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  #1  
Old 07-15-2017, 01:15 PM
craigrx craigrx is offline
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Why are national meetings every other year?

Lots of national fraternities and sororities have their main national meeting (grand council, grand conference, national conference, etc) every other year. Why is that? Why isn't it a yearly event?
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Old 07-15-2017, 01:26 PM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is online now
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Cost.
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Old 07-15-2017, 01:32 PM
craigrx craigrx is offline
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Cost to the attendees or cost to the national office?
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Old 07-15-2017, 01:36 PM
Tom Earp Tom Earp is offline
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Many have regional meetings the off years within conclave areas. Also cost is a big expense. Regional's can be held a colleges where can rent out dorms at a good price and meeting rooms also!
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Old 07-15-2017, 02:45 PM
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In the late 19th - early 20th century, National groups began the tradition of Biennial meetings. My guess it was because of expense and difficulty of travel. In today's world, I think the main reason is expense -- for both the HQ and the delegates.
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Old 07-15-2017, 03:47 PM
craigrx craigrx is offline
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What do you guys think would be a consequence of moving towards the national meetings being a yearly event? Reason I'm asking is because my fraternity is proposing this change and I'm really not sure what to think about it.
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:30 PM
Xidelt Xidelt is offline
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I think the yearly meetings would be costly and unnecessary. Plus, with strategic planning, I think you really need two years to accomplish goals, look at data, get feedback before you move ahead as an organization.
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Old 07-15-2017, 06:38 PM
Titchou Titchou is offline
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Some are going to every 3 years due to the cost. It's expensive and hard to implement changes in just one year if you go that route.
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Old 07-15-2017, 11:19 PM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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I think the yearly meetings would be costly and unnecessary. Plus, with strategic planning, I think you really need two years to accomplish goals, look at data, get feedback before you move ahead as an organization.
All of this x 10, with an emphasis on unnecessary.

ETA: Speaking for my own organization, we also hold our national Officer Academy and Recruitment Boot Camp every other summer, running opposite Convention. Having all of these conferences running at the same time would be a logistical nightmare.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:59 AM
33girl 33girl is offline
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What do you guys think would be a consequence of moving towards the national meetings being a yearly event? Reason I'm asking is because my fraternity is proposing this change and I'm really not sure what to think about it.
That really depends on how large/spread out your fraternity is. Phi Mu Delta came to my mind. None of their chapters are farther east than Ohio or farther south than Virginia. Plus there are only around 20 of them. The logistics for them gathering every year would be a heck of a lot easier than say, SAE.
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:11 AM
PGD-GRAD PGD-GRAD is offline
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Think of the times....THEN there was no electronic media, only telephones and mail. NOW there are so many ways to communicate off-year: teleconference, face-to-face Conference, e-mail, texts, tweets, online voting and surveys, etc.
The need to gather chapters from coast-to -coast to do business, propose changes, vote on policy, etc can be done without a physical gathering. It misses the pomp and decorum but is efficient and inexpensive.
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:51 AM
Titchou Titchou is offline
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Not to mention that the officers of these orgs are all volunteers. Having to take vacation from work that many times would make it tough to find qualified volunteers.
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:11 AM
Kevin Kevin is online now
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What do you guys think would be a consequence of moving towards the national meetings being a yearly event? Reason I'm asking is because my fraternity is proposing this change and I'm really not sure what to think about it.
Pros: You could touch base with your entire membership's leadership in one room on an annual basis. This offers an opportunity for lots of leadership development, training, networking, etc.

Cons:
This will cost double or more the conclave fees you're already paying.
Programming for annual events is going to probably be pretty repetitive.
If your annual meeting includes a legislative component, there will be people every single year looking to shake things up legislatively. This brings a lot of change for the sake of change.
If your annual meeting is where you elect national officers, 1 year staggered terms are not a terrible thing, but you may consider increasing the size of your governing board if that's the case to maximize institutional memory.
This is going to be a major imposition on alumni. I can sell that I am going to be gone a few days every other year for a convention. Turning it into an every year thing, leaving all those spouses at home alone with kids is a real imposition. Toss in the fact that you're talking about essentially vacationing alone every year vs. every other year, you're sure to see alumni involvement decline.

Sigma Nu's approach here is this: We have our Grand Chapter every other year. It is well attended by alumni, well attended by collegians and is a fantastic event. I've been to a few. We also hold an annual training for our newly elected chapter presidents in Lexington Virginia. HQ staff hosts annual regional conferences all around the U.S. and Canada every year to train officers and alumni volunteers. It's the best of both worlds and it's working well.
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:44 AM
craigrx craigrx is offline
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I really appreciate all of the insight. I'm already spending a lot of money for this year's conclave and it's hard to justify this cost every single year. Plus it's a huge burden on our collegiate brothers who have to travel (we're located all over the country and not limited to a geographical area) since we're required to have at least one chapter representative. My chapter is sending 20 people thanks to costs being restricted to every other year and generous donations from alumni like me.
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:39 PM
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AOII Angel AOII Angel is offline
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We actually have international meetings twice a year, but the one where Council meets to conduct fraternity business is only every 2 yrs. The other meetings are educational meetings. We have Leadership Academy every February, in even numbered years we have Leadership Institute in June and in odd years Convention is held in June. Having business meetings more frequently means that you do less of the educational and training sessions, which are almost completely absent from our Convention now.
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