Organising the initial meeting
The initial meeting is a preparatory meeting to decide on the sort of group you all want to run.
The first meeting could be a private affair with invited people only, perhaps at someone’s house (Chilton Working From Home Group). Other groups prefer a more public launch with as large a group as possible attending (Brill Business Group). Here is an account of the Brill Business Group launch event.
Here are some tips - ignore any that don’t apply to your situation.
- Decide if you want to work with anyone else and involve them in the planning
- Promote the project locally for up to six weeks (Letting people know)
- Collect names and contact details of people who have expressed of interest
- Tips on collecting emails and data protection
- Decide what you want to achieve at the first meeting i.e. is it a purely social and informal get together, or do you want to hold a guided discussion on the aims and future of thegroup (Brill example of an informal survey at first meeting)
- Propose a time and place for the first meeting which suits as many as possible
- Send an email notice of the meeting to those interested. Include a map if the venue is not well known locally and request an RSVP (Chilton example of email)
- The day before ring the venue and check all is well. Is the place still open, warm, serving tea/coffee and so on?
- Send out a reminder a couple of days before to all participants
- Arrive a little early to check all is as planned