Meeting Planner for Neighborhood Emergency Groups

A meeting planner for Neighborhood Emergency Groups
Download the pdf of the Planner. See below!

Planning a neighborhood meeting? You need this Planner!

Our neighborhood emergency group has traditionally taken a break during the summer.  Last year, because of COVID, we were forced to. This year, after practically a whole year of break, we are ready to get back together. So, we’ve pulled out our Meeting Planner for help!

Building a neighborhood emergency group just won’t happen without a strong and consistent plan for regular meetings.  If you agree with this principle, you might want to hold one meeting just to plan a year’s full campaign! Give people a calendar and block out appropriate meetings based on time of year, local events, holidays, etc.

In the meanwhile, though, here are key steps we’ve found to be essential for a good meeting. The image above gives you an idea of how to start your planning.

Step 1: What’s the purpose for this particular meeting?

How many of us have gone to “regular monthly meetings” with that sinking feeling that this one will be just a repeat of last month’s meeting?  Before you even begin your meeting planning, ask some questions like these:

  • What do we want to accomplish at this meeting?
  • Could we accomplish it a different way – like with an email survey, or a written report?
  • Who needs to be at this meeting?  Everybody, or just team leaders? Or maybe it’s for possible recruits? Or potential donors?
  • Given the purpose, then what KIND of meeting will be best? For example, a simple social get-together? An expert as guest speaker? A series of talks or show-and-tells by members?
  • What will be our measure of success?

Once you establish the purpose and the format, you can move to step two.

Step 2: What’s the best venue for this particular meeting?

Some of us will have little choice about where to hold a neighborhood meeting. Still, maybe it should be outside instead of in your usual meeting room? Or maybe at a member’s home?  Horror of all horrors – maybe this meeting could be accomplished with a Zoom call?

Wherever, you’ll need to consider:

  • Size of the meeting place
  • Table and chairs and how to set them up to meet your purposes
  • Screen, electric hook-up for computers, projectors,  etc.
  • Parking
  • Location of fire alarms, extinguishers, etc.

Step 3: The challenging part. How to get people to our meeting?

If you did your homework on Step One, you know WHY you’re meeting. This means you can tell potential attendees just how they will benefit by coming!

The more reminders, the better. Use email to your list. If appropriate, post on Facebook and Nextdoor. Encourage your speaker to promote the meeting. Distribute and tack up flyers. If this meeting has public service interest, send out a press release.  Repeat!

Good advertising takes copywriting and design skills. Who can do this for your group? Maybe you can get the help of a kind professional?

Step 4: The show is on! What “extras” will help it be a success?

Here are a few things we’ve used over and over again because they work, over and over again!  Use whatever works for YOUR group.

  • Refreshments.
  • A meeting agenda with specific end time.
  • Sign in and Name tags.
  • Door prizes. (Our favorite “emergency preparedness supplies” door prize has been — wait for it – a can of sardines with mustard packet!  It turns out a lot of people really hate sardines, with or without mustard. So, we get a lot of laughs!)

Want more details?

If you’d like to download a full-sized pdf of the Meeting Planner (full size and readable, without the big red labels!), of course at no cost, grab it here . . .

And if you’re really serious about planning meetings, make a $10 investment in yourself and get our BEST SELLER!

Book -- Emergency Preparedness Meeting Ideas by Virginia S. Nicols

Emergency Preparedness Meeting Ideas. Over 100 full-sized pages, with 21 specific meeting descriptions – objective, procedure, materials, comments. There’s a Meeting Planner page for each one.

Plus, it has lots more ideas for meeting themes, diagrams of different room set-ups, how to get more of your volunteers to become a part of the planning team, etc.  Click here to go right to Amazon and order it so you will have it in your hands before your next meeting!

Here’s what Jodi, one of the book purchasers at Amazon said:

“Great value and just what I needed! Fantastic ideas!”

(Nice, eh?! Thanks, Jodi!)

Let me know if you have questions or suggestions for the NEXT volume of ideas. We’ll always need more!

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

P.S. Having a team sharing the responsibility for meetings can make the job a lot easier. Consider getting a couple of copies of Emergency Preparedness Meeting Ideas so volunteers can be working on more than one upcoming meeting at the same time. (Having a meeting “on the shelf” is a great idea, too.)

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  1. Judie Snyder