How To Host A Successful "First" Club Meeting

Fall quarter just started, and all the clubs on campus hosted their "first", as in first meeting of the quarter, meeting (hopefully). I've been to a few first club meetings, some good and some not so good. So, I'm not am expert or anything. In the past two years, I've hosted many first meetings for Her Campus UWB. Through trial and error and a little guidance from my advisor, I think I have a basic understanding of what makes a good first meeting. 

Promote the meeting like hell

Especially if you're a new club. You want to make your presence on campus known. Use social media, posters and flyers to promote your meeting, but not too much that the students get annoyed by your marketing. 

Offer food or something interesting that they can take away after the meeting

Food is the best way to attract new members. Like a moth to the lamp (sorry) If you can't afford food, offer something that they can take away, like a club shirt, stickers. Host a workshop at the end so they can take away a skill. Whatever works best with the goals of the club. 

Host the meeting in a designated space and time for your meetings throughout the quarter

Pick a space and time and stick to that for the rest of the quarter. If you keep changing times and locations, eventually, people will stop making an effort to know where you are. Make it easy for them and stick to a space and time. 

Introduce your team, and then ask the members to introduce themselves

New members want to meet new people and have fun. You want to make everyone feel included and comfortable. Don't just talk about your team and sit with them. This will show off your club as not welcoming. Go around and talk to the new members. 

Talk about the club

Explain what the club is, what you guys do and what your goals are. This is a two way street. Everyone's there for a purpose; they're there to gain something from the club and you need them to keep the club active. 

Ask the members a question, if they have any thoughts to share   

Include the members in the conversation. For example, ask them if these timings are okay for the rest of the quarter. Or maybe ask them if they have any future event/ activity ideas. This makes them feel included and shows them that you care about their opinion. 

At the end of the meeting, greet the members and have a conversation

This is really important. At the end of the meeting, go have a conversation with them. Ask them if they liked the meeting, or how their day was. Make a personal connection. Thank them for coming and invite them to the next meeting. This helps the club gain more active members who personally care about the future of the club.

After the meeting, send a message inviting them for the next one

Keep the conversation going. After teh meeting, you don't want them to forget about you. Send a message, or post on social media thanking everyone who showed up to the meeting. Let them know what the next meeting is going to be about and encourage people to bring a friend with them! 

These steps could also be used for any general meeting. If you're club is new or hosting a first meeting of the quarter, you're going to see a lot of new members and these steps are important if you want to make them permanent members. Good luck!