Meetings probably aren't the most fun thing on your PTO's calendar, but they're an important part of what your group does. Run well, meetings can be an effective way to gather input, share information, and make decisions. The more efficient your meetings are, the more likely people will be to participate, and the more work your group can get accomplished.

To help your group plan and run effective meetings, we’ve compiled the following resources with links to our most popular (and helpful) articles and downloadables.

First, Perspective

Before you start to think about issues like how long your meetings should be and the proper procedures for taking minutes, put meetings in perspective. Attendance is important, but it’s not the only consideration. What do you truly hope to accomplish at your meetings? Could some relatively simple fixes (holding one meeting a month in the evening for working parents, for example) boost attendance and improve the overall vibe? These resources can help with solutions to some of those questions:

Planning Meetings

Once you’ve given some thought to what you hope to accomplish, it’s time to get into the nuts and bolts of planning your meetings. From getting the word out to keeping your meetings short and to the point, these resources offer lots of helpful tips and information:

Running Meetings

An orderly, well-run meeting is better both for group leaders and those attending. You can’t forget about the rules—Robert’s Rules, that is. You don’t have to memorize a whole book’s worth of details, but you do want to know the basics. As well, meetings that offer a dash of fun are more likely to attract more attendees.

Meeting Minutes

Minutes are the official permanent record of your group’s meetings. It’s appropriate to take minutes at every formal meeting of the PTO, including executive board and general membership meetings. Some large committees might also find it helpful to take minutes during their meetings to ensure there is a record of important decisions made.

For more on meetings, check our Meetings/Robert’s Rules topic page.