By Ryan Newton
We have learned association meetings have changed over the last year. In 2020 we saw many Associations push back meetings in the hopes of being able to still meet in person at a later date. Most associations had to adapt due to local gathering restrictions and in-person meetings were not possible.
As time went on, many HOA’s started using online meeting platforms to allow “face to face” meetings. This has drastically changed the meeting landscape for associations with both positive and negative outcomes.
With the shift to a more technology-based platform for meetings, we probably won’t be seeing them go away, at least any time soon, even with gathering restrictions being lifted.
There are a lot of benefits to an online meeting format; owners from other locations can attend, trends show that meetings are shorter, managers/staff save time from commuting and have an improved work/life balance, and ownership attendance has increased, helping keep more people informed.
Like with everything, there are negative effects as well; relationships can be harder to foster, voting is more complicated, it is harder to ensure everyone has a chance to be heard, secret attendees (people that can’t be seen) and for some, an online style meeting is not feasible.
Regardless of the pros and cons, meeting format has changed, and it is important to establish clear guidelines on how meetings will be handled moving forward. Below is a list of items managers/boards should review while putting procedures in place for future meetings.
PLEASE NOTE: these are general suggestions and may not be applicable to your HOA. You may want to review with your HOA attorney before making any adjustments to meeting procedures.