember new names. Also, consider inviting both clubs to an optional after-meeting activity such as dinner or out for drinks. Due to the structure of the actual meeting, the opportunity to get to know participants can be restricted. By providing an additional activity that is non-book related, members can enjoy the chance to get to know each other on a more personal level.