Ah, the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The time of year when the sun shines on your organization’s accomplishments and the membership gets to see what you’ve been up to. It’s also an opportunity for board members and other stakeholders to get together, share ideas and celebrate successes.
But if you don’t plan ahead and get the word out, it’ll be a total flop.
So, here’s the thing: if you want to promote your next AGM, you can’t just rely on word-of-mouth. You need to create some buzz around it so that people know what’s going on and why they should come. AGMs aren’t always the sexiest event to attend, but with a little extra work, you can make it seem far more attractive than it has any right to be.
Here are some tips for how to do that!
Send Out a Save-the-Date for Your Annual General Meeting
Depending on your organization’s bylaws, you will need to send out a save-the-date email with your members in advance of your meeting:
- The date, time, location of the meeting, and meeting format (in-person, virtual, or hybrid).
- Captivating imagery, whether it be of your speaker or a photo from a past Annual General Meeting.
- Additional information that may be relevant such as parking information if it’s in-person or the platform login info if it’s online.
We also recommend using an email marketing tool such as MailChimp to create a well-designed email where you can track open and click rates to ensure your AGM is getting the attention it needs for RSVPs and to guarantee quorum.
Note: make sure your contact list is up to date! Add any new members to your existing list and filter out non-members so it doesn’t cause any confusion.
Use Social Media to Reach a Wider Audience
Sometimes, emails get lost, or some folks just haven’t had the opportunity to subscribe to your newsletter. That’s why we recommend leveraging the power of social media.
When you post about your AGM on LinkedIn, Instagram, or X (our favourite of the platforms) you’re able to reach out to people who are active on those platforms and may not have seen your email newsletter. It’s also a great way to stay connected with your members and other stakeholders outside of the organization.
Get Creative With Your Content
There are so many unique ways to leverage content marketing on your website, email, and social platforms to entice and engage your audience to join you at your AGM. Here are some of our favourite ideas:
- Do an Instagram/Facebook Live broadcast with your Executive Director or Board President. Discuss the significance of this year’s AGM, what attendees can expect, and the benefits of attending. This is also a great way to answer questions your viewers may have about the AGM or getting involved with your organization.
- If your AGM is in-person at a unique venue, show a teaser video of the space to get your audience excited.
- Share photos from past events and include links back to your website so that people can learn more about what you do.
- Repurpose a past blog post that recaps your previous AGM and its key highlights.
- Collect a series of testimonials (either written or in video format) from people who have attended your AGM in the past discussing what they gained from attending.
- If you have an education session or workshop at your AGM, highlight the speaker(s) on your channels as well. Include their photo, bio, and head shot. Be sure to tag them as well so they can repost!
- If your budget allows it, you can create a surprise giveaway that requires attendance to win the prize. An example giveaway could be future discounts on upcoming events or memberships.
Create a Annual General Meeting Marketing Kit for Your Volunteers
The best marketing comes not from organizations, but people.
That’s why you need to make sure your volunteers are ready to go with a marketing kit that will help them spread the word about your upcoming AGM.
This kit is designed specifically for volunteers and should be easy for them to use. It should include:
- An overview or a step-by-step guide on how to promote the event effectively.
- A template for an in-feed social media post and caption.
- A sample script for how to talk about the meeting if they choose to record a video.
- A newsletter template they can use if they have their own newsletter.
Don’t Be Shy About Reminders
We recommend the following email and posting cadence to remind your audience of this incredible opportunity:
- 6 weeks away
- 1 month away
- 1 week away
- 3 days away
In each follow up, where possible, include some unique content pieces (as previously provided) in each to add an element of surprise or excitement. The key is to make this meeting as engaging as possible.
Keep Promoting After the Meeting
Now that the excitement of your AGM is over, it’s time to build on the momentum and keep the conversation going.
Most AGMs will include an election process. Your organization should highlight any election updates immediately following the AGM and plan for more in-depth updates (I.e., new Director introduction) in the weeks following. We also recommend capitalizing on the excitement that was built in the meeting by recapping it in a blog post or video. You can also share photos from the event to continue the conversation online. Spotlight award winners if you had an awards portion during your AGM or share some key highlights from the President/Executive Director report.
Ask attendees for testimonials about their AGM experience via survey so you can repurpose them next year. This will help you create content for your website, newsletter, and social media that will keep your members engaged throughout the year.
There you have it! We’ve given you all the tips and tricks you need to promote your next AGM—it’s time to put them into action! If there’s anything else you need help with, don’t hesitate to reach out.