One of the greatest challenges for HOA boards is a lack of participation in annual board meetings. This is detrimental for the residents, who will miss key information, and for the board, who will have a harder time communicating important information to a community who neglects to come to the meetings.
This is an area in which the board may have to start thinking creatively to encourage residents to come to the meeting, thereby boosting annual attendance and enhancing your community overall. We have collected several tips to help work towards this goal.
Utilize Media and Other Creative Tools
Some information can be easier and less painful to take in when it is put into an interesting, and even flashy, form. A video, for instance, is much easier for an audience to pay attention to than a boring lecture. Spend time in using your creativity and the collective creativity of the board to present information in an interesting way.
Streamline the Meetings
Doing everything you can to make sure the meeting is as short as possible will go a long way in encouraging busy residents to come. No one has three hours in an evening to devote to sitting in a meeting room when there are other important demands on their time. Research methods that you can use to shorten meetings, and always stick to the agenda. A helpful tip is to set aside a short amount of time during the meeting to allow community members to voice concerns, but to move on when the time runs out.
Make the Meetings Fun…But Not Too Fun
One great way to encourage people to come to the annual meeting is to use the creativity of the board to make the meeting fun. Advertise it as an ice cream social, a pizza party, or even a silent auction. However when making it fun, it is important to not let the fun activity stretch the meeting any longer than it needs to be. Set aside a short 10 to 15 minutes at the beginning of the meeting for socialization and allowing any latecomers to arrive before the official meeting begins.
Advertise the Meeting Thoroughly
If no one knows about the meetings, it will be very hard for them to write them down on their calendars and attend. No effort is too much when it comes to getting the word out about the meeting. In addition to spreading the word about the day and time of the meeting, you should also advertise the content of the meeting so that attendees know what to expect, and come interested in specific portions of the meeting during which they wish their point of view to be heard. In order to advertise the content, your board will need to put together an agenda early so that it can be freely distributed to all of the residents.
Improving attendance at the annual meeting can be a huge step in preventing conflict, ensuring compliance of regulations, and improving your community. Use these tips to get you started.