Council Meeting Management – What is Important?
Updated: Jul 14, 2022
The council meeting is critical, and the process to execute should be streamlined, simple, and support all participants.
These include members of the public, Councillors, the Executive Team, and the Governance Team who support the meeting, compile the agendas and record minutes, and report writers and approvers.
Does your solution enhance the experience for all these stakeholders?
While many meeting management solutions help speed up the creation process and increase collaboration, a complete solution provides a platform for all stakeholders and goes beyond your administration teams. Because council meetings can be complex and have various moving parts, your chosen technology should enable more efficient and meaningful meetings.
Here’s an overview of how the perfect meeting management solution should support you and your teams.
A clearly defined, well-structured, navigable agenda assists your council in making the most of its meetings. Clear agendas enable elected members to make informed decisions based on sound advice and constructive debate.
How does the agenda creation process currently work for your council? Your meeting management solution should be simple and hassle-free for all involved and, at a minimum, should provide you with the following:
Easy Agenda Creation: Simplify your current process with a solution that has a user-friendly interface and an agenda creation module to save time.
Produce with Consistency: Why reinvent the wheel for each meeting? The ability to create and clone consistent agenda formats and easily add items with specified deadlines and approval processes is a must to execute at speed.
Provide a True Digital Format: All too often, the processing results in nothing more than a large pdf file is hard that is to navigate and does not support meeting participants. A digital platform provides the capability for genuine digital content that is accessible and usable.
Eliminate Time Consuming Tasks: Agendas shouldn’t take hours to create. Teams should be able to create items in seconds, access past, current, and future meeting information, and easily track changes. And if you can offer the ability to automate approvals and set reminders - that’s a bonus.
We live in an instant access world where we expect information to be readily available - and your Meeting Management Solution should accommodate this. However, it shouldn’t be at the expense of your administration team.
Administrators should be able to help your council become more transparent and increase communication and collaboration with simple tools that allow them to execute faster.
Capture and Monitor Easily: Administrators should be able to easily capture meeting attendance with simple roll call features and self-manage the meeting by viewing comments, motions, and votes for individual items.
Increase Efficiencies: Providing teams with one central location to upload agendas, minutes, and video content will immediately increase efficiencies within your council. Meeting Administrators should also be able to view status updates of each item to see if minutes have been completed or are in progress.
Enhance Collaboration: An integrated Meeting Management solution will allow administrators to provide meeting content to councillors and executives and remove the need to get caught up in an influx of emails.
Encourage Connection with the Community: Connect and communicate with your community by allowing administrators to instantly display discussion items, voting results, and fully integrated and automatically bookmarked on-demand video recordings of your meetings.
Preparing for a council meeting takes time. Does your platform provide the tools to assist councillors in preparing and participating? A meeting management solution should simplify the entire process for councillors and provide them with easy access before, during, and after your meeting.
Providing access to a Councillor Portal is the ultimate way to increase efficiencies and streamline the process from start to finish.
Easy access across devices: Provide the ultimate in accessibility with easy access to agenda items and minutes. The ability to conduct electronic roll call and voting from any device is also a must.
Enhance Preparation: Give your Councillors the flexibility to add and save personal notes and comments to agenda items and easily search past, current, and future meeting content - this will help them prepare for future meetings and avoid them working out of multiple documents.
Increase Usability & Flexibility: An end-to-end digital platform provides the capability for genuine digital content that is accessible and usable. Councillors can join meetings anywhere and participate in the meeting, including built-in voting that integrates directly with council minutes.
Providing transparency, communicating openly, and increasing public participation are important goals for any council meeting. Ensuring the latest information is readily available and easily accessible for your community will contribute to building trust.
A Community Portal that is intuitive, user-friendly, and easily updated is the perfect way to communicate with your community. In essence, they should have the ability to:
Easily Access Information: One central portal should allow one to view and download agendas and minutes, use search filters to find information quickly, and send notifications when new documents are uploaded.
View Recorded Meetings: Remove the time barrier by uploading your streamed council meetings, and allow the community to skip straight to bookmarked sections with indexing. Automatic bookmarked video linked to each item in the minutes makes access easy for anyone in the community.
Participate from any device: there’s no point in providing essential information if it’s not easily accessible. Ensure your Meeting Management Software is browser-based and accessible across various devices.
It is not enough to place documents and hours of video online – this is hard to consume and difficult to navigate. Providing an authentic digital experience enables greater community involvement and participation, helping your council to become more transparent and build trust with the community.