5 Tips for a Successful Annual HOA or Community Association Meeting

Photo of group of people at a meeting

Fall is the time of year is when homeowners associations and condominium associations prepare for the year ahead. And for many neighborhoods and communities, it’s an important time because it’s annual-meeting season.

Getting ready to host your next annual meeting? Here are some tips to help it go as smoothly as possible.

Build Out a Clearly Defined Agenda

There’s nothing worse than a chaotic, overly long meeting. That’s why we recommend going in with a point-by-point agenda so that everyone involved knows where the meeting is headed. This will be your roadmap for the entire meeting to ensure it stays on track and gives attendees an idea of what to expect before you ever call the meeting to order.

Get Every Document Prepared Well Ahead of Time

There’s no question that preparing for an annual meeting is a tall task for any board, and you’ll want to leave no stone unturned in terms of preparation. Getting the necessary documentation (i.e., reports, budget information, etc.) together ahead of time is important not only for the success of your meeting but also for the potential legality of it, too.

Be Smart About When You Hold Your Meeting

While your monthly or quarterly association meetings might only be attended by board members, your annual meeting is an important opportunity for everyone in your community to get involved. With that said, it’s no secret that not everyone is going to want to spend time at a meeting, so you’ll want to be sure to pick a date and time that are least likely to conflict with most work schedules, holidays, weekend plans, etc. 

You can’t make it work for everyone, but don’t make the date and time of the meeting an easy out for less motivated community members.

Get the Word Out Early

Your bylaws might dictate how early you must give notice of an annual meeting, but we recommend getting the initial notice out as soon as possible. Once you’ve picked a date and time, reach out to your community with a “save the date” or a simple email so that people can keep it on their radar. Then, as the date approaches, be sure to send reminders and more information about what to expect so it stays top of mind for your neighbors.

Consider Offering Food or Hosting in a Fun Location

Many bylaws require that a certain percentage of homeowners be in attendance in order for important votes to take place. This ensures that small groups of people can’t sway the community one way or another without the say of the larger group.

Unfortunately, not everyone in your community is going to be as enthusiastic about the meeting as you might be, and you’ll likely need to get creative to entice some people to be there. Sometimes, all it takes is offering up the promise of free food or a unique location for the meeting, but we’ve even seen some boards host speakers to talk about special topics to draw greater attendance. 

Have questions about planning for your community’s next annual meeting? Get in touch with us today to learn more from our expert team and to find out how Cardinal Management Group, Inc. can help your HOA or community association.

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