Organizing and Preparing for Your Board Meeting

Preparing for Your Board Meeting

It’s no secret that organizing and hosting good board meetings (next BM) requires a significant amount of time. And, while BM preparation might take weeks, it is vital to ensure that directors are prepared and educated. In this post, we’ll look at some of the best practices for BM preparation, as well as give a BM preparation checklist to help you get started.

How to Prepare for a Board Meeting

Here we’ll look at some of the best practices for BM preparation, as well as give a BM preparation checklist to help you get started.

Begin Planning as Soon as Possible

According to OnBoard’s Definitive Guide to Better BMs, effective board preparation starts with a BM checklist after the last BM.

The company secretary and others take notes on issues to add to the agenda for the next meeting. Following the meeting, the secretary and their team discuss and schedule to-do items, resulting in a “first draft” of the agenda for the following meeting. A day following the meeting, the executive management team might convene a “debrief” session and transmit agenda notes to the secretary.

Check the Board’s Annual Calendar 6 to 8 Weeks Before the Next Meeting

About six to eight weeks before the BM, the secretariat or legal officer reviews the annual board calendar. (This is a separate document from the Board of Directors Meeting Schedule, which is a summary of the meeting dates of the Board of Directors and its committees.) The Annual Calendar contains recurring Board activities and agenda items that typically occur at specific times.

The meeting agenda is based on the annual agenda and the records of previous BMs. The CEO will have several agenda items. Some companies hold regular management meetings to discuss board agendas and plans. By holding this meeting six to eight weeks in advance, the Chief Human Resource Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and other potential agenda items that may require the attention of the entire board can address them. There is also enough time to prepare the agenda and read documents.

Confirm Attendance and Begin Making Travel Arrangements

RSVPs should generally be in at this stage. Inquire with directors and moderators who have not yet confirmed their participation to determine if they intend to attend. If necessary, create a schedule and book hotel accommodations.

Once you’ve determined the number of attendees, reserve food and other meeting-related services as needed.

Create the Agenda

The most effective BMs are meticulously planned to encourage strategic and fruitful talks, but they are also adaptable. That is why the BM agenda plays such a crucial role. The most effective BM agendas optimize meeting time so that board members may make informed choices.

Begin preparation for the agenda a few weeks before meeting with the CEO and CEO/Executive Director. Use the previous meeting’s agenda and the preliminary agenda as a reference, then collaborate to add points. Consider the following: estimated attendance, article distribution, expected time spent on each topic, tactics for generating debate, and any camera sessions.

When the agenda is complete, notify the directors and committee chairs, who are required to provide reports. Establish and enforce a deadline for submitting reports. Send the agenda to the board and allow board members the opportunity to propose changes or additions.

Prepare and Distribute Board Meeting Materials

Gather all meeting documents, such as the final agenda, financial and/or management reports, committee reports, prior meeting minutes, and other pertinent information. Send the board documents to the directors at least a week before the BM to provide them time to review them. If you use a board gantry, the distribution of these materials will be smooth; otherwise, make sure to provide adequate time to supply all of the supplies.

Prepare the Report Template

Create a meeting minutes template containing the meeting date, time, and place before the meeting if you aren’t utilizing whiteboard technology like Aprio to speed up the generation of meeting documentation. Make sections for important agenda topics and give space for remarks.

Final Preparations

If the directors have not yet completed their reports, please contact them and work out a way to provide this information to all participants. Check the meeting room the day before to ensure you have all of the essential supplies and chairs. Ascertain that food is in place and that meeting participants understand how to enter the space. Pack your laptop and charger, as well as all of your other necessities, and get a good night’s sleep. Best wishes!


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