This type of meeting works well for topics that need one to two hours to adequately cover the information and when the board is not seeking immediate members’ decisions. Often the board invites a guest or guests to make a presentation and answer questions. Topics could include an overview of Model Rules 2.0, the Asset Management Plan, introduction of a new management company, renovation information, or a design element such as co-op exterior colours or a playground.
There should be enough time for a meaningful question and answer period. Where there is a guest presenter, some members’ questions will relate to the guest presenter’s expertise, and be appropriate for the guest to answer. Questions related to co-op priorities, timing or options should be answered by a director on behalf of the board. Directors should discuss this with the guest presenter before the meeting.
The meeting should be chaired, and the chair should explain the purpose of the meeting, the meeting format and a meeting agreements (the chair should use a modified version of the meeting agreements). The meeting should start with a director describing why the board is holding a member information meeting on the topic or initiative, and introduce the guest speaker. If there are options being considered, it may be useful to ask for a show of hands on a particular option.
It is a good idea to establish with the guest in advance of the meeting a time limit for their presentation and any handouts to give out ahead of, or at, the meeting. It is important that information meetings are positive and both directors and guest presenters should listen openly to questions and concerns and not react defensively.
As it is not an official co-op business meeting it does not require an official notice of meeting. Though you are not required to follow the notice period specified in your Rules you will want to invite members well in advance to get a good turnout. The invitation should set a positive, friendly tone.
As an information meeting there is no need for rules of order, quorum is not required (however if turnout is poor directors may decide to postpone it), decisions are not made and official minutes need not be taken. You will want to take good notes and the main points should be shared with members.
At the end of the meeting, a director should thank members for their questions and input and explain the next steps.