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Chapter Meeting Planning

Best practices on planning chapter meetings and programs

HOUSTON CHAPTER: Using a Data-Driven Process to Design Chapter Programming

SUMMARY: Wanting to better tailor programming to their membership’s skills, the Houston Chapter implemented a data-driven process to determine how to best provide valuable resources and learning opportunities that would support their members’ growth and address current challenges in the industry. The chapter board encouraged members to complete ATD’s Talent Development Capability ModelTM self-assessment and share their results. This allowed them to design a programming calendar that catered to the specific needs of their membership. They also utilized ATD’s State of the Industry report and support from internal consultants to further tailor their content. As a result, the board was able to strengthen and hone chapter programming, regain sponsorships that were lost during the pandemic, and return to pre-pandemic attendance rates for in-person programs.

YEAR: 2023

BAY COLONIES CHAPTER: Benefits of an Annual Programming Theme

SUMMARY: To better prepare the chapter for a successful programming year, the Bay Colonies Chapter plans out their programs for the upcoming year during the slower summer months and develops an annual theme around which to center their marketing efforts. This intensive period of group planning allows the board to divide the workload evenly between members while ensuring that chapter programming will be cohesive and easy to market. At the end of the summer, the chapter not only has plans for the upcoming year but also a high-quality marketing graphic to support the marketing team in publicizing chapter programs. As a result, the chapter has been able to strengthen their marketing efforts, improve morale among the board, and recruit new board members who were impressed by the professional approach to programming.

YEAR: 2022

CHICAGOLAND CHAPTER: Wild Apricot Process Documentation for Programming

SUMMARY: The Chicagoland Chapter developed a comprehensive user guide to establish a consistent process for creating events in Wild Apricot. The guide enables any board member to set up an event on the website, whether it’s an evening program, all-day event, conference, or smaller meeting facilitated by one of the professional development networks. Enabling board members to quickly and consistently set up events supports the chapter’s efforts to share timely promotions with members and increase event registrations.

YEAR: 2019

LOS ANGELES CHAPTER: Navigating SHRM Credit Process and Job Aid

SUMMARY: The Los Angeles Chapter became a SHRM recertification provider to add value to members and serve those in need of recertification credits for SHRM credentials. The chapter leveraged the 2019 SHRM Recertification Provider Guide and compiled information to assist other chapters interested in going through the process.

YEAR: 2019

DETROIT CHAPTER: Chapter 12-Month Program Calendar Maximization

SUMMARY: The Detroit Chapter revamped its program strategy to increase attendance, increase awareness of both the chapter and its brand, and drive interest in events. In addition to the traditional formal events organized in the past, the chapter began to host more informal events, networking opportunities, and webinars to address members’ professional development needs. As a result of this change in strategy, the chapter had 10 members join following its January event and has continued to attract new members monthly. Proactive outreach to venues also enabled the chapter to reallocate funds towards additional ATD Chapter Leaders Conference (ALC) registrations for board members, a website redesign, and a two-day conference.

YEAR: 2019

NEW YORK CITY CHAPTER: Incorporating “Member Since” to Nametags

SUMMARY: To encourage conversations about membership, the chapter added "Member since XX/XX/XXXX" on nametags at all events. This information was easily pulled from Wild Apricot and made for straightforward identification of new members that allowed board members to alter their conversations based on the tenure of the member.

YEAR: 2018

KANSAS CITY CHAPTER: Using QR Codes on Conference Badges

SUMMARY: Kansas City used a QR code on their conference badges to direct attendees to a conference page on its website. Through Avery, the chapter selected the QR code option at no extra cost when creating and printing badges. The chapter received a lot of positive feedback about the QR codes, created a better conference and learning experience, and increased exposure to the chapter.

YEAR: 2018

KANSAS CITY CHAPTER: Matching Locations to Speakers

SUMMARY: When determining a location for an event, the chapter matches the speaker’s topic with a correlating location to create an experiential learning event. Recently the chapter used a local art museum for a speaker who spoke about visuals in work with PowerPoint and e-learning. The museum provided free access to a photography exhibit. The presenter and attendees toured the exhibit in groups and discussed their takeaways. Typically, chapter meetings have averaged 30-50 attendees, but the chapter saw a boost in attendance to 60 or more at these events, translating to increased revenue and exposure for the chapter as many people brought guests.

