Tips for running a successful Annual General Meeting
by Sue O'Rourke on August 29, 2019 in News & Events
Your organisation’s Annual General Meeting is an excellent time for reviewing progress against set goals, celebrating successes, acknowledging all those involved and laying out your plans for the future.
An AGM can be a positive event. It can also go downhill fast if the right preparation and organisation aren’t in place.
At Figtree Conference Centre, we’ve successfully hosted many Annual General Meetings for companies and not-for-profit organisations.
While we can’t cover every little detail here, we have a few ideas on what makes a successful AGM:
Perfect preparation for your Annual General Meeting
A lot of the work that goes into an AGM is done many months ahead of the event. There are all sorts of legal obligations to meet including:
- Holding your AGM within the correct period.
- Ensuring you cover the reporting of annual financial statements and other regular annual business, including electing committee members as required.
- Sending out your invitations – with a clear agenda – well in advance. This gives all the key stakeholders time to respond and attend.
- Making sure you have the right number of elected members or management committee members to make a quorum. (The quorum is how many people you need to be present in order for a decision to be valid.)
ASIC has more guidelines for companies here.
The NSW Government’s Department Fair Trading has guidelines for associations here.
For charities and non-profits, the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission has guidelines here.
Know who is doing what
Just like a Shakespearean play, everyone should know their role. Some of the key roles include:
- The Chairperson – this position is crucial. The meeting’s chair should be ‘firm but fair’. Time-keeping is one of their important tasks. They should follow the agenda carefully and keep their cool, setting the tone of the event. The chair should encourage participation and thank people for their contributions.
- The Organiser – the meeting organiser is the linchpin before, during and after the AGM. Keeping everybody informed of what’s required on the day and liaising with the venue coordinator are a couple of their many tasks.
- The Minute–Keeper – It’s essential that you appoint a minute-keeper to record all decisions made at the AGM. The meeting minutes must be thorough yet succinct. They should include all relevant financial statements and they’ll need to be made available to all members after the AGM.
Time-keeping and a clear agenda
There’s often a lot to get through in any Annual General Meeting, so it’s important to try and keep things moving. Starting and finishing your meeting on time helps to reduce frustrations and avoid the meeting dragging-on unnecessarily.
- A clear agenda is important. The time-keeper must be clear on the topics that need to be covered and have an idea of how long each presentation will take.
- Limit the amount of time speakers have to respond for and against motions – and make that clear before the meeting.
- Allow time for questions. The AGM is often the opportunity for shareholders and other stakeholders to get to know what’s going on. Being open to questions, without letting the meeting get away from you, is an important skill for the meeting’s chair or event coordinator.
Choosing the right venue for your Annual General Meeting
Your choice of venue can make a huge difference to the success of your event. When choosing a venue for your Annual General Meeting some of the main considerations are:
- What size room do you need to accommodate the number of people you expect will attend? Will you need a small boardroom or a large function room?
- Will the venue accommodate mingling before or after the meeting?
- What sort of catering do you need? Morning or afternoon tea only or a more substantial meal? Can they provide flexible options (vegetarian, gluten-free, ‘healthy’ options?)
- Is the venue wheelchair accessible? Is there enough parking and is it close to public transport?
- Can the venue coordinator help you with whatever technical back-up you need? Can they help organise microphones, overhead screens, display charts etc.
We’d love to help make your AGM a success!
If you’d like to discuss holding your Annual General Meeting at Figtree Conference Centre, take a look at our facilities online then get in touch with our Venue Coordinator Sue O’Rourke on 02 9393 9051 or send her an email.
We’re located in the heart of Sydney Olympic Park, with plenty of free parking, close to transport.