Tips for Successful Annual Meetings

At past Commission and Interest Group Division meetings, discussions have been held regarding the purpose(s) for the annual commission and interest group meetings held during the annual fall conference. The following ideas have been shared by the Chairs, including factors that help to make a successful annual meeting. Perhaps some of these ideas will be helpful to you as Chair in planning the agenda for your respective annual commission or interest group meeting held during the fall NACADA conference.

Tips and ideas for a successful annual meeting:

  1. Introducing attendees -- works better with smaller groups.
  2. Connect with others, especially to collaborate on writing, research, or conference presentations.
  3. Solicit and brainstorm conference proposal ideas and Hot Topics.
  4. Find moderators or discussion leaders for various topics.
  5. Use icebreakers.
  6. Mini chat sessions on topics solicited from the list serve or last year's annual meeting.
  7. Poll attendees for questions to post periodically to your group's list serve that would make good discussion topics.
  8. Organize group dinners or informal social gatherings. Have sign-up sheets available at CIGD Fair and annual meeting.
  9. View the annual meeting as an 'opportunity', not an 'obligation'.
  10. Utilize steering committee members to help with activities and planning.
  11. Provide handouts at the CIGD Fair.
  12. Encourage attendees to collaborate on a presentation at a regional conference or the annual conference.
  13. Hold a panel discussion following the commission or interest group meeting.
  14. Do something different each year to retain the interest of returning members of your commission or interest group.
  15. Brainstorm ideas to encourage members to publish or seek a NACADA Research Grant, which could be the first step to making presentations.
  16. Brainstorm ideas to encourage members to submit an article to the Clearinghouse or forAcademic Advising Today.
  17. Spend half the time talking about current projects and activities within the group, and how it can better support its members. Spend the other half having members discuss what is working on their campus or what they need help with.
  18. Have a definite agenda for the meeting -- no technology used or formal presentation made.
  19. Provide brief, basic introduction on what a commission or interest group is — several members may have never attended before — and explain how your unit relates to the overall NACADA structure. This might help members get involved more quickly.

NOTE: A/V is NOT provided at these meetings.  These meetings are to be used to conduct CIG business related activities, not presentations.

If you have other ideas on what has worked with your particular meetings in the past that you'd like to share with your fellow Commission and Interest Group Chairs, please post a note to the CIGD listserv for everyone's benefit, or e-mail Elisa Shaffer, CIGD Executive Office Liaison, so the list above can be updated. Your input is appreciated! 

Annual Meeting Feedback Forms

Chairs are encouraged to create their own feedback forms to distribute at their respective annual Commission or Interest Group meetings held at the fall annual conference to gather feedback from members. Sample forms are posted at below to help Chairs create their own feedback forms. These forms may be helpful in giving you ideas for creating your own form for gathering feedback or recruiting volunteers at your annual Commission or Interest Group meeting held during the annual conference each fall. If you have developed your own form that could be posted here as well to help other Chairs, please e-mail it to Elisa Shaffer.

You are encouraged to communicate electronically with the members of your respective commission or interest group prior to the conference. Providing them with a tentative agenda for your annual meeting, asking for volunteers to help with conference activities, or sharing your thoughts for future goals and activities ahead of time could help you save valuable time during your annual meeting at the conference. The Executive Office can assist you with sending these communications to the current members of your commission or interest group. Your meeting agenda can also be posted on your unit's web site for members to access prior to the conference.

Participation Handout (used by Advising Students with Disabilities Commission)

Volunteer-Feedback Form (used by Two-Year Colleges Commission)

Commission-Interest Group Annual Meeting Feedback Form (used prior to 2007)