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How to organise an AGM in seven easy steps

Monday, 07 September 2015

The Annual General Meeting is quite possibly the most important date in the diary of any company or organisation. It’s a time when members, partners or shareholders get together to assess progress and look to the future.

For an event organiser, AGMs are important because they often involve many moving parts. Delegates arrive from different corners of the country or the world. Certain strict legal requirements and company procedures must be followed, while entertainment and social events are also in order. 

Read on for our checklist guide on how to organise an AGM, in seven steps...

1. Check the rule book  AGMs are generally governed by a whole host of conventions and procedures, many of which will be written into the organisation’s constitution. Certain aspects of these will affect event planning from the very beginning. For example, minimum capacity will be dictated by how many members are required for a quorum – the requisite number of attendees for motions and votes to carry.

2. Set the date  Avoid public holidays, special occasions and large-scale events. Consult with key members of the organisation, whose presence is required. Several busy diaries may have to be coordinated. Best to set the date early, and let everyone know so they can keep it free.

3. Pick your venue carefully  Consider several factors – not least of which is location. Attendance will be better the more conveniently placed the venue is. But amenities, facilities and budget are also important. Always visit several places before making a final decision.

4. Get technical  Many people consider Wi-Fi a basic human right these days, so woe betide you if you choose an AGM venue with no signal. Beyond that, you’ll need projection screens for sharing figures, diagrams and results. Speakers may need autocue, and the right lighting is essential.

5. Check the schedule  There should be a schedule of activity, which you can either produce or request. Consulting this will help to ensure all arrangements are in place for smooth running of the event. 

6. Be prepared for the unforeseen  Any complex event (and many a simple one!) has the capacity to throw up last-minute delays, changes, or issues. Meticulous preparation combined with a flexible attitude will stand you in good stead.

7. Don’t forget the entertainment  Once the accounts are reported and the tough questions have been answered, it’s time for networking and relaxation. A dinner or drinks reception provides the opportunity for bonding and fostering greater team spirit, so don’t overlook this essential part of the proceedings.

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