YEAR: 2018

DETROIT CHAPTER: Partnerships and Project Management

SUMMARY: In the chapter’s strategic plan they identified the aim to have a larger, signature event. The Board choose to bring in the Disney Institute to promote ATD Detroit’s name to a larger audience in the area and have the opportunity for significant financial gain in potential profit. The chapter partnered with various member and non-member based organizations across all industries as well as the City of Rochester Hills and the Rochester College faculty. Using key documents to guide actions and keep the planning on track--project charter, SWOT analysis, Gantt chart, informal risk plan, marketing plan, informal team skills matrix, project budget spreadsheet – the post event survey stated 90% of attendees felt they could apply what they learned to their professional work and/or personal lives, the program was relevant to their jobs, the facilitators enhanced their engagement in the presentation, and the facilitators ensured learning objectives were met. The chapter received over $7000 in profit, five new memberships and one corporate membership because of the Disney event.

YEAR: 2018

GREATER LAS VEGAS CHAPTER: Preventing a Program Flop

SUMMARY: After the chapter experienced a few program flops, chapter leaders created a process to vet potential speakers with the goal of creating more value for the membership. The board put out a call to chapter members assessing the talent within the chapter and outlining the chapter’s desired topics. The board also developed some programs that did not require a speaker and allowed chapter members to interact and learn from each other, such as “Bring Your Own Energizers” and “Bring Us Your Training and Development Problems.” The chapter instituted a policy of meeting with the upcoming speakers beforehand via WebEx to ensure the program is on target and meets member expectations. Because of this effort, overall attendance, communication, membership, and engagement increased.

YEAR: 2018

CHATTANOOGA CHAPTER: Partnering with a Local Community College’s Culinary Department

SUMMARY: The Chattanooga Area Chapter built a partnership with a dean of the local community college who is also a chapter board member. The dean served as the liaison between the community college and the chapter for students to cater chapter events. Costs to the chapter were minimal as the community college already had costs included in its program budgets. The base cost per person per meal was reduced by 50 percent. In addition to the tangible outcome of cost reductions, the chapter received very positive feedback from its members and provided a way for the culinary students to gain required experience.

YEAR: 2017

CONNECTICUT CHAPTER: Partnership with Red Thread

SUMMARY: The chapter made a connection with a local company, Red Thread, which designs and equips training facilities for optimized learning opportunities. The chapter made a deal to hold its meetings in the showroom, and Red Thread provides beer, wine, and snacks at no cost. A company representative has an opportunity at the beginning of each meeting to introduce the company as the host. The chapter president works with the company liaisons to select the evening meeting dates and coordinate the facility logistics. The location has proven to be convenient and well-liked by the membership.

YEAR: 2017

ROCHESTER CHAPTER: TED Talk Format of Programs to Increase Attendance

SUMMARY: After polling members, the chapter completely restructured its programming to offer one event with smaller, bite-sized presentations with more variety and networking opportunities for attendees. The board recruited volunteers in the chapter as guides and speakers for the event, and hosted the program at a local art gallery. As a result of this effort, the chapter increased event attendance in addition to chapter membership, and created more buzz in the community surrounding the chapter. After the events, the board received great feedback from attendees and gained four new community partners.

YEAR: 2017

FLORIDA SUNCOAST CHAPTER: Speak Easy - Taking the Pain out of the Speaker Selection Process

SUMMARY: The right speaker with the right content delivered the right way to an audience can measurably increase sales, performance, and customer satisfaction while simultaneously improving profits and expanding engagement. For this reason, the chapter created an online speaker proposal form that allowed the chapter to obtain all of the necessary information on a session to properly review, vet, and approve quality speakers. The form resulted in the first speaker who went through the process receiving exemplary marks on the post-meeting survey with a relevant and engaging topic that fell within The ATD Competency Model.

YEAR: 2016

DETROIT CHAPTER: Chapter Meeting Host

SUMMARY: In the past, the chapter president played the role of host at each chapter meeting. The chapter meeting host is charged with reviewing chapter business, introducing the speaker, selecting winners of gift drawings, and providing closing remarks. In order to showcase specific different board member roles to attendees, the chapter chose to rotate this responsibility among each of the board members. By rotating this responsibility, chapter members are exposed to the individual members of the chapter's leadership team, and board members are excited for the opportunity to host a meeting.

YEAR: 2015

CHARLOTTE CHAPTER: Documenting Meeting Presenters

SUMMARY: To better align learning objectives with members' needs, the Charlotte Chapter devised a proposal form for presenters requesting references, presentation topic, title, and goals. Through the form, the board ensures that selected speakers are on track with the chapter's developmental needs, the chapter is meeting competencies the members value, and board members are promoting and marketing the information appropriately.

YEAR: 2014

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