For a board meeting to be productive, you need to prepare for it thoroughly. Preparations can safely begin a week or even two in advance, and it is important to make the effort. The chairman and the board secretary are responsible for ensuring that all other board members are aware and prepared for the upcoming meeting. In this article, we will highlight a board meeting checklist that will help you better navigate during preparations and will be your backbone to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Preparing Before a Board Meeting
How you prepare for the board meeting will determine the meeting process itself, so pre-meeting preparation is a very responsible and important part. Here are the main steps to take in the preparation phase:
- Send invitations to the meeting and create a draft agenda
First, you should send out a notice of the meeting and then send out a formal invitation. You will begin to get responses to the invitations, which either require attendance or apologize because they cannot make it to the meeting. After that, draw up an agenda, and when you put everything you need into it: the date, time, place of the meeting, as well as questions for discussion and questions from the previous minutes. Send the draft to the chairman for review, he may want to add some more questions there.
- Determine requirements and make reservations for the meeting place
Decide on a location for the meeting and reserve it if necessary. If there will be some participants who will be attending remotely, also make sure the office has all the necessary equipment.
- Confirm participation and begin planning the trip
If any directors still have not responded to your invitation, contact them by phone and see if they will attend. When you have an accurate list of those attending, you can proceed with booking tickets and hotel rooms, as well as other extras.
- Draft the final agenda
Secretaries pair up with chairs to develop the agenda. The previous agenda and draft are treated as a backbone for creating the new one. When the agenda is finalized, circulate it to all participants so they can prepare thoroughly for the meeting. Also, contact the attendees who are expected to report to the meeting and ask for copies of those reports before the meeting.
- Gather all materials needed for the meeting
You should also forward the materials you collect to the other participants at least one week in advance. These documents include agendas, reports, previous minutes, and others. Participants should also prepare thoroughly for the meeting.
- Create a Minutes Template
Before the meeting, it is helpful for the secretary to prepare a template for the minutes to help them navigate and fill out the document as they go along during the meeting.
How to prepare for a board meeting: what to do after the meeting
After the meeting, you must make sure that you leave the meeting room clean. Clear all notices about the meeting the next day or replace the data for the next meeting if it has already been decided. Start generating minutes while all the events remain fresh in your memory. After that, the minutes should be distributed and ask for signatures of the participants, to confirm their officiality.
Also, be sure to communicate with the chairs after the meeting to summarize the results. Discuss with them everything that happened during the meeting and decide what went wrong and what you did well, what you learned. Use board portals to download confidential document storage and create surveys. Create a survey about the meeting process, get participants’ opinions on how it went, find out what needs refinement.