Good meetings? (was: STC chapter question)

Subject: Good meetings? (was: STC chapter question)
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 07 Mar 2005 08:31:19 -0500

Tony Markos wondered: <<What goes on at a "good" STC meeting? We used to have formal STC meetings here in the area that I live, but now only "networking" luncheons. What makes an STC meeting draw people? What are meetings really like?>>

I've changed the topic since it's no longer what an employer should expect from STC but rather what STC meetings (and all other meetings, for that matter) should offer.

Here's what typically happens at an STC Montreal meeting, and why I attend as many as I can get to, other commitments permitting:

- Around 6:30, people start arriving, where Marielle and Lydia, our dedicated program coordinators, are already waiting. Members are waved through; nonmembers cough up a nominal admission fee (formerly C$5, now C$10).

- Tea, coffee, and miscellaneous cold drinks (water when our budget is tight) are available, along with finger foods, so you can get a light snack and recharge your batteries. Much schmoozing goes on between old friends. As president, I made it my responsibility to tear myself away from these chats, spot new faces, and introduce myself, thereby giving them a chance to do the same. I'd then introduce the newcomers to potential kindred spirits and move on to other newcomers.

- By 7 PM, the speaker and LCD projector have arrived, I'm no longer contemplating the impromptu speech I'll give should neither arrive <g>, and I begin gently extricating people from the food and conversations and moving them towards their seats. Since we're trying to be a bilingual chapter, I run through my bilingual introduction of the speaker once again to minimize the likelihood of tripping over my tongue and falling flat on my Petit Larousse.

- The speaker talks for up to 1.5 hours on a topic of general interest; this may be a straight lecture, an interactive Q&A, or a hands-on workshop, depending on the topic and the speaker. Round about 8:30, the formal talk and Q&A are over, and I formally thank the speaker and pass on our honorarium or speaker gift. (Or Marielle or Lydia do it, since they've worked hard organizing things and deserve the pleasure of giving a gift.)

- If we've had enough volunteer hours to hunt down and obtain a door prize, we award that too. Reminders of upcoming meetings and other administrivia follow.

- For the next hour (or until we're kicked out), there are informal follow-up conversations, sometimes followed by a trip to a local café or pub for additional chat.

- If the speaker was a hit, e-mail and phone conversations go on for a few weeks afterwards.

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Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)
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Re: STC chapter question -- what should an employer expect? (take II): From: Tony Markos

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