Tips for Hosting an AGM During COVID-19
AGM season has arrived and much like everything else, it’s going to be a little different this year.
Crammed auditoriums and meetings rooms are no longer an option, public health policies must be adhered to, and refreshments can no longer be served— among other changes. And if you’re like the many condo boards we engage with on a regular basis, you’ve likely been left questioning how to move forward with everyone’s best interests in mind.
Thankfully, you can still host your annual general meeting. You just have to put a solid plan in place and start preparing early.
Here at Catalyst, we recommend considering a hybrid meeting, where condo board members (and perhaps a limited number of residents) are physically in attendance but others tune in via a virtual platform like Zoom or GoToMeeting.
This approach will make it easier to adhere to public health best practices while simultaneously ensuring the meeting is effective.
We’ve put together some tips and ideas to help you safely streamline your hybrid 2020 condo AGM. Let’s get straight to it!
1. Have a Sign Up Sheet
In the event that someone who attended your AGM begins showing COVID-19 symptoms, you’ll want to be able to begin contact tracing as soon as possible. Collecting the names, email addresses, and phone numbers of your attendees will be necessary to mitigate risk effectively and inform others they should be tested.
2. Adhere to Social Distancing
The government of Canada recommends that community gatherings adhere to the two-metre physical distancing rule at all times. This will significantly reduce the number of in-person attendees and provide a safer environment for all participants. It is also important to require face masks throughout the duration of your condo AGM and to remind attendees that hugging, handshaking and other forms of physical contact should be avoided.
3. Direct Traffic
This is a precaution that Alberta condo boards may easily overlook when hosting an AGM during COVID-19. We often do not think about how a lack of direction can lead to accidental bumping and physical contact, so it is crucial that condo associations be extra cautious in this regard. Use tape to place arrows along aisles and instruct to adhere to signage as they enter.
4. Allow Authorized Virtual Attendees Only
While it is important to protect your guests from COVID-19 this AGM season, it’s also important to protect their privacy— especially when using an online communication software to facilitate virtual attendance. When setting up your virtual annual general meeting, be sure to require each participant’s emergency contact email address upon sign-in. If the individual does log in via the emergency contact email you have on their file they will not be able to attend, making it more difficult for unauthorized individuals to gain access.
5. Set Up Sanitization Stations
Sanitization stations should be placed at both the entrance to your condo AGM and the exit. Be sure to use hand sanitizer products that have been authorized by Health Canada and place a garbage can near the station where guests can dispose of tissue, if necessary. It is also advisable to have a team member stand near the station to ensure all attendees sanitize their hands upon entry.
6. Utilize Virtual Polling Features
This is one of our favorite tips for hosting a virtual AGM. Many online meeting platforms, like Zoom and GoToMeeting, offer polling features that allow you to gather feedback from your virtual condo AGM participants. It’s a great way to vote in real time regarding important decisions!
7. Assign Roles in Advance
Being prepared is secret to successfully hosting an AGM during COVID-19, and this rule applies to the entire team. Ensure everyone is clear on what their roles are and where they need to be as guests begin to arrive. Ensure someone is managing the sign-in sheet and also have someone who is tech-savvy overseeing your virtual livestream. The clearer everyone is about their assigned role, the smoother your AGM will go.
8. Mute All Virtual Participants Upon Entry
Who knew one little feature could have such a big impact? The mute all button will save you a ton of time and frustration. Instead of having to ask each individual person to mute their mic upon joining your virtual annual general meeting, you can select this setting from the beginning and avoid the fuss! (If an individual needs to speak, they can temporarily unmute their microphone.) No more chaos and confusion at the beginning of your virtual session.
With these tips in mind, you can ensure your upcoming condo AGM is a safe and productive event for all in attendance.
Are you looking for a condo management company to help you build a happier community and streamline your administrative processes? We’re confident we’re the right team for the job. Reach out today!