Last week I was working with a coaching client who was planning for her AGM. Annual General Meeting. We all have one. We all need to legally hold one.
But honestly? AGMs sound incredibly BORING!
One of the things I do best in coaching sessions is to help people rethink and reposition things.
So I said:
“What if we renamed this thing? What if we chose to give it a new name that better reflected how people will FEEL after attending, rather than knowing they have done their DUTY by attending?”
We hit upon an idea. A fabulous idea.
And like so many great ideas, it’s not complicated!
From now on, my client will reframe her AGM as an A.G.M.—A. Genuine. Moment. This has become the theme of her event.
- She’s sandwiching the boring stuff between first person testimonials from clients;
- She’s got financial reporting tucked in between committee reports. (Please, oh, please do not read your committee reports word-for-word from the AGM printed documents. This is the kiss of death for engagement.)
- She’s speaking from the podium not just to provide her “updates” but to share her personal journey of what it means for her to be Executive Director at this organization. She’s sharing so that people can connect with her. She’s sharing her why: why she chooses to be the leader at her organization.
- She’s got a designated time in the program to invite everyone to turn to their neighbor and have an A.G.M. moment. A. Genuine. Moment. Participants will share with their neighbor what motivated them to attend today’s AGM and why the organization matters.
There are two big takeaways here:
- We are all busy people. We don’t have time to run events that serve only one purpose—in this case, the fiduciary and governance responsibility of an AGM. Find ways to multi-task at your event so you hit other buckets: volunteer engagement, employee recognition, fundraising, donor recognition, visioning exercises, or survey and feedback opportunities.
- Never underestimate the power of a name. If it sounds boring, it probably IS boring. Change the name, tweak the format, focus on the EXPERIENCE people will have rather than the structure, the venue, the format.