Congratulations!, you're almost there. Decide on a specific date for the first meeting and create a prospective agenda. Having an agenda is fundamental for making sure that everyone knows in advance what is going to happen during the meeting, how long it will be, who will participate and especially - to make sure that time is not wasted.
The first meeting can be in either of the two basic formats:
- A "demo" meeting, which is a scaled-down version of a regular meeting, demonstrating all the main elements. If you can get the help of people that are already members of other Agora Speakers clubs or know how we work, this is the preferred way.
- An "introductory"/"presentation" type meeting, in which you can explain the purpose of the club, the benefits for joining, how the club works, the different roles, etc. and then you hold a Q&A section. If you're the first club in your area and all the people you will be inviting are completely new, we recommend this format instead.
For a "demo" meeting, you don't need to have a full panel of speakers - usually, just one prepared speech is enough. In general, you should have at least 8 people with the following roles:
- A meeting leader
- A Grammarian / Word of the Day / Filler Word counter
- A timer
- One speaker
- One speech evaluator
- One Hot Questions master
- One Hot Questions evaluator
- One meeting evaluator
These 8 people need to know what their role is about, and how to effectively perform it. The roles are explained in detail in the next sections. The rest of the attendees need not know how a club works.
In the brand portal, you will find several templates for meeting agendas that you can tailor to your needs. Of course, you can create your own format. If you do, remember that in order to be useful, a meeting agenda has to include the following pieces of information for every part of the meeting
- What the part is about ("Grammarian", "Thought of the Day")
- If it is a Speech Project, the title of the Speech and the project and educational path to which it corresponds.
- Who will be doing that role
- The timing of that part, specifying at what times the green, yellow and red timing signals should go off (check the section about the Timer meeting role for an explanation).
Important: You will need to upload the agenda of the first meeting during the club registration process.
Advertising the Event
It is usually useful to create both Facebook and Google Calendar events so that people can sign up and synchronize the meeting with their own agendas. Try not to plan to much in the future, as people usually sign up then forget about meetings more than two weeks in advance. Confirm with all participants the week before.
When you create the event, create it as a public event, so that people can find it and invite others, or post it on their blogs or walls.
Be sure also to announce your event either in the Agora Speakers Facebook group of your country, or the International one ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/agoraspeakers/ ).
Even if the meeting venue is very famous, even if you think everyone knows it very well, to avoid frustration it's always a good idea to take a few pictures of the location and to explain in detail how to get to the meeting room. Some guests to your meeting might not know the place, or they might even be from a different country.
Also, it's convenient to post pictures of the access to room itself.
If the venue allows it, print a couple of signs with arrows guiding the visitors to the meeting room.
Use the brand portal to create banners, agenda templates, etc. for your club. Please note that all digital assets must be used in accordance with the Branding Guidelines which you can find here: http://wiki.agoraspeakers.org/Branding+Guidelines