An AGM is a formal meeting of the members of an organisation, and this document serves as a guide to AGM organisers.
- Invite a guest speaker
Remember, the formal business of the AGM does not have to be the only thing that happens at the event. Interesting speakers and informative training sessions can make the event more appealing, meaning you also have more people turn up who can take part in the internal democracy of the formal business.
- Don’t just invite current members
For the formal business, it is important to know who is a paid-up current member, but if you’ve got a speaker then it makes sense to invite a wider group of people – including lapsed members and helpers who have never joined the party.
- Invite those from organisations you work with
Inviting people from other South African networks or partner organisations to an AGM is a good way of helping build relationships.
- Have a decent sign-in sheet
A group of people in a room is a prime opportunity to make sure the local NOC has their full contact details – phone, email and mobile. So why pass up on it by not asking?
- Make sure new people are welcomed
Obvious, but not always done! One method that works well for many local parties is to have one person volunteer to make sure they personally talk to every new person who turns up and to introduce them to others.
- Work on the opening speech:
The opportunity to set the tone for the event is an important one. The speech should touch on the main political issues of the moment, as many members and supporters like to discuss political issues that often do not come up much in the day-to-day work of running a local party.
- Put effort into publicising the AGM’s existence
You need to mail out the formal business information such as the agenda, but it doesn’t have to be presented in a boring, dry manner. Try to answer the question, “why might this event be of interest to me?” Remember to use email, Facebook, Twitter and other online tools to publicise and to provide last minute reminders.
- Publicise future events
If you’ve got a group of people into a room once, now’s the time to let them know when else they may wish to congregate in future.
- Give people some campaigning to go away with
Whether it’s leaflets, petition sheets or other forms of campaigning…
- Follow-up afterwards
The use of email means that it is now much easier to follow up on matters discussed at an AGM. You don’t need to wait a year until people can see the notes of what was decided, the text of the speech of your guest speaker, photographs of people enjoying the event and so on.And of course, if people who did not attend the AGM hear that the event was interesting and successful, the more likely they will be to attend the next event.