By Bobby Borg
We’ve all heard of those infamous band meetings where members arrive late—only to talk (and sometimes scream) about important (and sometimes completely unimportant) matters in a disorganized fashion. Just watch Metallica’s documentary DVD, “Some Kind of Monster” for a shocking dose of band dysfunction.
By definition, meetings are formal gatherings of people, or committees, intended to update, debate, and solve various business matters. To ensure that your meetings go smoothly, checkout the following 8 easy-to-execute tips:
- Schedule in Advance: Schedule your band meeting in advance at a convenient time for all. This can be done by using helpful tools like Doodle (doodle.com) or Meeting Wizard (www.meetingwizard.com).
- Choose a Convenient Location: Be sure the meetings are held in a convenient location such as your rehearsal room. You can also hold “distant meetings” by using the Internet (Skype.com), or conference call (www.freeconferencecall.com).
- Distribute an Agenda in Advance: Write a clear agenda of specifically what will be discussed in the meeting. Submit the outline to all members in advance so that they can begin to formulate their questions and thoughts and talk among each other.
- Set a Limit: While the length of a meeting is determined by the agenda, try to keep meetings no longer than one hour, moving efficiently from one item to the next.
- Appoint a Representative and Set Ground Rules: Appoint one member to oversee the meetings. The leader opens the meetings, addresses each issue one at a time, and offers the members the floor (or right) to comment in an organized, respectful, and efficient manner. Cell phones and other distractions are prohibited from the meetings
- Vote On, or Table Issues: After an issue is discussed, the representative “moves” to vote on it, and waits for the members to approve or “second” the proposal. Should people feel an item needs further discussion, it can be “tabled” for the next meeting. The point is to keep the meeting moving forward and not let one issue dominate the discussion.
- Adjourn Meetings: The representative must officially close all meetings before members begin wondering off. I have been in countless situations where members start playing games of pool or firing up their amplifiers while others are still talking. And finally…
- Approve Minutes: After each meeting, the representative sends out a detailed email of what was discussed and agreed upon to ensure their are no misunderstandings. Each member must approve the meeting minutes by simply responding with “”
The above methods may seem rather rigid and so un-rock ‘n’ roll-like, but remember that a band is a business, just like any other, and cutting through the bullshit that plagues so many bands is not a bad thing at all.
In fact, should you decide to incorporate your band, your group (or your elected “board” of members) is required to hold regularly scheduled meetings and keep detailed notes (or “minutes”) of what was discussed. Yup, I bet you didn’t know that!
No matter what your business entity, give the tips above a try. I wish that all my bands had! For detailed information on meetings, check out Robert’s Rules of Order at www.robertsrules.com. Please also be sure to check out my books at www.bobbyborg.com.
Bobby Borg Is The Author of The New Book Business Basics For Musicians: The Complete Handbook From Start To Success (Published by Hal Leonard) available at www.bobbyborg.com/store. For a limited time special offer, get the book, CD, and DVD for only $21.99 (a $70 Value).