Preparation Read through annual meeting requirements. Locate last year's annual meeting files. Determine what type of event it will be. Set up teams and give each team a written list of responsibilities and deadlines. Review the annual meeting budget. Set your annual meeting date, time, place, agenda. Prepare an action plan with an itemized list of meeting preparations. Schedule regular check-in meetings to follow up on the progress. Prepare promotional materials or supplies. Meeting Space and Arragements Locate a facility for the meeting. Send a request for proposal outlining the requirements of your meeting. Do a site inspection and meet with the property's convention services planner. Ask what menu items can be done well for your meal budget. Ask about hidden charges such as gratuities, service charges, setup fees, etc. Make sure you have a written contract that outlines the specifications, date, costs, method of payment, and cancellation policy. Ask when the site's program coordinator for the event will arrive to check on last-minute details. Be certain the hotel or meeting room will be open early enough for you to set up and check everything before the meeting. Know where light switches are and how to operate them if you plan to show a video or PowerPoint presentation. Arrange for greeters to welcome members as they arrive. Obtain speakers, videos and other aids needed to produce an interesting, educational, and entertaining program. Marketing your event Prepare and mail official notices to members. Write articles and prepare ads and sponsor newsletters. Add annual meeting information to your website. Send announcements. Hang posters, signs, or banners in your lobby. Use drive-up envelopes with annual meeting information. Send reminder postcards two weeks before the meeting. Send notices to newspapers for the special event section. Meeting Be sure to start the meeting on time. Use your annual meeting as a marketing opportunity for showcasing your products and services. Hand out annual reports to all attendees. Have a photographer record highlights for your newsletter, bulletin boards, and web site. Hire a professional stenographer to take meeting notes. Prepare board chair and other committee representatives for presenting their reports. Highlight positive achievements. Be open and honest about any difficult issues. Allow adequate time for food functions.