Rotary meetings are very similar to regular meetings except for the fact that they occur only once a month. There are many benefits to holding these meetings compared to regular meetings. Unlike regular meetings, where there is no set agenda or time frame, Rotary events have a fixed date and set attendees. This allows the organizers to devote more time to activities related to the event rather than other, more mundane topics. There are also several ways to encourage attendance at a Rotary event, and here are a few of them:
o Encourage Paid Attendance – Most clubs have a minimum attendance requirement, usually enforced by a monthly minimum attendance policy. Some clubs may also require a daily attendance minimum or some combination of daily and weekly minimums. In most cases, a Rotary club does not enforce a minimum attendance policy because they do not view their meetings as regular meetings. However, if a certain requirement for meeting is observed, such as a minimum attendance requirement for receiving financial support, the organizer can enforce it and require potential members to pay their share.
o Encourage Non-Participation – If a regular club meeting cannot be held due to lack of enough membership, some organizers may opt to create a “unattendance” list or “absence list.” On an absence list, if a person does attend a club meeting for non-attendance reasons, they are removed from the absence list and their invitation status changes to “withheld.” If they do attend a future club meeting, their invitation is sent again with the new status.
o Encourage participation – E-clubs have encouraged involvement among its members. Through different methods, the organizers of E-clubs have conveyed to prospective members that their organization is not like regular meetings where only leaders speak. They allow members to speak up and give input on projects, voting, and any other way they feel is appropriate. Invitations are sent to all members on a regular basis and other activities designed to promote involvement occur regularly.
o Use technology in tracking attendance – A number of clubs have developed websites, email alerts, and text alerts for missed meetings. These tools have been quite helpful to the organizers of e-clubs. When one has a question about the status of a particular member or wants to let another club know that someone is not coming for a meeting, they can easily use the tools. Many clubs also have automated attendance systems that send an automatic e-mail or text message to members about their status.
o Hold regular meetings – E-clubs sometimes hold regular meetings, either regularly scheduled or on a date and time that is convenient to the members. Regular meetings also provide a venue for communication between management and members, for resolving disputes between members, and for brainstorming on projects and events. Because of this, several clubs have chosen to host a satellite club meeting. A satellite club meeting is held at a central location, rather than at the home of an individual club. Because the location is centralized, there are fewer expenses to be incurred, and the costs of travel are reduced.
o Use the Internet to communicate – Many e-clubs have chosen to take advantage of the Internet to bring their club together. For example, a computer at the central site can be used to make up letters, enter data in online forms, make contact with other club members, post events and schedules, create web pages, and upload videos and photos. Members have access to the Internet through their computers, mobile devices, laptops, and other technology. The Internet makes communication easier, more efficient, and less costly. Technology has also provided opportunities to interact with other Rotary Club members to make up for the lost touch that might have been gained through regular meetings.
Rotary clubs have contributed greatly to the growth of the science and engineering industry. It is well worth the time and investment to look into clubs that have these types of events as part of their regular schedule. E Clubs have helped countless individuals become successful entrepreneurs, designers, manufacturers, and even executives. With the wealth of knowledge and skills that can be gained through these clubs, the rewards are immeasurable.