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Well-planned Chapter meetings are essential to maintain enthusiasm and attendance among the membership.

At the start of each Chapter year, the President shall appoint a program committee with a charge to create a plan for the Chapter’s meetings subject to the approval of the Board of Directors. This plan should consist of a tentative schedule of meetings for the entire year, possible topics to be considered at each meeting, and suggested speaker. Upon board approval, a more detailed agenda for each meeting may be developed by the program committee for review by the Board of Directors.

To ensure effective Chapter meetings, consider:

  • Holding meetings regularly and give adequate advance notice so members can plan to attend.
  • Informing members of the subject matter or guest speaker(s) for each meeting in a way that promotes interest and attendance.
  • Preparing the meeting agenda and program with your audience in mind.
  • Conducting the business portion of the meeting efficiently through use of parliamentary procedures.
  • Designing programs and activities that appeal to as many of the members as possible to encourage membership participation in Chapter functions.


Four regular meetings of the Chapter shall be held annually. The President sets the time and place of Chapter meetings, and the Secretary shall notify the members.

At any meeting held for the purpose of transacting Chapter business, a quorum shall be called of Chapter members. A quorum is usually a majority of the membership unless specified in the chapter bylaws.

Except as herein provided, "Roberts’ Rules of Order" shall govern the proceedings of the Chapter.

Best Practices

Business Meeting
Program Meeting
Social Meeting

The Chapter President shall preside at all Chapter business meetings. If the President is unable to attend, the President-Elect should assume the role of Chair. If neither officer is present, another officer or elected temporary Chair should call the meeting to order. In all cases, the Chair is responsible for efficiently conducting the meeting.

A key factor in ensuring the success of a business meeting is the proper preparation of an agenda that describes the topics to be discussed.

The suggested order of business in conducting the business meeting (or combined business/program meeting) is:

  • Meeting called to order
  • Welcome and introduction of new members and guests
  • Luncheon or dinner (if applicable)
  • Introduction of guest speaker(s) (if applicable)
  • Address by speaker(s) (if applicable)
  • Question and answer period (if applicable)
  • Approval of the minutes from the last business meeting
  • President’s report
  • Treasurer’s report
  • Committee reports
  • Unfinished business
  • New business
  • Announcement of time and place of next meeting
  • Adjournment
  • Refreshments (if applicable)

Every effort should be made to call the meeting to order on time and to keep the length of the meeting within reasonable limits.

The primary purpose of a program meeting is to inform and educate the members. Topics should consider factors such as the members’ professional needs, the advancement of members’ economic welfare, and other issues relevant to the membership. A program meeting should consist of a speaker, panel discussion, workshop, film and so on. Chapters are urged to inform Association headquarters about particularly successful programs so that this information can be shared with other Chapters.

In planning the agenda for a program meeting, it often is beneficial to separate the business and program sessions so that the business session will not detract from the program session. This is especially true when a long or special program session is planned.

The primary purpose of a social meeting is to promote and improve relations among Chapter members through personal contact in a relaxed atmosphere. Social meetings provide an excellent opportunity for members to make important professional contacts — one of the main reasons people join a professional association — in an informal setting and to boost enthusiasm and participation in other Chapter activities. In addition, social meetings may be used as income-producing programs for the Chapter and often are scheduled in conjunction with a Chapter’s membership campaign.

Social meetings may take the form of dinners or receptions. The planning for a social meeting can be handled by a special sub-committee of the program committee.