Hosting an Informational MeetingWHAT IS AN INFORMATIONAL MEETING? This event lets potential members meet officers and learn more about KDP offers. All chapters are encouraged to hold an Informational Meeting prior to the initiation ceremony. The more informed people are before joining an organization, the greater the involvement.
PLANNING FOR AN INFORMATIONAL MEETING
- Set the meeting date, time, and location. After confirming the initiation date and location, set a time and location for the Informational Meeting. This meeting should be held at least 2–3 weeks prior to initiation.
- Send out invitations (electronic, print, or both) to all students who meet the membership criteria. This includes undergraduate students, graduate or doctoral students, and students seeking alternative certification or licensure. Remember that secondary education majors may be listed in another department but are still eligible to join Kappa Delta Pi. Your institution’s registrar can usually generate a list of potential members to invite. Customize an invitation template and the sample letter to the registrar.
- Promote the meeting around campus and in the Education Department by posting flyers, broadcasting it on the college’s radio or TV station, and asking your professors if they will announce it to their classes. Take advantage of social media by posting a flyer on the chapter’s account(s).
- Consider what items will be necessary during the meeting. Reserve a laptop or AV projector if needed. It is helpful to have a sign-in heet prepared, a handout for attendees outlining the application process, and a calendar of upcoming events. Don’t forget to bring your KDP gear, promotional items, scrapbooks, and chapter’s awards!
- Determine the format of your meeting
Agenda Format: Start the meeting by thanking potential members for attending, introduce chapter officers and members in attendance, and specify who will be the contact person for questions after the meeting. Share the KDP PowerPoint (customized with local chapter information, such as local dues, expectations of members, and upcoming events), and inform the attendees about how to register for both KDP and the chapter. Open the floor for questions and close by thanking members for attending. Tip: Have established members share their experiences and encourage attendees to mingle with chapter members after the formal presentation.
Open Format: This format is structured more like an open house and, while it may seem more informal, it may provide more opportunities to get to know potential members. As the potential members arrive they can browse the room, and informally talk to members as the KDP PowerPoint is looping in the background. If they are interested in joining, they can start the application process at the meeting.
- Determine who will set up the meeting and which chapter members will be in attendance. This is a great opportunity to involve members that are not part of the Executive Committee. This gets them involved and trains them as prospective chapter officers. Consider appointing members to greet and connect with potential new members. Current members can connect with the individuals they meet at the meeting to reduce the anxiety of joining. If you use the open format for your informational meeting, designate who will be stationed at each of the tables and what each person’s role entails.
AFTER THE INFORMATIONAL MEETING
As potential members leave the meeting, thank them for coming and give them contact information, if they have questions. Send a follow-up email a few days after the meeting and reiterate information on the application process. Consider having each current chapter member reach out to a potential new member to establish a relationship and create a familiar face. Social media is a great tool to use in starting these connections.
ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS TO ENHANCE THE INFORMATIONAL MEETING
- Food is a great motivator. Consider providing refreshments and promote this on your flyer.
- Hold a raffle or have promotional giveaway items on hand. The KDP store sells a variety of promotional supplies including pens, pencils, notecards, balloons, cups, and more!
- Schedule an alternate meeting so that students who were unable to attend the first meeting will have another opportunity to learn about KDP and the local chapter. Promote both meetings on your flyers.
- If your chapter uses a Post-Initiation Incentive Plan (PIIP) to award points to current members, consider how active members can contribute to the meeting. Points could be awarded to members for attending, helping with setup and clean up, or serving as a greeter. This could be especially helpful if you use the Open Format method.
REMEMBER: This is the first contact many of the potential members will have with the chapter. Creating a great first impression will impact students’ decisions to join.